The Central Fells
Walking guide to the Lake District
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Part of the Lakeland Fellranger walking series, this guidebook covers 28 summits in the Central Fells of the Lake District with a wide range of ascents. Great fell days are to be had here between Great Langdale and Keswick, with fells such as Harrison Stickle, Silver How, High Rigg and Pike o'Stickle.
SeasonsSuitable all-year round walking. Winter walks, even on the lower fells of the Lake District, is not for the inexperienced or under-equipped.
CentresGreat Langdale, Chapel Stile, Ambleside, Keswick, Borrowdale
DifficultyStraightforward, short ascents, often not on clear paths, to be used as a basis for readers' own walks. Navigational skills needed but no specialist equipment. Any scrambling is easy and non-scrambling options are always provided.
Must SeeA fresh perspective on classic summits in the Lakes like the Langdale Pikes, Silver How and Sergeant Man, and inspiring introduction to lesser-known Lakeland fells such as Bleaberry Fell, High Rigg and Thunacar Knott, with crystal-clear Harvey mapping and the author's detailed elevation diagrams and panoramas.
The Central Fells of the Lake District stretch north from Grasmere to Keswick, and are caught between the blue ribbons of Thirlmere and Derwentwater. They form a swell of high ground and provide endless possibilities for a walker. There are fells of all varieties with cragged and rugged tops, wide sweeps of grass, heather and bracken and corrie lakes nestled in rocky hillsides. And this Lakeland Fellranger includes descriptions and routes for all 28 fells, in the very heart of the Lakes.
What sort of walking awaits? There's a peak for walkers of any ability, from the southern craggy rises of Loughrigg Fell and Silver How overlooking Grasmere and Elterwater to the northern fells of High Rigg and Bleaberry Fell with sweeping views over Keswick, Blencathra and Skiddaw. And it would be impossible to miss the Langdale Pike favourites of Harrison Stickle, Pavey Arc and Pike o'Stickle, with their ties to charming Lakeland villages like Chapel Stile, and the famed Old Dungeon Ghyll.
The Central Fells is part of the eight-volume Lakeland Fellranger series by Mark Richards. Fellrangers mix the perfect balance of inspiration and information as they provide a comprehensive guide to the fells of the English Lake District. In every book, a dedicated chapter covers each fell, with a variety of routes, both time-honoured and undiscovered depicted on Harvey maps. The author's own topos and summit panoramas, not to mention breathtaking photography, enhance the reader's journey, and make sure that any trip to the Central Fells with a Fellranger in hand is one to remember.
- A waterproof PVC cover and ribbon bookmark make this Lakeland Fellranger guide a handy companion in the hills.
- Every route is illustrated with HARVEY maps, colour photographs, fellscape diagrams and panorama guides.
- A walk and a fell for everyone - with alternative routes, height distance and timing information to tailor-make your ranging.
The Central Fells is just one guide of the eight-part Lakeland Fellranger series, covering a total of 227 fells. Where will you go next? To explore the Lakeland fells in full, check out the other guides on Cicerone's website: The North-Western Fells, The Northern Fells, The Mid-Western Fells, The Western Fells, The Southern Fells, The Near Eastern Fellsand The Far Eastern Fells.
From fireside to fellside
Fix the Fells
1 Armboth Fell 479m/1572ft
2 Bell Crags 558m/1831ft
3 Bleaberry Fell 589m/1932ft
4 Blea Rigg 556m/1824ft
5 Calf Crag 537m/1762ft
6 Eagle Crag 520m/1706ft
7 Gibson Knott 421m/1381ft
8 Grange Fell 416m/1365ft
9 Great Crag 452m/1483ft
10 Harrison Stickle 736m/2415ft
11 Helm Crag 405m/1329ft
12 High Raise 762m/2500ft
13 High Rigg 355m/1165ft
14 High Seat 608m/1995ft
15 High Tove 515m/1690ft
16 Loft Crag 692m/2270ft
17 Loughrigg Fell 335m/1099ft
18 Pavey Ark 697m/2287ft
19 Pike o'Stickle 708m/2323ft
20 Raven Crag 463m/1519ft
21 Sergeant Man 736m/2414ft
22 Sergeant's Crag 574m/1883ft
23 Silver How 395m/1296ft
24 Steel Fell 553m/1814ft
25 Tarn Crag 485m/1591ft
26 Thunacar Knott 723m/2372ft
27 Ullscarf 726m/2382ft
28 Walla Crag 379m/1243ft
For ease of reference the 28 fell chapters are arranged in alphabetical order. Each chapter begins with a customised HARVEY map that illustrates the routes of ascent described in the guide, and shows ridge connections to neighbouring fells to assist in the planning of extended walks. The corresponding text describes routes up the fell from given valley starting points, identified on the map by a number (shown in a blue box). The starting points are listed in the ‘Starting Points’ table on page 18, and are also given in blue (in brackets) after the ascent route headings in the walks. In many instances there is also a diagram that shows the routes from a given perspective to assist visualisation.
