Lorton and Lorton Valley

Grid Reference: NY 157257

The Lorton Valley, looking towards Grasmoor and Melbreak from Cockermouth. Photo by Simon Ledingham.

The Vale of Lorton is a sequence of valleys leading from Cockermouth towards Keswick. In one of the lushest, prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes, the valley contains the lakes LoweswaterCrummock Water and Buttermere. At the end of the valley you can get to Keswick via Honister Pass and Borrowdale. From Lorton, Whinlatter Pass takes you through Whinlatter Forest, with its Visitor Centre to Braithwaite near Keswick.
There are many excellent walks in this area, including to the waterfall at Spout Force.
In the village of Lorton is St Cuthbert’s Church, which is worth visiting. Lorton Hall consists of a 1663 living range attached to a pele tower. It is not open to the public, but can just be glimpsed over the wall surrounding it.

The Lorton Yew, Whit beck, and Lorton Village Hall. Photo by Simon Ledingham.

Behind the site of the original Jennings Brewery, is ‘Wordsworth’s Yew Tree’. The Lorton Yew, which featured in a BBC program about Fascinating Trees, was immortalised in a poem by William Wordsworth‘Yew Trees’.
Not long after the poem was written, the tree, which had a 27 foot girth, was reduced to a mere 13 foot by a storm. The tree is however, still standing, and shows little sign of the storm damage to the trunk. It grows on the bank of Whit Beck, behind the Village Hall. The Cockermouth Mayor’s Chair is made from the wood of the broken half of the tree. The tree is at least 1000 years old.

The foot of Loweswater and the Lorton Vale, the foot of Crummock Water with Whiteside and
Grasmoor beyond, then Melbreak and Hen Comb, from Carling Knott. Photo by Ann Bowker.

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