Old Coffin Trail

Hiking in Elterwater & Great Langdale

For hundreds of years, deceased parishioners from areas around Grasmere were borne to their burials at St Oswald's Church along 'coffin trails' or 'corpse roads'. You can still follow one of them from just behind Dove Cottage, leading across White Moss Common to the grounds of Rydal Mount; look out for the stone slabs where the coffin-bearers rested their burdens without laying them on the ground. It's a walk of just over a mile, or 45 minutes to an hour.

For a longer stroll, cross the bridge over the River Rothay (opposite the entrance to Rydal Mount), and follow the path west along Rydal Water back to Grasmere. It’ll add an extra couple of miles to the walk; count on two to three hours for the loop including the Coffin Trail.