The Near Eastern Fells

Walking guide to the Lake District

By Mark Richards

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This Fellranger walking guidebook covers 35 summits in the Near Eastern Fells of the Lake District, with a wide range of ascents. Great fell walks are to be had here, in the mighty range of hills that include Helvellyn, Hart Side and Fairfield, in the land between Ullswater and Thirlmere, Ambleside and Threlkeld.



Suitable all-year round walking. Winter walking, even on the lower fells of the Lakes is not for the inexperienced or under-equipped.


Ambleside, Patterdale, Grasmere


Straightforward, 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 See

Must See

A fresh perspective on classic Lakeland summits like Fairfield, Red Screes and Helvellyn, and inspiring introduction to lesser-known fells such as Arnison Crag, High Pike and White Side, with crystal-clear Harvey mapping and the author's detailed elevation diagrams and panoramas.
Out of Print
15 Aug 2008
19 Jan 2015
19.6 x 13.0 x 2.0cm
  • Overview

    This Lakeland Fellranger guide to the Near Eastern Fells of the Lake District covers the range of sprawling giants from Ambleside north to Threlkeld, between the long ribbons of Ullswater and Thirlmere. Long days of open fells and chiselled aretes await the walker, and with 35 fells with descriptions and variations in the guide, the possibilities are endless.

    What sort of walking awaits? With so many peaks and pathways, there's something for walkers of all abilities. The Near Eastern Fells are sculpted and sweeping. From the justly famous heights of Helvellyn and Striding Edge, to St Sunday Crag, Fairfield, Catstycam and Hart Side, the Near Eastern fells offer fellranging pleasure, great or small, to everyone.

    The Near Eastern 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 Near Eastern 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 Near Eastern 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 Central Fells, The Southern Fells and The Far Eastern Fells.

  • Contents

    From fireside to fellside
    This guide
    Fix the Fells
    Starting points
    The Fells
    1 Arnison Crag  434m/1424ft
    2 Birkhouse Moor  718m/2356ft
    3 Birks  622m/2241ft
    4 Catstycam  890m/2920ft
    5 Clough Head  726m/2386ft
    6 Dollywaggon Pike  858m/2815ft
    7 Dove Crag  792m/2599ft
    8 Fairfield  873m/2864ft
    9 Glenridding Dodd  442m/1450ft
    10 Gowbarrow Fell  481m/1578ft
    11 Great Dodd  857m/2812ft
    12 Great Mell Fell  537m/1762ft
    13 Great Rigg  767m/2516ft
    14 Hart Crag  822m/2697ft
    15 Hart Side  758m/2487ft
    16 Hartsop above How  586m/1923ft
    17 Helvellyn  950m/3116ft
    18 Heron Pike  621m/2037ft
    19 High Hartsop Dodd  519m/1703ft
    20 High Pike  656m/2152ft
    21 Little Hart Crag  637m/2090ft
    22 Little Mell Fell  505m/1657ft
    23 Low Pike  507m/1663ft
    24 Middle Dodd  653m/2143ft
    25 Nab Scar  455m/1490ft
    26 Nethermost Pike  891m/2923ft
    27 Raise  884m/2900ft
    28 Red Screes  777m/2549ft
    29 Seat Sandal  736m/2415ft
    30 Sheffield Pike  675m/2215ft
    31 St Sunday Crag  841m/2759ft
    32 Stone Arthur  503m/1650ft
    33 Stybarrow Dodd  846m/2776ft
    34 Watson's Dodd  789m/2589ft
    35 White Side  863m/2831ft


  • Maps

    For ease of reference the 35 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 advice and 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.

  • Updates
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    Feb 2010

    Page 237 - Safe Descents

    The directions given on this page are incorrect and should read:

    For Ambleside (5 miles) simply head south-west and, from Snarker Pike, south, with the ridge path obvious and secure
    For Hartsop (3 miles), head west to follow a wall north-west down to Scandale Pass, turning east then north down Caiston Glen...”

  • Reviews

    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

    The Near Eastern Fells and The Central Fells, by Mark Richards devote a chapter to each fell, with descriptions of many routes enabling you to mix and match. Helpful drawings show what you can see from the top, to save having to spread your map in high wind.

    (Open Spaces, Autumn 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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Mark Richards

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.

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