Favourite hill walks

As mentioned in the thread “Hill of the Month” we all have our favourite walks which may or may not encompass a Marilyn.

Within the English Lake District I offer the Cat Bells Ridge (as previously mentioned) and Grasmere, Easedale Tarn, Blea Rigg, Sgt Man, High White Stones (High Raise), Greenup Edge followed by the ridge to Helm Crag (the lion and the lamb) returning to Grasmere. Although only including one SOTA Hill Top it does not make the stroll any less magnificent.

Come on folks lets have some ideas. They do not have to be high level walks, low levels can be just as interesting.

In reply to G6DDQ:

I was impressed with Cat Bells ridge Myke when it was recently featured on Wainwright’s walks and the lovely Julia Bradbury made it all the more interesting.
In my humble opinion Cat Bells is near to, if not the top of the lake district’s walks for sheer beauty.

73 Mike

In reply to GW0DSP:

I would tend to agree with you on that one Mike. But that is just one of many favourites people have. An added attraction of course can be the wildlife in this region, raptors are common.

Over on the Racecourse Hill area I often see herds of deer wandering the fell. Some if them are quite tame and will feed from the palm of your hand. It all adds to the experience and that is what makes fell-walking and therefore SOTA the more enjoyable

In reply to G6DDQ:
I’ll repeat the one I mentioned in the other thread: the Ennerdale Skyline.

This starts at the Gillerthwaite YH or the nearby climbing hut (or a walk-in from the roadhead but that makes it a very long day!) with an ascent of Red Pike then follow the ridge to High Stile LD012, then the High Crag - Hay Stacks ridge to Brandreth, Green Gable and Great Gable LD005 followed by Kirkfell LD014 and Pillar LD006, then either directly down the ridge to the starting point or if there is daylight and energy to spare, finish with Steeple!

32 points, or 44 if you are fast enough to do it in the winter bonus period and there isn’t a finer horseshoe walk in the Lake District. I did it years ago, pre SOTA, and if I can get my fitness back I intend to do it with activations - the rests will be welcome!

I wonder if there is a circuit anywhere that is practicable for ordinary mortals yet gives a larger haul of points?


Brian G8ADD

Has anyone else seen that 3-day LD walk in the latest edition of Trail? It is very appealing. You park at the southern end of Haweswater, then ascend the narrow ridge up to High Street G/LD-012. Julia Bradbury did this bit on an episode of Wainwright Walks. Can anyone tell me what the level of exposure is like on this route?

From High Street, you traverse over to Stony Cove Pike G/LD-018 (apparently some mild scrambling involved?) and then down to overnight at the Kirkstone Inn.

Day Two begins with the ascent of Red Screes G/LD-017. Are the groundworks complete for this path yet, and has anyone done it recently? The route continues over to Fairfield G/LD-007 and then over St Sunday Crag G/LD-013. Again, I sense there will be a degree of exposure coming over Cofa Pike, and going over St Sunday, but I do want to give it a go.

The magazine article suggests a campsite down near Ullswater, but I would more likely to use Patterdale Youth Hostel. Day 3 begins with a ride on the Ullswater Steamer to Howtown. I was wondering whether to go up Place Fell G/LD-027 instead of the boat trip, but can’t really see a viable route from there to get me back on track for getting back to the car park. However, a sorte up Hallin Fell G/LD-043 after alighting the steamer at Howtown looks reasonable, and then one could complete the suggested route back to the car via Kidsty Pike.

Jimmy and I hope to do this walk at the end of July, and all being well add in a day on Scafell Pike G/LD-001 and a ‘wind-down’ day doing Loughrigg Fell G/LD-047 and Gummers How G/LD-050. It would be the perfect 5-dayer to kick off the summer holidays.


In reply to M1EYP:

Seen that Tom and it looks good. The exposure between St Sunday and Fairfield is not that bad I feel you both should be OK.

If we are talking least favourite hills then Scafell Pike ranks in amongst the top two or three. I prefer to go one of three ways, the way we did it some years ago; from Langdale encompassing Bowfell en route or from Eskdale. The route from Borrowdale is also quite easy and there is a great ice-cream shop on the way down.

Catch you at Blackpool Castle for the rally.

Yes, I will probably take the route up from Seathwaite again. I thought that was a much more pleasant walk than the Wasdale route.

