There are two ways out of Keswick. The most popular – and by far the easier – is the one that follows the old Keswick- Penrith railway line and the river Greta as far as Threlkeld. It is a beautiful and leafy stretch. You get to it down Station Road and Brundholme Road, bearing left at the swimming pool and heading in front of the old station.

The alternative takes you up into the hills above the town, but is only for the fit and even then watch the weather reports before taking to the upper slopes. Both routes assume the same start, unless you want to go out of Keswick along the old Penrith road.

Up hill and up dale

If you’re feeling energetic and (seriously) fit, try the Old Coach Road over the hills. It branches from the railway route, just before the track goes under the A66 viaduct, and goes up the steep slope to Castlerigg Stone Circle. Press on through St John’s in the Vale, Matterdale End and down to Greystoke via Hutton John.

The Coach Road (what coach could possibly have tackled this?) is a seriously rough off-road alternative and very exposed. Check the weather before tackling it and don’t do it if you’re not certain of your capabilities.

There is accommodation where the route crosses the A5091 at Matterdale (see Troutbeck, and further along, just off the A66, Penruddock & Motherby) before the route rejoins the alternative at Greystoke.

The middle way

Start along the toughest route described above but after stopping to admire the Castlerigg circle, bear left down the hill and rejoin the more sedate option. The main route This takes you fairly effortlessly alongside the River Greta, all the way to Threlkeld.