The primary routes to the summit are described, with optional variations given, up to their natural point of connection with the more common route. Where a route follows a defined path this is shown in red dashes, and where the recommended route follows an intermittent path (or there is no path on the ground at all) this is shown in green dashes. Where a route follows a road it is not picked out by dashed lines. Being aware of the safest lines of descent is important and advice is given on these except on the most straightforward of fells. There are far more paths on the fells than are shown on a conventional HARVEY map, and for clarity this guide only shows the paths and routes that are described here.
As a good guide should also be a revelation, a full panorama is provided for each fell summit or better nearby viewpoint. This names the principal fells and picks out key features in their midst, with some more distant features beyond the national park to intrigue. When undertaking the walks in the guide, you are advised to take a map and compass with you (and know how to use them). The map can enhance your day by showing additional landscape features and setting your walk in its wider context, as well as being useful for your own safety. And remember that representation of a route in this guide, in whatever form, does not infer safe passage for all, at any time. The onus is on each individual to weigh up their own capabilities and the prevailing conditions. In fellwalking, as in any mountain travel, knowing when to retreat is often the greater part of valour. The author has taken care to follow time-honoured routes, and kept within bounds of access, yet cannot guarantee rights of way in all cases.
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A reader has pointed out that the panoramas for fell chapter 21, Sergeant Man, are incorrect. (The panoramas for the Silver How chapter have inadvertently been duplicated.)
The correct summit panoramas can be downloaded by clicking below:
The Central Fells of the English Lake District make up the high ground between Great Langdale and Keswick, an area of undisputed grandeur and natural beauty. This new guidebook offers a fresh perspective on the classic summits of this well-loved area, and an inspiring introduction to lesser-know fells.
This book, as with all the others in the Fellranger series, takes a distinctly different approach. Each of the 28 fell chapters describes a plethora of walking routes of differing chapters and difficulties. The routes can be easily combined to make ascents, descents, traverses or ridge routes to suit each reader’s tastes and abilities.’
(OE / December 08)
Cicerone's excellent new Fellranger series has to be the modern rucksack reference for the discerning fell walker, and over the coming seasons will prove must have companions. The Near Eastern Fells comprise those that lie between Ambleside and Threlkeld, where steep western slopes contrast with long incursionary dales to the south and west, the region providing wonderful scope for long day hikes. The Central Fells comprises the ground between Great Langdale and Keswick. Each fell has a dedicated chapter, and the routes are carefully depicted on Harvey maps and fellscape diagrams, with colour photographs and detailed summit panoramas.
Lakeland Walker, Aug/Sept 2008
Check out the review on the following website:
This guide to the Central Fells, based around Great Langdale, Chapel Stile, Ambleside, Keswick and Borrowdale, gives an excellent introduction to tackling 28 summits in this area. The routes are well laid out and informative, accompanied by detailed colour maps, summit panoramas and clear elevation guides. The photography alone should inspire anyone who’s not ventured into the Lakes to pay it a visit. Buy the whole Fellranger series and you’ll have a guide to some 230 Lakeland hills.
Adventure Travel November/December 2008
Lakeland lovers need more than pretty images. They want facts and routes and maps, written by someone whose veins course with felltop blood. Which is exactly what Mark Richards has delivered with these two guides. With walks, panoramic topographs identifying the fells on the horizon and a genuine feel for the landscape, these are the hi-tech, digital equivalents of Wainright’s classic guides. And compliments don’t come any bigger.
Country Walking, December 2008
Mark, who knew Wainright well and even walked part of his popular Coast to Coast Walk with him, insists he is not trying to replace his former mentor. He says he wants to produce a new practical guide to a footpath network, which has changed dramatically I the half century since Wainright was at work. Some Wainrights routes have fallen out of Use while elsewhere new paths have been trodden into existence.
Like Wainright, Mark gives each fell its own chapter, thoroughly exploring all the serious routes to the summit as well as links and ridge routes. But he has chosen to include fells and even areas left out of the Pictorial Guides. He admits that his choices, like Wainright’s, sometimes lack cold logic but are a personal selection.
Unlike Wainright’s guides, Marl’s books are typeset and include colour photographs instead of sketches and make use of Harvey Maps rather than hand drawn versions.
Cumbria, November 2008
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In 1980 Mark Richards began his three-part guide to the Peak District for Cicerone Press, and in 1987, with Chris Wright, wrote a guide to walking around the former county of Westmorland. He now lives in Cumbria and, after 14 years' dedicated research, has completed his series of Lakeland Fellranger guides covering the entire region. He has also written a guide to Hadrian's Wall.View Articles and Books by Mark Richards