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Scout Scar

Just south of the Lake District National Park, Scout Scar is an easy walk which, rewards with panoramic views of the Lyth Valley and the Lake District southern hills.

Scout Scar

Approximately seven miles from Junction 36 of the M6, making this an ideal walk if you are looking for a half-day filler whilst waiting for your self-catering cottage to become available, or as a last walk in Cumbria before beginning your journey home.

How to get to Scout Scar

The best approach is starting from Helsington Church (grid ref. SD489889) which sits on the Southern end of the escarpment that forms Scout Scar.

To find the church head out of Kendal on the road to Brigsteer, after about 2.5 miles the road descends sharply at the top of the escarpment, the unusually flat-bottomed Lyth Valley comes in to view (flat because it’s reclaimed land) and the road turns sharp right down to Brigsteer. On this sharp right corner there is a turning left, take this to the church which is visible just a few hundred yards away.

Scout Scar Walk

Harry Griffin - The Guardian

This (Scout Scar) must surely be one of the finest viewpoints in England, for you can see at least 120 hills and mountains in the Lake District, Yorkshire and Lancashire from it, as well as less interesting features such as Blackpool Tower, far away across Morecambe Bay.

Read more of his article and interesting nugget of how he added the Griffin Step.


Park near St. John's church and walk northwards, back to the Brigsteer road, at the road turn right towards Kendal and look out for a gate on the left after just 50 yards or so.

helsington church Go through the gate and follow the well-trodden grassy track northwards along the edge of Helsington Barrows.

The path along the scar stays mostly quite close to the edge offering continuous views of the lake district and its southern foothills. Go through the stone wall and on to another wall where you will see the track bears right alongside the wall. At the end of the wall cross over the ditch and then follow the foot-path to the gap at the top of the scar.

From here there are several paths, some cut by sheep, others by walkers. I would recommend staying close to the escarpment to ease navigation. Keep going north for about 1.5 - 2 miles until the viewpoint shelter is eventually reached.

This shelter is known locally as ‘the mushroom’ for its obvious resemblance. At first glance it looks like a modern addition, but it was actually built around 1911 to mark the Coronation of King George V.

Scout Scar Walk

Etched inside the inner rim of the dome is a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding fells and peaks.

On a good day, the views from here are exceptional for a scar of just 229 metres. Look carefully and you may see as far as Blackpool tower, the Old Man of Coniston, the Langdales and even across to the Yorkshire Dales.

For the return leg you can either just retrace your steps back to Helsington Church or heading back south and keeping to the edge of the scar, look for the small dip in the escarpment which is the path down to Barrowfield Farm. This path down is about 1 mile from the mushroom and is easy to miss, so this is where you need to follow the edge closely. The path heads down from Scout Scar through trees to the Barrowfields Farm.

The foot-path leads you around the left side of the farm before turning left on to the farm track. Follow the farm track all the way to the road (You are now just further down the road you turned off to park by Helsington Church).

At this point you can choose to head directly back to your car up the hill or, if you are in need of refreshment and can face the walk back up....to the Wheatsheaf at the bottom of the hill.

An alternate and pleasant route though, is to head down the hill and after just 100 yards, turn a very sharp left along another rough track.

This leads to the tiny hamlet of Kist Wells. Once you've joined this track you can either:

Helsington Church

  • follow the track for about three quarters of mile all the way through the hamlet, keeping left at the junction and then through the gate. Helsington Church is now above you on the hill though not visible, just head straight up the hill, back to the church and your car;

  • follow the track for about half mile looking out for a small path which forks left off the track up through the woods. This path was probably cut by the villagers from Brigsteer as they attended regular church services. The path leads out on to the hill side below the church.



  • Self Catering Cottages near Scout Scar

    Self Catering Cottages Cumbria
    A hand chosen selection of cottages in the Lyth Valley, Winster and Crosthwaite area
    daffodil walk

    Visiting in Spring?

    Don't forget to make time for this pretty Daffodil Walk in Brigsteer Woods.

    Kendal in Cumbria

    kendal in cumbria
    Just a few miles from Scout Scar is the historic market town of Kendal

    Looking for a child friendly coffee shop?

    lower-sizergh-barn Lower Sizergh Barn* has a lovely little tea room with a window over-looking the milking parlour - if you are lucky you may get to see the cows being milked!

    Read morehere.

    *Lower Sizergh Barn is about 2.7 miles south of Brigsteer on the A591


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