Threlkeld & Scales
C2C - Route 71
Route Section: Keswick > Alston
From Start: 53km (33m) | From Finish: 174km (109m)
Penrith 34km (21m)
Alston 67km (42m)
Threlkeld > Mungrisdale
There is a short stretch along the footpath of the A66 before you peel off left just beyond the White Horse at Scales.
The lane goes uphill and you get to the first of a couple of gates. Remember to dismount! Remember also to obey the Slow Down sign at Southerfell Farm. If you don't you risk running into the gate which suddenly rears up.
This is as delightfully scenic as it is pointless (purely in the geographical sense) as you make very little lateral progress in visiting Mungrisdale. For pure enjoyment of the lower reaches of the northern fells, this stretch is unsurpassed.
You will soon find yourself at one of the route's loveliest watering holes, the Mungrisdale Inn.
About the place
History from hunting to mining and back
Blencathra, known locally as Saddleback (866m), overlooks these traditional and pretty villages. There are also views towards Clough Head and the Helvellyn range. Threlkeld is Norse for 'the spring of the thrall' - thrall being a bonded servant, though quite what 'the spring of a bonded servant' means could do with elucidation.
Zinc, lead and granite were mined during the last century until the last of the granite miners hung up their shovels and picks in the mid-80s.
At one time more than a hundred men were employed in the mines and at the quarry there is a museum with an impressive mineral collection, mining artefacts and touching reminders of how things used to be.
A table top relief map of the Lake District and a pictorial history of Threlkeld are also on display. There was once a TB isolation hospital which is now a field centre for biologists and geographers.
Since the Dark Ages and the days of Sir Lancelot de Threlkeld, hunting has been an integral part of local life; this is the home of the Blencathra Hunt, the Lakeland pack that traditionally hunts on foot rather than on horseback and claims that its dogs are descended from those used by John Peel, of song fame.
The Threlkeld sheepdog trials are a highlight of the year and feature foxhound and terrier shows, as well as hound training. All of these rural pursuits are, one presumes, finding life tougher these days.
Where to Eat and Drink
Threlkeld Coffee Shop Threlkeld Village Hall, which houses this splendid new resource, is bang on the route. Commanding great views of Blencathra and the surrounding area the coffee shop has outside seating as well, and is a great place to stop for locally-sourced food and Fairtrade teas and coffees. Profits from Threlkeld Coffee Shop are used for the benefit of the local community. Offering lots of delicious baked produce, sandwiches, scones and soft drinks, there is also a shop. 017687 79501. Click here.
White Horse Inn, Scales, CA12 4SY. Just beyond Threlkeld, this welcoming inn with its blazing fire can offer much needed succour on a grim day. Great food and excellent beers, there is also accommodation here (see listing).
Where To Sleep
Threlkeld Coffee Shop
Run by: Johnny Denny
Threlkeld Village Hall, which houses this splendid new resource, is bang on the route. Commanding great views of Blencathra and the surrounding area the coffee shop has outside seating as well, and is a great place to stop for locally-sourced food and Fairtrade teas and coffees. Profits from Threlkeld Coffee Shop are used for the benefit of the local community. Offering lots of delicious baked produce, sandwiches, scones and soft drinks.
Open 10am - 5pm every day. Open 7 days a week except Christmas Day.
Run by: Philip & Cosmin
In the shadow of Blencathra, the White Horse Inn is a quintessential Country Pub with great food, open fires, local ales and a warm welcome. Just a mile beyond Threlkeld, the mountains start where the beer garden finishes. Now sleeps parties up to 50 because there's another bunkhouse just behind the pub as well that hold a further 26 people in 6 dorms of 1x6 and 5x4.This is in addition to the stables of this traditional Lake District Inn which were converted a couple of years ago. Four of the stables are bedrooms, 1x4, 2x6 and 1x8. All centrally heated. Kitchen, dryer, dining room, pub. To book please call 017687 79883 and view the website below for more information. Free wifi throughout.
Sole occupancy of either bunkhouse is £280 (during the week only).
Bunkhouse: sleeps 24 man bunkhouse (1x8 man, 2x6 man, 1x4 man).
Sole occ of bunkhouse: £280 (weekdays only).
Bedding: £5. Kitchen, Dryer, Dining Room, Pub, Centrally Heated.
Meals: Snacks, sandwiches and full meals at lunch. Drinks served all day.
Dinner: 6-9pm. Main courses £11.45-£17.50.