An unobtrusive wooden way marker points the way from the roadside, through a small wooden gate and up a grassy slope. Turning the corner, the slope is shaded by trees and the ground becomes sandy, with large pieces of sandstone bouldering the ground.
The orignal forests of Beacon Hill were first planted in the late 18th C. before the enclosure of common land act. Before this, Beacon was a dreary barren waste land full of sandholes and quarries. Remnants of this can be noted from the rough hewn pathway with large sandstone boulders in places and the rocky sandstone outcrops which appear in woodland clearings.
After being destroyed by fire, Beacon Hill was replanted in 1927 by the Lowther family.
The Path to Beacon Pike, 937 ft (286 m) is quite steep and very rocky in places, so is unsuitable for buggies and
wheelchairs and substantial walking shoes are recommended.
Rich, well managed woodland, including Rowan and Beech is home to a variety of wildlife. Keep a look out for the Common Lizard and signs of badgers and foxes.
Once at the Summit, the pathway opens out into a plateau of land with a square sandstone beacon built on the top. The present monument
(replacing earlier structures) was built in 1719 of sandstone taken from hill, it was restored in 1790.
Earlier beacons are recorded here since 1296 and would have been piles of wood and branches followed later by pitch boxes. There has been a building on this site for more than 500 years.
Beacons were used to warn the locals and surrounding villages of impending Scottish raids and would communicate this message for miles across the North of England with others being lit at Carlisle, Kirkoswald and Orton Scar.
During 1745 uprising, the Beacon featured again when Prince Charles Edward attempted to regain the Crown of the House of Stuart. It is even noted to have been used during the Napoleonic Wars.
Stunning views over the Eden Valley, Pennines and Lake District fells indicate why this site was chosen. The mountains of Scotland can easily be seen across the Solway Firth to the north.
A brass dial donated by the Lions Club of Penrith, indicates the names of the mountains and places which can be seen from this wonderful vantage point.
This walk will take around 40 minutes to complete.
Visit Penrith Town Trails for details of this and other walks in the area.