OS Grid ref:- NY 325136
At the southern end of Thirlmere reservoir, in the shadows of Helvellyn, stands picturesque Wythburn Church and a solitary group of houses, all that now remain of the otherwise submerged village of Wythburn. The church, which is located on the the A591, contains an interesting exhibition on the history of the area.
Wythburn church was built in 1640 and later restored in 1872. The stained glass windows depict seventh century Celtic saints, St Cuthbert, and St Herbert. St Herbert brought Christianity to the Lake District and built a hermitage on an island now known as St. Herbert's on Derwentwater. In the churchyard stands a stone erected by Canon Rawnsley to commemorate two walks which inspired the poet Matthew Arnold.
The church interior
A popular ascent up to Helvellyn commences from the church, which Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott and Humphry Davy once undertook together.
The route from Wythburn to Helvellyn
Duration- Around 4 hours
*Starting from the car park at Wythburn, follow the bridleway which climbs up through the trees to the east, cross a forest track and emerge from the trees to open fells.
*Follow the path as it continues to climb above Comb Gill and skirting around Comb Crag to Birkside above. Continue to ascend, meeting the ridge above Nethermost Cove. Proceed north along the ridge to the summit of Helvellyn.
*Turn southwards to the col above Nethermost Cove, continuing south along the ridge. Proceed south along the ridge, climbing High Crag and continuing south to the summit of Dollywaggon Pike.
*Proceed south from the summit meeting the main path, then taking a smaller path which descends a steep grassy slope, following the old boundary fence posts descending directly to the col between Nethermost Pike and Seat Sandal.
*The path leads west descending to Raise Beck and to Dunmail Raise. From Dunmail Raise follow the track which leads north above the fields, entering the trees near Birkside Gill, rejoin the bridleway above Wythburn Church to return to the Car Park.
Image courtesy of Ben Barden/Cumbria Tourist Board
See also:- Thirlmere