Gentle Lorton Circuit
A circuit of Lorton valley is always a pleasure. There are many variations you can do - from 2 to 10 miles - depending on mood, the weather, and how long you want to walk....

This gentle circuit straight from the door of your cottage is 3.8 miles and takes you through the valley for some wonderful views, returning via the Lorton Village Shop. The photos below are all from Andrew Locking's excellent walks website - with his very kind permission. You can link to his site from the last photo in the array below - and see more of his high resolution images along the walk. (Andrew starts his walk from a different point in the valley).

  • 4 miles in length
  • 130 metres of gentle up and down
  • On easy footpaths and lanes

Start from High Swinside
This 4 mile circuit of the Lorton valley starts out from High Swinside Farm, over the cattlegrid and southwards along the gravel drive. You will have this fabulous view of Melbreak ahead on the far side of Crummock Water. You continue south along the lane until you reach a footpath on your left (by a parking place before you reach the gate across the lane).

If you look back there might be a view of the Scottish hills in the haze to the north - beyond the Solway Firth.
Leave the lane for footpaths
Follow this path and when it forks keep to the right hand choice just above the wall; the steep sided Dodd is on your left. Turn right when you reach a gated alley between stone walls - or ‘outgang’ - and follow this new path into the valley to reach the road near Miller Place. You will see Low Fell ahead of you across the valley.
On small lanes till after the Hopebeck signpost
Now your route turns right at the road near Millers Place, and right again northwards along quiet lanes for a while, keeping ahead at the Hopebeck Signpost in the direction of Cockermouth. Shortly you will reach this bend where there is a footpath signposted on the right - which you take.

(Alternatively for a shorter walk, turn right at the Hopebeck signpost back along the gated lane to High Swinside).
Footpaths across the fields and past Low Swinside
You now have a beautiful valley stretch through fields and mostly on footpaths till you reach High Lorton. (There is just one short stretch of lane as you pass Low Swinside before you turn right again onto another footpath). If you look back across the fields you can see the end of Low Fell.

As you walk through the valley you will see the Dodd with Whiteside beyond on your right.

Nearing High Lorton there is a lovely old barn which is a picture...
Pass the Lorton Yew as you reach High Lorton
When you reach High Lorton, cross a stile in the wall and turn left along the lane. Shortly you will reach the bridge over Boon Beck and you will be able to see the famous 1000 year old Lorton Yew tree off to your left (there is a small footpath to it if you want to get closer). This yew tree was immortalised by Wordsworth in one of his poems. There is also a bench here beside the water.
You reach the Lorton Village Shop
Just after the bridge you reach a junction and turn left. Walk past the next little turning on your left and the Lorton Village Shop will be shortly beyond it (again, on your left. This view of the shop is taken from beyond it looking back).

A Shed-With-A-View - it has recently been renovated by its new owners, Lee, Arwen and Kelda, and is rapidly becoming all important to the community. It sells lots of local produce - of the craft variety as well as edibles!
Head back to High Swinside via Scales
After some retail therapy, head back the way you came, and take the 2nd right (signposted Scales, and Fishing!) so that you cross Whit Beck again past the Lorton Yew.
Take the footpath beside the beck to Scales
Continue along the lane from the bridge through the buildings and gently uphill with fine views of Swinside fell, the Dodd and Whiteside off to your right. Just before a large oak go right though a delightful old metal kissing gate onto a footpath to Scales beside Whit Beck. Here you reach a lane that takes you past farm buildings on your right. Ignore the footpath heading right through the farm, and continue on past the lovely old farm house on your right with a cattle grid across its drive.
Turn right along the enclosed green lane
The next opening on your right has a metal gate across it and stone walls on each side. This is the start of the green lane footpath back up the hill to High Swinside. At times along your way there will be fabulous views down and across the Lorton valley - a great sight to round off the walk and help you up this gentle hill!

For more photos of this circuit, see the original walk on Andrew Locking’s excellent website: http://www.andrewswalks.co.uk/lvs.html

Start from High Swinside
This 4 mile circuit of the Lorton valley starts out from High Swinside Farm, over the cattlegrid and southwards along the gravel drive. You will have this fabulous view of Melbreak ahead on the far side of Crummock Water. You continue south along the lane until you reach a footpath on your left (by a parking place before you reach the gate across the lane).


If you look back there might be a view of the Scottish hills in the haze to the north - beyond the Solway Firth.

Leave the lane for footpaths
Follow this path and when it forks keep to the right hand choice just above the wall; the steep sided Dodd is on your left. Turn right when you reach a gated alley between stone walls - or ‘outgang’ - and follow this new path into the valley to reach the road near Miller Place. You will see Low Fell ahead of you across the valley.

On small lanes till after the Hopebeck signpost
Now your route turns right at the road near Millers Place, and right again northwards along quiet lanes for a while, keeping ahead at the Hopebeck Signpost in the direction of Cockermouth. Shortly you will reach this bend where there is a footpath signposted on the right - which you take.

(Alternatively for a shorter walk, turn right at the Hopebeck signpost back along the gated lane to High Swinside).

Footpaths across the fields and past Low Swinside
You now have a beautiful valley stretch through fields and mostly on footpaths till you reach High Lorton. (There is just one short stretch of lane as you pass Low Swinside before you turn right again onto another footpath). If you look back across the fields you can see the end of Low Fell.


As you walk through the valley you will see the Dodd with Whiteside beyond on your right.


Nearing High Lorton there is a lovely old barn which is a picture...

Pass the Lorton Yew as you reach High Lorton
When you reach High Lorton, cross a stile in the wall and turn left along the lane. Shortly you will reach the bridge over Boon Beck and you will be able to see the famous 1000 year old Lorton Yew tree off to your left (there is a small footpath to it if you want to get closer). This yew tree was immortalised by Wordsworth in one of his poems. There is also a bench here beside the water.

You reach the Lorton Village Shop
Just after the bridge you reach a junction and turn left. Walk past the next little turning on your left and the Lorton Village Shop will be shortly beyond it (again, on your left. This view of the shop is taken from beyond it looking back).

A Shed-With-A-View - it has recently been renovated by its new owners, Lee, Arwen and Kelda, and is rapidly becoming all important to the community. It sells lots of local produce - of the craft variety as well as edibles!

Head back to High Swinside via Scales
After some retail therapy, head back the way you came, and take the 2nd right (signposted Scales, and Fishing!) so that you cross Whit Beck again past the Lorton Yew.

Take the footpath beside the beck to Scales
Continue along the lane from the bridge through the buildings and gently uphill with fine views of Swinside fell, the Dodd and Whiteside off to your right. Just before a large oak go right though a delightful old metal kissing gate onto a footpath to Scales beside Whit Beck. Here you reach a lane that takes you past farm buildings on your right. Ignore the footpath heading right through the farm, and continue on past the lovely old farm house on your right with a cattle grid across its drive.

Turn right along the enclosed green lane
The next opening on your right has a metal gate across it and stone walls on each side. This is the start of the green lane footpath back up the hill to High Swinside. At times along your way there will be fabulous views down and across the Lorton valley - a great sight to round off the walk and help you up this gentle hill!

For more photos of this circuit, see the original walk on Andrew Locking’s excellent website: http://www.andrewswalks.co.uk/lvs.html