The Mid-Western Fells
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Lakeland Fellranger guidebook covering 22 summits in the Mid-Western Fells of the Lake District, with a wide range of ascents, both traditional and unusual. All the routes are located in the triangle between Great Langdale, Borrowdale and Wasdale, defined by the Stake, Styhead, Hardknott and Wrynose passes.
SeasonsSuitable all-year round walking. Winter walking, even on the lower fells of the Lake District is not for the inexperienced or under-equipped.
CentresGreat Langdale, Ambleside, Borrowdale, Keswick, Wasdale Head
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 of the Lake District like Scafell Pike, Bowfell and the Crinkles, and inspiring introduction to lesser-known fells such as Hard Knott, Rossett Pike and Whin Rigg, with crystal-clear Harvey mapping and the author's detailed elevation diagrams and panoramas.
The Mid-Western Fells of the Lake District lie in a wedge above Hardknott Pass stretching north to Borrowdale, between Elterwater and Little Langdale in the east to Wast Water and Wasdale. The 22 fells described in this guide are some of the highest and most renowned in Lakeland, including the highest peak in England, Scafell Pike. With multiple route variations for every fell, the possibities for walkers of all abilities are endless.
What sort of walking awaits? The Mid-Western fells are the heart of the Lake District, a range of the most beloved peaks. The craggy summits of Bowfell, the Crinkle Crags and Great End mix with the scree-lined hillsides of Illgill Head and the chiselled heights of Scafell, Pike o'Blisco and Glaramara. But don't overlook the other Mid-Western fells, for exquisite fell walking can be found just next-door to the Lakeland greats.
The Mid-Western 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 Mid-Western 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 Mid-Western 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 Western Fells, The Central Fells, The Southern Fells, The Near Eastern Fells and The Far Eastern Fells.
From fireside to fellside
Fix the Fells
1 Allen Crags (784m, 2572ft)
2 Bowfell (903m, 2963ft)
3 Cold Pike (701m, 2300ft)
4 Crinkle Crags (860m, 2822ft)
5 Eskdale Moor (337m, 1105ft)
6 Esk Pike (885m, 2904ft)
7 Glaramara (783m, 2569ft)
8 Great End (907m, 2976ft)
9 Great How (523m, 1716ft)
10 Hard Knott (552m, 1811ft)
11 Illgill Head (609m, 1998ft)
12 Lingmell (807m, 2649ft)
13 Lingmoor Fell (470m, 1542ft)
14 Little Stand (739m, 2426ft)
15 Pike O’Blisco (705m, 2313ft)
16 Rossett Pike (651m, 2136ft)
17 Rosthwaite Fell (551m, 1808ft)
18 Scafell (964m, 3163ft)
19 Scafell Pike (977m, 3206ft)
20 Seathwaite Fell (631m, 2070ft)
21 Slight Side (762m, 2500ft)
22 Whin Rigg (536m, 1759ft)
The purpose of this guide is to describe the fullest complement of walking routes on each fell. The pressure of boots down the years has taken its toll. Costly capital projects, along with pre-emptive works, have been and continue to be undertaken by the Fix the Fells project, a working partnership between the Lake District National Park Authority, the National Trust and Natural England. Yet ‘official’ advice on the choice of routes has always been strict, limiting route information to the modern variations of traditional paths and thus concentrating walkers on limited routes. In contrast, the Lakeland Fellranger series of guides provides a solid reference to the widest range of reliable contemporary options, aiming, among other things, to spread the load more widely over the path network.
For ease of reference, the 22 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 so advice is given on these except on the most straightforward of fells. There are far more paths on the fells than can be shown even on a conventional HARVEY map, and for clarity this guide only highlights in red or green the paths and routes that are described within its pages.
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, but cannot guarantee rights of way in all cases.
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‘I have the latest two titles to hand – The Southern Fells and The Mid Western Fells, with his meticulously researched directions, clear beautifully coloured accurate maps, sketches and lovely photographs.
These are lovely guide books, with a high quality of ‘finish’ which I have personally found can be trusted both in the UK and abroad to give safe directions with interesting texts, allowing you to enjoy the countryside through which you are walking.’
(Keswick Reminder, April 2009)
'The result is an attractive and useful pocket-sized guide. Fans will be eagerly awaiting the remaining four planned to complete the set.'
(Cumbria, June 2009)
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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