Cheers, Tom

In reply to M1EYP:

Hi Tom,

if you mean the Swine Crag/Heron Crag/Eagle Crag/Rough Crag ridge then there is no great exposure that I remember and it’s an interesting ascent. Similarly the ascent of Red Screes is steep but not too exposed - provided you keep to the path. There was a reasonably good path most of the way to the top last year.

The White Lion (I think it is) in Patterdale is recommended for food and beer.

The views from the top of Place fell can be excellent - particularly those of Glenridding and the lake - much more interesting than a ride on a boring old motor boat IMHO. I have however generally found Place Fell tricky to activate when restricted to VHF.


Yes Rick, that is the intended ascent route. Thanks for the other comments too.

I think I would also prefer to do Place Fell G/LD-027 rather than a trip on the Ullswater steamer, but I have to be back at my car at the south of Haweswater by the end of the day, and I don’t see a ‘nice’ route to there from Place Fell. The route from Hallin Fell G/LD-043 looks much better, so hence the boat trip as per the Trail magazine article.

Only thing is, if Place Fell is difficult on VHF, then Hallin Fell must be even more so. Nonetheless, I see that most QSOs from Hallin Fell have been on 2m, so use of 2m SSB, a beam and a SW spot should do the trick.


In reply to M1EYP:

The ascent from the end of Haweswater to the summit of High Street is one of my nearest favourites and it has no exposure at all. The ridge is broad and mostly grassy with occasional rocky outcrops to add some minor scrambling interest towards the top.

From Thornthwaite Crag the descent and ascent up to Stony Cove Pike is quite steep, rocky and a bit scrambly but very satisfying. It’s then an easy stroll down to the Kirkstone Inn for some pints of Jennings’ finest ale.

There’s lots of routes up Red Screes from the Kirkstone Pass. The “official” path, which probably is finished by now, skirts around to the south of the main face and is steep but easy. I tend to prefer to cross the scree onto the east face to some really excellent grade 1 scrambles for the summit.

From Red Screes to Fairfield is a respectable hike across very remote feeling and sometimes challenging terrain. Lots of ups and downs! Fairfield via Cofa Pike to St Sunday Crag is OK. The main path bypasses most of Cofa Pike but if you fancy the scramble, now’s your chance. St Sunday Crag is delightful.

As previously mentioned, the White Lion in Patterdale is the place to eat and quaff ale. If you don’t fancy the steamer (which is very pleasant by the way) there is a lovely path round the east of Ullswater which, with a bit of careful map reading at the end will put you on the road pass to the SE of Hallin Fell, from which it is a five minute ascent to the summit. The views from Hallin Fell are stunning for such a low summit. You’ll work all the lads in Penrith, line of sight. It’s a darned long way from there across Martindale Common, Kidsty Pike et al back to your car!

If you wanted to do Place Fell instead then that’s fine and it’s pleasant walking. I suggest returning to Boredale Hause then Angle Tarn Pikes > Satura Crag > The Knott and back down by whatever way you fancy.

If you still have too much energy then continue on over High Street to Mardale Ill Bell then down to Nan Beild Hause and back to your car via Small Water - a delightful walk.

Excellent information John, thank you.

I completely missed that route from Place Fell to Haweswater, and that looks much more feasible than taking the steamer around to Howtown for Hallin Fell. I think I will do Place Fell on the third morning and follow your route to The Knott, visit Kidsty Pike then descend. Hallin Fell can wait for another outing - probably a good one to do with the XYL and a picnic on a nice summers day.

I like the look of your alternative descent via Mardale, but doubt Jimmy will allow us to pass over a SOTA summit for a second time!


In reply to M1EYP:

Hallin Fell can wait for another outing - probably a good one to do with the XYL and a picnic on a nice summers day.

Very pleasant for that sort of outing it is too. Car parking is easy, either in one of the pull-offs at the top of the zigzags after Howtown or, a few hundred metres further on, a huge car park (free) by the church. There are numerous paths up Hallin Fell all along the road but it’s easy enough countryside that you can make your own route to taste.

A very enjoyable way to spend a few hours is to park by Hallin Fell, walk down to the steamer and take it to Glenridding. Take lunch at Glenridding then walk back along the eastern lake edge, culminating in Hallin Fell before returning to your car. It’s also a useful alternative if the weather forecast suggests avoiding the high stuff.

73, John.