Applethwaite and Millbeck
The villages of Applethwaite and Millbeck nestle below Skiddaw - which at over 3000ft is one of the highest mountains in the Lake District. They are about 1 and 2 miles respectively from Keswick. They are part of Underskiddaw Parish in an area of magnificent scenery. Indeed Wainwright considered that the view from Skiddaw Little Man “commands the most beautiful and comprehensive view of the Lake District”.
In the late eighteenth century and during the nineteenth century the main industry of the Parish next to farming was the production of woollen goods. Both Applethwaite and Millbeck still have the remains of old corn mills and later each had a flourishing woollen mill. The mill in Applethwaite was used in particular for the manufacture of blankets. The mills were water-powered but eventually closed as the steam powered mills of Yorkshire took over the business. Applethwaite Ghyll was the site of slate quarrying. Wordsworth owned a property in Applethwaite.
Apart from the building of some newer houses and the changes to farming practices in recent times the parish looks very much the same today as it did in the nineteenth century. Red squirrels can still be seen on the wooded slopes of the fell. The parish is also close to the osprey nesting site near Bassenthwaite Lake.
The villages are just a few minutes drive from Keswick and there is also a bus service (X4) along the A591. There are some holiday cottages and bed and breakfast premises which cater for visitors to the area. Click here to search for accomodation in Applethwaite.
Most people will know Applethwaite as the starting point for the walk up Skiddaw via Jenkin Hill – cars can be parked at the top of the Gale Road. There are a number of other fell walks that can be done directly from the two villages – Dodd, Lonscale fell and Latrigg. In addition there are many footpaths and lower level walks including that via the Glenderaterra valley to Threlkeld. The walk along the “terrace road” linking the two villages gives a spectacular outlook across the valley to the Borrowdale and north-western fells.