27th June 2007

An evening walk up Fleetwith Pike


Walk Overview
Time 17.45 to 19.45
Duration 2 hr
Distance 3.1 mile
Ascent 1200 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Honister Pass - Drum House - Dubbs Hut - Fleetwith Pike - Honister Crag - Honister Pass
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Honister Mines

Given the size of the car park (s) here I'm tempted to say you'll find ample parking up here. This isn't always the case though. The popularity of the mine tours and the surrounding fells make this a very busy place indeed.

You have two options here, the mines car park and the national trust car park next to the Youth Hostel. They both cost about the same, so it doesn't really matter which one you try first.


Route Map

Heading up from the top of Honister Pass onto the path marked on the map as Dismantled Tramway.
There was plenty of sunshine for the walk, but it was so windy, hence Jennifer wearing a hat and cloves. Not exactly colour coordinated with the jacket, or the bracken or the even with the slate now that I'm on the subject, but if they keep your fingers and ears warm who cares. At least if we get separated I'll have no problem spotting her again.

Grey Knotts seen from the Drum House.

Continuing along the "tramway" path you soon reach Dubs Hut, which, along with a smaller building on the other side of Warnscale Beck, is the best preserved of the old mine / quarry buildings found in the area. In fact you could quite happily spend the night in one of these two buildings.
Quite a few years ago I had one of my Nephews with me when I came here (in the middle of Winter). He thought it was soooooo coooool; as they say these days. On that occasion he tried his best to get me to ring his Mother and tell her we'd got stranded, just so we could stay here for the night. I have to admit I was tempted!

Views across to Grey Knotts seemed to dominate this walk, this one was taken next to one of the quarries near Dubs Hut.

The top section of Great Gable comes into view as we gain height on route to Fleetwith Pike.

And from higher still, the view opens up to reveal the Northern side of Great Gable, Green Gable and in the distance (right) you can see Scafell.

Not quite the best picture I know, but what a great view you get from Fleetwith Pike summit.


Honister Crag behind one of the little tarns found in the area.

And a picture of the same tarn with Kirk Fell in the distance.

Just after leaving Honister Crag we reached to top of the newly "installed" Via Ferrata. An activity which the thrill seeking visitors to Honister Mines would enjoy.

Translated from Italian, Via Ferrata means Iron Way, which is a system which has been used in Alpine regions for well over a century. The most notable use of the system was during World War One when it was employed to transport troupes and equipment over the otherwise impassable mountainous terrain.

And a picture of the sign. Not quite pointing in the correct direction, but I'm sure the guides know where they are.

Quarry men working well into the evening.

When we left home a bit further west, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I'm not complaining mind you, but it's just a pity it wasn't the same here. When the sun was shining on the fells the views were as clear as you could have wished for.

Huge stones mark the start of the way back to Honister Pass.

Grey Knotts, this time seen behind one of the stones.
It almost looks like it could be some sort of ancient sanding stone, perhaps forming part of a stone circle or in this case a stone line. If the line of stones is here long enough, who knows, people in the future could be visiting the 20th / 21st century standing stones, placed next to an ancient road used to guide a primitive civilisation to holes they'd dug in the ground where they worshiped the sun, the moon or perhaps the stars.
Well you never know do you. Plenty of people have came up with theories about the stone circles we visit ! Who's to say the people who built those didn't go to all that effort simply because they thought it looked nice.

Walking down to Honister Pass along the steep twisting quarry track.

Finally, a picture looking across to the mines on the side of Dale Head.
Now into Keswick for some fish and chips on the way home.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks