13th August 2004

The direct route up Kirk Fell and Beck Head


Walk Overview
Time 13.55 to 17.25
Duration 3 hr 30 min
Distance 4.5 mile
Ascent 2520 ft
Walking with On my own
Wasdale Head - Kirk Fell - Kirk Fell Tarn - Rib End - Beck Head Tarn - Beck Head - Gable Beck - Burnthwaite Farm - Wasdale Head Church - Wasdale Head
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Wasdale Head

Wasdale can boast possession of the highest mountain, the deepest lake and the smallest church. What I'd like to do is add the busiest car park onto this list. During the summer months this is an incredibly popular place, particularly in June when the three peak walkers are out in force.

Unbelievable I know, but parking is actually free. This tiny hamlet also has a hotel / pub, a shop, a camp site and all the facilities you expect to find with it.


Route Map

Near the bottom of the path up Kirk Fell. The path is actually a lot steeper than it looks here. The sun was shining behind me most of the way up making it very hard work.

Wasdale Head and Wastwater from about half way up the grassy path. This one gives a better impression of the gradient.

Great Gable from Kirk Fell summit. It was quite breezy once I reached the summit, but it was good to get out of the heat and cool down a little.

Pillar from Kirk Fell summit. There appeared to be a lot of cloud over the north western fells, but I was quite lucky and managed to get sunshine for most of the walk.

Kirk Fell Tarn with Great Gable behind. There are actually two tarns, joined together by a small stream. The tarn on the right isn't very deep, but the water is as clear as any I've seen in the Lake District.

Looking down to Beck Head from the path off Kirk Fell. The path is very steep at this point and I needed to watch every footstep. The next picture was taken from the just to the left of the largest tarn.

Haystacks and the head of Ennerdale Valley from Beck Head.

Looking back up the very steep path that runs down from the side of Great Gable. The path I took came in from below and to the left of the highest crag in the picture. The dark crags on the right are Great Napes and Napes Needle.

And again from the point where the path I took joined the Styhead Pass path. Nearly all of the cloud had gone now and it was turning into a lovely summer evening.

Lingmell on the right and Great End under cloud.

Looking up to Styhead from near Burnthwaite Farm.

Kirk Fell from near Wasdale Head Church. The path I took up Kirk Fell can be seen running through the bracken above the brown coloured field.

Wasdale Head church

The Scafells and Great Gable from the road side next to Wast Water. Taken on the way home.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks