A walk from Levens of just under 4 miles, visiting St John’s Chapel at Helsington (above Brigsteer) for the viewpoint, and Sizergh Castle – for the tea room!
Walk north out of Levens, along the road signposted to Brigsteer.
After about a kilometre, turn through a gate on your right (1). The track beyond the gate leads directly to Sizergh Castle. To go via Helsington, turn immediately left through another gate and follow the path diagonally up the hillside.
Bear left after you pass through a gap in the line of trees, then go through a couple of gates until you come to a track at (2). Follow the track straight ahead until you come to the chapel at (3).
There is a good view across the Lyth Valley from the view point near the chapel, with some of the Lake District fells in sight to the north west on a clear day.
When you’re ready to carry on, walk back past the chapel and turn left across a cattle grid onto a concrete drive. Follow this until you pass through a gap in a wall (4).
As you pass through the gap, turn off to the right of the concrete drive, and head for the right hand edge of the small group of trees you can see ahead. You will go down a field, over a ladder stile, then down the next field to a gate in the hedge on the right.
The gate leads to a stony lane. Turn right, and after a short distance turn back on yourself through a gate on the left, to descend a flight of steps leading into woodland. Follow the path through the woods until you come out into a farmyard (5). Cross the farmyard, go through a gate and follow the track to Sizergh Castle (6).
The Castle and gardens are well worth a visit (free to National Trust members). You can visit the shop and cafe without having to pay to go in. To walk back to the cottage, walk through the car park to the far end, and go through the gate to walk along the left hand edge of a field.
At the far end of the field (7) go through a gate then diagonally right up the hillside, following the track in the grass. You will come to a hedge, go through this and continue walking in roughly the same direction. The path will take you down hill again, to a gate in a limestone wall (8).
Once through the wall, bear left and keep going until you come to a road (9). The path leads to a gate – the right of way is actually across a stile just to the right of the gate. Turn left along the road and follow it round until you arrive back in Levens village.