25th February 2007

Seat Sandal once and Little Tongue twice


Walk Overview
Time 10.20 to 14.00
Duration 3 hr 40 min
Distance 5.4 mile
Ascent 2360 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 (Travelers Rest) - Little Tongue Gill - Hause Riggs - Grisedale Hause - Seat Sandal - South Ridge - Above the Intake Wall - Little Tongue Gill - A591 (Travelers Rest)
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map

Today's walk took us onto Seat Sandal via the lovely Little Tongue Gill route. Surprisingly this route to Grisedale Hause never seems to be as popular as the more substantial path on the other side of Great Tongue; a shame really as this option offers a somewhat, less enclosed approach with uninterrupted views down to the valley below. On the lower section of the track leading off the main A591, you get to see this "typical" Lakeland farmhouse. This is usually followed by one of those "wouldn't it be great to live , , , , " moments.

The view back down towards Grasmere, with Loughrigg Fell on the left and Silver How on the right of the picture.

Crossing Little Tongue Gill. This is the point at which the route we followed breaks away from the main track. The Tongue Gill route continues to the right of the picture and past the disused stone reservoir; whereas our path contours the side of Great Tongue through the bracken (above the bridge, not the path straight ahead). The higher section of the path on Little Tongue can be seen running through the bracken, below the rocky section on Seat Sandal itself.

Another view looking back. This one taken from the path next to Great Tongue (left).

Much higher up the fell now and walking along the section of the path which runs above Hause Riggs to rejoin the Great Tongue route above the waterfalls. The raised area of fellside below me is Great Tongue.

A couple of minutes further along you get this view down one of the small gills towards the Tongue Gill path, seen on the opposite side of Tongue Gill.

Upon reaching the broken wall at Grisedale Hause we turned left to follow this steep scree path to Seat Sandal. Although the scree section doesn't last for too long, while it does persist it produces an extremely steep and unstable section of fellside. A strong contender for footpath maintenance if ever there was one.

And from the same spot looking in the opposite direction towards Grisedale Tarn and St Sunday Crag. The path running into the picture from the bottom right is the continuing section of the path we followed to Grisedale Hause. It runs past the tarn, crosses the outflow and then continues down into Grisedale (valley) to end in Patterdale. For obvious reasons the path must surely encounter more "human" traffic these days than it ever did in the past, but centuries ago this would have been an important route connecting Grasmere and Patterdale; not for pleasure as it is now, but out of necessity.

An eye level view across to Fairfield.

Looking across to Great Rigg from a much gentler path as we were approaching the summit.

Seat Sandal summit. Notice Fairfield is now under cloud.

A glimpse of Thirlmere seen as we were leaving the summit.

And a close up of Steel Fell enjoying a brief spell of sunshine.

A pity it wasn't a clear day to show this view at it's best, but even without the desired blue sky and sunshine, the south ridge still offers a lovely outlook. From here we continued down the ridge as far as the intake wall (seen running through the bracken). We then did a "lasso" of the enclosure to rejoin the path on Little Tongue. An interesting option to make the walk a little longer then simply following the ridge straight down.

Walking around the higher section of the intake wall.

Crossing the gill to rejoin our earlier path on Little Tongue.

The Travellers Rest looking very spring like with lots of Daffodils in full flower. A couple of minutes walk alongside the A591 took us back to the car.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks