Dodd (1,612ft) is a superb viewpoint for the Northern Lake District. However the views are well earned due to a steep climb up its wood clad flanks. An exploration the villages of Underskiddaw and an approach via the Allerdale Ramble add much to a surprisingly long walk.
Dodd is a mysterious Wainwright, really a pimple on the side of Skiddaw. It is usually ignored by the multitudes climbing Skiddaw with only dedicated Wainwright baggers deviating from the steep path down Carl Side to the 100 metres climb to its summit. Better still is to climb the steep slopes of Dodd along one of the myriad of forest tracks and paths which criss cross the mountain. However even this does not do justice to Dodd.
The route described leaves from Keswick. It takes in a pleasant area of riverside walking along the River Derwent at the start and a delightful wander through the hamlets of Millbeck and Applethwaite, part of the area known as Underskiddaw. Up to the age of seven I holidayed in the idyllic little hamlet of Millbeck staying with my gran. She had been evacuated during the war and enjoyed it so much she decided to stay. Good for her! Therefore any visit to the area of Dodd and Underskiddaw brings back a host of hazy memories. One (I have to admit) involved a total lack of understanding why Dodd, of all hills, was clothed in a pine forest when none of its neighbours did.
However it is the near perfect summit of Dodd which makes any climb of the fell worthwhile. One of the finest in the Lake District. To the north Bassenthwaite and the Solway Furth with the mountains of Dumfries and Galloway beyond. For the east it is the steep slopes of Carl Side and Skiddaw beyond dominate. They may block the view but are very impressive. To the south and west the fells around Derwentwater can be enjoyed in all their glory. Take your map, spread them out and simply enjoy the views. An additional bonus is you will probably be on your own.
It is perfectly possible to do this walk without climbing Dodd. This offers a pleasant, easy but good length walk. Follow the Allerdale Ramble along the River Derwent to the foot of Dodd. Ignore the mountain. Continue along the quiet road through Millbeck and Applethwaite before returning to Keswick.
To climb Dodd start at Dancing Beck and cross through the trees to a Right of Way. Follow this to a good path just below the summit. The forest roads are of no help. From the summit head due east to join a footpath leading towards the broad southerly ridge of Carl Side. There is a faint path alongside the wall all the way to the path down Carl Side, no need to climb on the obvious path.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of new posts by email.