Riverside and fellside (2hrs 30 mins longer/more challenging)
This is a longer walk, a stunning combination of riverside and fellside territory. There is one awkward scramble, only for the fit, but it can be avoided - the rest of the walk is straightforward.
Turn left outside the Horse and Farrier and go down the road at the back of the Salutation Inn, with Wilson’s plant hire depot on your left. Just opposite Wilson’s is narrow “cut” which brings you to the A66. Cross the main road with care using the “refuge” provided, and go down the lane opposite.
On your left is the Threlkeld Sports Pavilion and newly extended cricket field (Threlkeld is a very active cricketing scene in the summer).
Continue along this lane until you reach the bridge over the river. Do not cross the bridge, instead turn left immediately before it along a track alongside the River Glenderamackin.
Follow the path along the river bank. All kinds of wildlife can be seen here. Keep on this riverside path beyond the road bridge leading to Keswick Golf Club (the golf course is on the other side of the river for part of this walk). Go across a little bridge with gates on. Continue along the riverside path until it turns left to a kissing gate onto a tarmac road.
Turn right along this tarmac road (ahead of you is the hamlet of Guardhouse). After a few yards you will see a footpath sign indicating two paths - Stoneraise (right) and Scales (left). Both paths lead to the same place, but the left path is a bog when it is wet. If dry go through the white five-barred gate and head east (the path is unclear) until you can go left through a metal gate where the track is clearer.
Follow the track until you reach a post with two yellow circles. Head towards Blencathra and the A66, crossing a little beck. Once you have crossed the field to a big wooden gate and stile, you can see a big tree at the crossroads of four fields - head for it! Pass this tree and follow the track to face the gate in the corner. Go over the stile to a metal gate and head up the hill to another stile beside a metal gate to reach the A66 at Scales
Cross the A66 here with care. You will see the White Horse pub to your right. This is well worth a visit for a meal or a drink. But your walk turns left along the tarmac foot/cycle path for a short distance to Scales Green. Turn to the right between the two houses, and head up the track (don’t go through the metal gate on your left) to a kissing gate. Go through this gate and turn left.
Follow the track with the wall on your left. Before long you will reach Scaley Beck. This is the tricky bit - you have to clamber down over some rocks to the beck, and back up again on the other side. This is manageable without much difficulty, but needs hands as well as feet, and is slippery in wet or icy weather, so be careful or avoid it (see below) if in doubt.
Once you have reached the track on the other side of Scaley Beck, follow it for about a mile until you reach a beck with a small dam. Cross the stream and turn left through a gate. Walk down through a wood by the beck. Go through a gate into the farmyard of Gategill Farm. Turn right for a few yards, then follow the farm track to the left of the wall, with a bungalow and a model of a fox a few yards down it on your left. This track goes downhill to a tarmac road. Turn right here into the village.
To avoid the awkward bit at Scaley Beck, simply follow the cycle path from Scales Green back into the village. The first part alongside the A66 is not very pleasant, but it later leaves the main road and follows the old tarmac road into Threlkeld.