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 Hutton Roof to Burton-in-Kendal 

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

 Roadside parking at St John’s Church, Hutton Roof (SD 570788)

Ordnance Survey Map
OL7 The English Lakes – South Eastern Area.

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Distance: 9.75 miles Date of Walk: 20 February 2013


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429m (1406ft)
429m (1406ft)

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Cumbria walk, Hutton Roof to Burton in Kendal ketch map

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: “Hutton Roof” is the curious name on a road sign I had seen many times on the A65 en route to the Lake District. I had long determined to see what was there and walk a route in that area. Hutton Roof is a small village mostly of old stone cottages and to be honest, little else. It is a quiet spot, minding its own business. To its west however is a limestone plateau of crags and limestone pavements combining Hutton Roof Crags and Dalton Crags. From its top there are spectacular views in clear weather (unfortunately not very clear when I recorded this walk!). The walk is in the very south western area of Cumbria.

My route starts from St John’s Church Hutton Roof (where there is a small amount of roadside parking) and circles the plateau taking in a section of the Lancaster Canal and Burton-in-Kendal. However, this is a circular walk, it could be started at any convenient spot on the circle.

Refreshment opportunities are limited and the Kings Arms in Burton-in-Kendal is probably your best bet. There are also a number of benches along the Lancaster Canal which make a convenient place for a picnic.

The walk includes a section through Open Access Land through a Forestry Commission woodland at Dalton Crags, where the footpaths do not appear on any OS map but the route is very clear.

This is basically a very easy walk but there is a section of moderately steep descent down from Dalton Crags hence the amber traffic light above.

To get to Hutton Roof, turn south west off the A65 at Kirkby Lonsdale or off the A6070 at Burton-in-Kendal (or start there). Hutton Roof church is just under half a mile to the north of the village.

Start: Facing the church (SD 570788), turn right then left at the road junction, signposted Clawthorpe and Burton. After a very few yards, turn left on to a public footpath following the fingerpost for “Hutton Roof Crags”.

Follow the path to a stile, after which it forks. Take the right hand fork and the path climbs. As you reach the top of a rise (not the ultimate top), keep straight on ignoring the path off to the left. On a clear day there will be great views across to the Lune Valley and beyond.

Hint of the View over the Lune Valley

Almost at the top of the plateau, the path forks again. Take the right fork to follow the valley.

The path starts to descend gently and you come to a fork. Keep right and when reaching a kissing gate, cross the road (SD 552788) and take the path opposite following the fingerpost for “Holme Park” and “Limestone Link” - take the left hand path when it splits - the one which briefly is parallel with the power lines.

Limestone pavement

At a little rocky outcrop, the path forks and you want the right leg. At another outcrop shortly afterwards, the path goes to its right also and at this point you should see a walkers’ gate with a yellow arrow.

Go through the gate on to National Trust land - Holme Park Fell - and take the left hand track following the line of trees and passing a quarry.

You pass a semi-buried stone construction which is on the right, an old lime kiln.

Old limekiln on Holme Park Fell

Unusual rock formation on Holme Park Fell

Stay on the broad track as it descends and becomes more stony, until it reaches the road (A6070), then turn right (SD 530793). This is quite a fast road so take care and use the verge where you can. The prominent hill to the immediate right is Farleton Fell.

Farleton Fell

Follow the road for a quarter of a mile before turning left signposted for Holme and Milnthorpe, to pass under the motorway. Cross over the Lancaster Canal, then turn left to follow the towpath following the fingerpost for “Holme Mills”. It is along here where there are a number of benches useful as picnic stops.

Lancaster canal

You now follow the towpath for 1¾ miles, passing under a number of canal bridges. At one point, the canal crosses over a road on a high aqueduct and after this at the next road, look out for some steps on the right hand side descending to that road (SD 523570). Turn right along this road into Burton-in-Kendal.

Old roadsign in Burton-in-Kendal On reaching Main Street (actually the A6070) at a ‘T’ junction, turn right. Look out for the Royal Hotel on the left (closed at the time I did the walk, so may change its use). Shortly after this is the market cross bearing a plaque recording that King Charles II made this a market town in 1661. Turn left immediately before the cross, passing between the buildings (SD 530764).

Follow the track straight ahead through a long narrow field (where the power poles start). At the top of the field, there is a footpath off to the left which is not our route but it marks the point (SD 533764) where you go diagonally right to the opposite corner of the next field and through the kissing gate. Cross the next 2 field diagonally also and go down to the road. Turn left here (SD 536760).

After about ¼ mile, just past the lodge house which is on the right hand side of the road, look out for a public footpath fingerpost on the left for “Dalton” and turn off here (SD 540761). Aim for the wide gap between the clumps of trees. Keep straight ahead to a rough stone stile in the corner (to the left of the power pole with the transformer).

When you get to Rose Cottage, the path partially circles it anticlockwise. Follow the path through the trees and turn right at the road (SD 544765). Keep  left at the fork in the road you arrive at immediately.


Walk along the road but in less than ¼ mile, look out for a double 5 bar gate entrance on the left with a kissing gate alongside. A notice tells you that this is Open Access land (SD 546763). The next section of the walk does not appear as public footpaths on the OS maps but there is a very clear, broad track through the trees which you follow. Just stick to the main track. In particular, ignore a path which goes off to the right at some crags.

Limestone pavement starts to appear amongst the trees on the right. Not long after this, the main track splits. Take the right fork which is the obvious main track. A short distance later, the track forks again and this time, go left. It bends left as it exits the trees and leads to a walkers’ gate. Through this, go straight ahead.

The track leads to the trig. point (SD 556774), with great views in all directions.

Trig. point on Hutton Roof plateau

Several paths much fainter than the approach run from the trig. point but looking from the direction in which you approached, the correct one is at about one o’clock (or at about 68° magnetic if using a compass).

View towards the Yorkshire Dales

Keep descending and you should reach the corner of two walls at SD 561777. The last part of the approach to this is not very clear but if you miss it, you are likely to find your way blocked by a wall, in which case turn left and follow it along to the corner – rough going though!

From the corner, follow the path down alongside the wall (wall on your right). You reach an unconventional stile, part ladder and part stone stile. Do not cross it but turn left here. Walk along until coming to a path on the right which goes quite steeply downhill, following once again a wall on the right. You may now catch glimpses of Hutton Roof through the trees.

As you come more or less level with the end of the village, at a junction of paths, turn right and walk down to the road. Here, turn left to follow the road the short distance back to the car.

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All information on this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.