St John’s in the Vale

  • Well formed glaciated valley
  • Great views across the northern fells
  • Pretty church of St Johns

St John’s in the Vale sits to the south of Blencathra and to the west of the long Helvellyn ridge and is usually visited only as a short cut from Threlkeld on to the main spine road between Keswick & Windermere. This is a shame because it is an exceptionally attractive glaciated valley which is certainly worthy of further exploration. The northern end of the valley holds some nostalgic affection for me as the narrow and now impassable road that passes the pretty church of St Johns (built in 1845 although there is evidence of a church being on the grounds in the 16th century) used to convey the family Smith to visit our friends (the Crowdys) at a beautifully situated cottage at Shaw Bank under Great Rigg.

My memories of these days was the hairpins on the road which appeared too demanding for my dad’s old Ford Escort and, once at our friend’s cottage, spending hours messing about on the slopes of High Rigg. Today there is a lovely walk that passes the church (and the neighbouring Youth Centre) before passing over Low Rigg to Tewet Tarn. The views from Low Rigg of Skiddaw and Blencathra are excellent, particularly out of season when the A66 has less traffic upon it. St John’s in the Vale is worthy of extra exploration.

Recommend: Turn left at the church and head up High Rigg if you have the time and energy. A real shaggy dog peak so typical of the Lake District.

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St Johns in the Vale map
St John's in the Vale

St John’s in the Vale


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL5 The English Lakes North East Buy Map
Start Point: NY 312231. There is some road side parking before the the lane leading to Yew Tree Farm. Turn left at the farm on the road up to the church
Height to Climb: 108 ms (354 feet)
Terrain: There is a good track over Low Rigg and leading to Yew Tree Farm. The remainder of the walk is on quiet lanes.
Eating & Drinking: There is nowhere in St John's in the Vale. The village of Threlkeld has two inns.
Similar Walks Nearby: Keswick, Latrigg & the Old Railway
A walk in the shadow of Blencathra
High Rigg overlooking St John’s in the Vale
Places to Stay: