Latterbarrow, overlooking Hawkshead and Windermere, is one of Lakeland’s great viewing platforms. Standing at just 245m it nevertheless offers a wonderful panorama of Langdale, Helvellyn and much more in return for a relatively easy climb. It can be reached from the Three Shires Inn on a series of good tracks and paths, but the route is very boggy, rough and steep on Latterbarrow itself.
The Three Shires Inn to Hawkshead
Turn left on the road in front of the Three Shires Inn and head east, passing Wilson Place Farm on your left, until you reach a gate on the right next to a large white house. Go through the gate and head downhill through a field to a wooden footbridge over a beck. The path then passes through another gate and emerges at the little collection of buildings at Stang End.
At Stang End head slightly uphill and then follow a track into the trees (signposted to Hodge Close). This track follows the flank of Little Fell and passes through a number of gates before reaching a building on the right. Here, go left on a good gravel track passing the path dropping down into the disused Parrock quarry. Keep on following this track through trees and past Oxen Fell. Bear right where it forks and follow the track until it hits the A593.
Cross straight over the road and continue following the track on the other side. There are pleasant views down the valley towards Coniston and the track passes a turn off to Tarn Hows before continuing on to drop down to the road at Knipe Fold. Here, follow the sign to Hawkshead and stay on the road down to Bridge View Cottage. Turn left to arrive at another junction with the river flowing beneath it.
Hawkshead to Latterbarrow
If you want to explore Hawkshead you can turn right and walk a short distance into the village. To continue to Latterbarrow cross the road and follow a path alongside the beck (passing Hawkshead Hall Campsite) and turn left where a signpost points towards Wray Castle and Ambleside. This leads to another gate and a signpost where you take the path towards Colthouse.
Cross a track via two small gates and then head uphill through a field before dropping down to a road. Walk left along the road for a short distance until a large deer gate appears on the right. Go through this and follow the track that heads up through the woods. Follow this track as it climbs quite steeply. After about 1.5km look out for a clear path on the left heading through the trees just after a wall.
Follow this path, which is rough, steep and boggy at points, as it winds through the trees and eventually leads to the summit of Latterbarrow with its distinctive beacon. Apparently the beacon was originally a monument of some kind, but it seems unclear to what or whom. The summit is well worth a picnic stop to enjoy the views all around and do some fell spotting if you are blessed with clear weather.
Latterbarrow back to the Three Shires Inn
Once you’ve enjoyed the summit, follow a path from the beacon heading east. This initially drops gradually before becoming a steep set of stone steps. The path gets a little less steep before hitting a gate that opens onto the road. Turn left onto the road and then right down another road. Go through woodland and then past a farm and eventually back to the road junction near Hawkshead Hall Campsite.
From the junction it is simply a matter of retracing your steps along the roads and tracks to the Three Shires Inn and you should recognise where you are. Head up the road from the junction and turn right at Bridge View Cottage and back to Knipe Fold. At Knipe Fold follow the tarmac track signposted A593. This is the track leading back via Tarn Hows, which then comes to the road. At the road cross straight over and follow the track past Oxen Fell to the disused mine then turn right on the track leading back through the woods to Stang End and finally across to the road by the inn.