The North-Western Fells
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This Fellranger walking guide explores 29 summits in the North-Western Fells of the English Lake District, with a wide range of ascents between Borrowdale in the east and Buttermere in the west, and as far south as Honister Pass. Great day walks are to be had here on fells such as Lord's Seat, Catbells, Sail and High Spy.
SeasonsSuitable all-year round, but winter walking, even on the lower fells, is not for the inexperienced or under-equipped.
CentresKeswick, Grange-in-Borrowdale, Rosthwaite, Seatoller, Buttermere, High Lorton, Cockermouth, Braithwaite and Stair
DifficultyStraightforward, short ascents, often not on clear paths, to be used as a basis for readers' own circuits. Navigational skills needed but no specialist equipment. Any scrambling is easy and non-scrambling options are always provided.
Must SeeBorrowdale, Buttermere and Bassenthwaite; Captivating Catbells, mighty Grasmoor, enticing Causey Pike and invigorating Grisedale Pike, handsome Hindscarth and bold Robinson; a succession of fine airy ridges and craggy little heights
The North-Western Fells of the Lake Distrct rise to the west of Keswick and Derwent Water, bound by Honister Pass, Buttermere and Crummock Water in the south, stretching north to Cockermouth and Bassenthwaite Lake. 29 fells are described in this guide, with route variations ensuring that there's potential for walkers of any ability, so that the North-Western fells may be enjoyed to their full.
What sort of walking awaits? The North-Western fells feature endless ridges that roam over peak after peak. There are grassy summit sprawls of Sail, Greystones and Lord's Seat. Rugged crags on Causey Pike, High Spy and Hopegill Head and the family favourites of Catbells and Castle Crag.
The North-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 North-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 North-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 Northern Fells, The Mid-Western 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 Ard Crags (581m/1906ft)
2 Barf (468m/1535ft)
3 Barrow (456m/1496ft)
4 Broom Fell (511m/1676ft)
5 Castle Crag (290m/951ft)
6 Catbells (451m/1480ft)
7 Causey Pike (637m/2090ft)
8 Dale Head (753m/2470ft)
9 Eel Crag (840m/2756ft)
10 Grasmoor (852m/2795ft)
11 Graystones (456m/1496ft)
12 Grisedale Pike (791m/2595ft)
13 High Spy (653m/2142ft)
14 Hindscarth (727m/2385ft)
15 Hopegill Head (770m/2526ft)
16 Knott Rigg (556m/1824ft)
17 Ling Fell (373m/1224ft)
18 Lord’s Seat (552m/1811ft)
19 Maiden Moor (576m/1890ft)
20 Outerside (568m/1863ft)
21 Rannerdale Knotts (355m/1165ft)
22 Robinson (737m/2418ft)
23 Sail (771m/2529ft)
24 Sale Fell (359m/1178ft)
25 Scar Crags (672m/2205ft)
26 Wandope (772m/2533ft)
27 Whinlatter (517m/1696ft)
28 Whiteless Pike (660m/2165ft)
29 Whiteside (707m/2320ft)
For ease of reference the 29 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 xx, 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 on the map and diagram 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 for nearly all 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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‘The acknowledged successor to Wainwright, Richards has lovingly researched routes of ascent (and often more importantly safe descent) to 29 north-western fells.
Where he scores over AW is the variety of choices for ascent…for regular Lakeland fell addicts the routes suggested offer some interesting meanderings which better explore the inner fell secrets only found away from the tourist tracks.
The book is a good start for many happy fell-rangering days in those delectable fells between Buttermere and Derwentwater.'
Friends of the Lakedistrict, August 2011
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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