Ample parking on the main road down from the white Scout building or if Dipton Surgery is closed, there are plenty of spaces in there opposite what used to be the Red Lion pub, grid ref. 154536
A needle walk (linear with a loop at the end) of approximately 4 miles through deciduous and coniferous woodland. Do not be surprised if you do not see anyone else on this walk.
Walk down the road where a public footpath sign points the way down a lane just before the scout building. Follow this lane as it becomes a path, past allotments and stables and cross a stile which leads into a field.
In front of you in the distance is the Derwent valley with Chopwell woods very prominent on the far bank of the river Derwent.
Follow the track down about 100 metres to where you meet the main path going left to right, go left and proceed over a small footbridge, the Rustic Bridge, over the Pikeshaw Burn and turn right down into the forest.
Follow the clear path as it leads down through the woodland, near the bottom it veers left before splitting into two paths. Take the wider and more prominent path to the right, this junction is easy to find, it is at the corner of the field to the left.
There are a couple of ponds to the right just before this point, in which the village children used to swim a hundred years or so ago. (thanks Phil for the info - http://www.blencathra.org.uk)
Follow the path as it still leads down and you soon leave this main path and turn right, just before a small bridge over the stream, and follow this path. Cross the stream and continue through the forest until you come across a stile in the corner of a field
Cross the stile and keep just to the right of the fence, the wood on your left is covered in bluebells in late Spring, until leaving the field by a gate in the corner. Turn left.
The path now forks, the left path leading down and the right following a level track. This right path leads down some steps, across a small stream and now there is a stream to be crossed to the left via some stepping stones. If it has been relatively dry, you should be fine taking this right fork, otherwise, it's probably wiser to take the left to get to the forest floor.
After crossing the stream, climb the bank to Handley Cross bridge, a nice place to pause before turning for the return, with the waterfall behind you
Turn left and take the broad track to a gate which leads back into the woodland. Cross the small bridge next to the old ford and follow the path as it now leads back up through the wood.
Keep on this path, crossing a small bridge just before an incline, here is where you turned off to the right on the way down.
Continue upwards until the path meets the corner and the field and turn left to return to the footbridge at the top of the wood. Turn left, cross the stile and proceed until you come to a stile, don't cross this, turn right back up the field, cross the stile , go past the stables and allotments back to the main road where your car will be nearby.
Turn right at the road and continue to the car park.