Lake District: High Level and Fell Walks
This guidebook describes 30 graded fell walks on the ridges and high peaks of the English Lake District, the UK's most popular national park. Reaching some of England's finest and highest mountain scenery, this guide leads readers to classic horseshoes and traditional ascents as well as lesser-known routes to quieter summits.
SeasonsAll year - each season holds its own delights - but walkers need to be prepared, and suitably equipped, for the potential for snow on the fells any time between November and April.
CentresKeswick, Braithwaite, Glenridding, Patterdale, Buttermere, Borrowdale, Ennerdale, Wasdale Head, Boot, Honister Pass, Coniston, Great Langdale, Grasmere, Ambleside, Kentmere.
DifficultyFell walks covering both rocky terrain and grassy hills with occasional stretches of boggy ground. Most of the walks are relatively easy to follow in clear conditions, but may require good navigational skills in mist. Routes from 7-23km, graded 1-5. Some easy scrambling. Many routes require ice and crampons in snow.
Must SeeClimb England's highest peaks, including Scafell Pike, Sca Fell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw; stride out on classic horseshoe routes such as the Newlands Round and the Fairfield Horseshoe; enjoy quieter routes on to popular fells such as Blencathra and Red Screes; and visit some lesser known summits, including Gray Crag and Beda Fell.
This guidebook collects the best 30 high fell walks in the Lake District. Every route is graded for difficulty and ranges between 7-23km, and includes annotated OS maps and variant routes. The walks are divided into 6 sections according to where walkers can start: the Keswick area, Borrowdale and Buttermere, the Western Valleys, Coniston and Langdale, Ambleside, Grasmere and Windermere, or Ullswater.
The walks combine Lakeland classics with lesser-known adventures. From classic horseshoes, such as the Newlands Round and the Fairfield Horseshoe, and traditional ascents of England's most iconic mountains, including its highest peaks Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw, to routes onto some of the quieter summits including Gray Crag and Beda Fell, or quieter routes onto popular fells including Blencathra and Red Screes, the walks in this guide comprise all the best high-level fell walks to be had in England's largest, and beloved National Park.
Covering both rocky terrain and grassy hills, with occasional boggy ground, most of the paths are relatively easy-to-follow in clear conditions, but may require good navigational skills when the clouds roll in. The guidebook also includes information to enhance your walking, from historical, geological and wildlife detail, to advice on travelling to and around the Lake District, and how to best prepare for an excellent day out on the fells.
- in combination with this guide, the author has written Lake District: Low Level and Lake Walks for more rambles with a different perspective
Wildlife and habitats
Where to stay
Waymarking and access
Clothing, equipment and safety
Using this guide
Walks from the Keswick area
Walk 1 Skiddaw via Ullock Pike
Walk 2 Blencathra and its neighbours
Walk 3 Coledale Horseshoe
Walk 4 Newlands Round
Walk 5 Causey Pike, Knott Rigg and Robinson
Walk 6 Helvellyn range, end to end
Walks from Borrowdale and Buttermere
Walk 7 Scafell Pike
Walk 8 Glaramara and Allen Crags
Walk 9 Great Gable (from Honister)
Walk 10 Hay Stacks
Walk 11 Grasmoor and Gasgale Crags
Walks from the Western Valleys
Walk 12 The High Stile ridge
Walk 13 Great Gable (from Wasdale Head)
Walk 14 Pillar and Red Pike
Walk 15 Scafell
Walks from Coniston and Langdale
Walk 16 The Coniston Fells
Walk 17 The Langdale Pikes
Walk 18 Pike o’ Blisco and Crinkle Crags
Walk 19 Bow Fell and the Mickleden Round
Walks from Ambleside, Grasmere and Windermere
Walk 20 Fairfield Horseshoe
Walk 21 Helm Crag and Blea Rigg
Walk 22 Kentmere Round
Walks from the Ullswater area
Walk 23 Helvellyn via the edges
Walk 24 Deepdale Round
Walk 25 Caiston Glen Round
Walk 26 Hartsop Dodd and Gray Crag
Walk 27 High Street and Harter Fell
Walk 28 A Martindale Round
Walk 29 Place Fell and Beda Fell
Walk 30 Matterdale and The Dodds
Route summary table
Appendix A Useful contacts
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Walk 5 (Causey Pike, Knott Rigg and Robinson):
The Ghyll Bank bridge over Newlands Beck, destroyed by the floodwaters of Storm Desmond, is due to be replaced in the autumn of 2017. Until then, walkers will have to use the following diversion at the start of the route. (This adds less than 100m to the walk’s total distance.)
From the parking area near Little Town, cross Chapel Bridge to head roughly north along the road. After nearly 1km, turn right at a T-junction – towards Braithwaite. After another 750m of road walking, you’ll see a signed footpath on the right. The diversion rejoins the main route at this point. As per the walk description from the third paragraph in the book, continue along the asphalt for about 50m and then step up on to the gently rising path to the left.
"Each walk is well laid out, with a summary, distance, ascent, how long it will take, terrain, what maps you will need, parking, and how to get to the start with public transport. A map of the walk shows the general route and direction of travel...
I really liked this book, I found myself just diving into a walk to read as a story, to take myself into the fells I know so well. It never disappointed me. This is the standard all guide book authors should aspire to."
Read the full review on the Walk Lakes website.
"Bound to be a big hit with Trail readers"
Trail magazine, April 2015
The prolific Carlisle-based author is fast becoming the go-to writer on all things Lakeland, and this latest book reflects her deep love and knowledge of the higher Lake District fells.
[This guidebook is] a worthy addition to any Lakeland fellwanderer's library.
Roly Smith, Outdoor Focus
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Vivienne is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specialising in travel and the outdoors. A journalist since 1990, she abandoned the constraints of a desk job on regional newspapers in 2001 to go travelling. On her return to the UK, she decided to focus on the activities she loves the most – hill-walking, writing, travelling and photography. Based in north Cumbria, she has put her intimate knowledge of northern England to good use, writing more than a dozen popular walking guidebooks. She also contributes to a number of regional and national magazines, including several regular walking columns. Vivienne is a member of the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild.View Articles and Books by Vivienne Crow