30th September 2007

Helm Crag to Calf Crag and Greenburn Bottom


Walk Overview
Time 10.30 to 14.35
Duration 4 hr 5 min
Distance 7.6 mile
Ascent 2200 ft
Walking with On my own
A591 - Grasmere - Easedale - Helm Crag - Gibson Knott - Calf Crag - Greenburn Bottom - Mill Bridge - A591
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

The main aim of today's outing was to walk the whole length of Greenburn Bottom; a nice quiet valley found between the Helm Crag Ridge and Steel Fell. There is actually a path through most of the valley, but I wanted to walk its entire length, including the pathless area at the Rough Crag end of the valley. First of all however, I needed to walk through Grasmere village and along Easedale Road where I was treated to some nice Autumn colours like those seen here.

Tarn Crag lay ahead of me as I walked through Easedale, but my route to Helm Crag took me past the fine house seen in this picture and around to the right.

A close up of Brimmer Head Farm.

And looking down to the Grasmere side of Dunmail Raise from a little further up Helm Crag. The lower of the two roads running into the picture from the left is the one I walked along at the end of the walk, before following it up to the main road, turning right and then walking past the Travellers Rest (the building on the right of the photo).

Helm Crag was a bit too busy today and at one time I did actually think about dropping off the ridge into Far Easedale and walking up onto Tarn Crag in the hope of loosing the crowds. I did have a good talk with the couple seen below me in this picture and thankfully almost everyone else seemed to be turning around and returning to Grasmere by the same route. Once we left the summit the ridge quietened down to what you'd expect, so it on with plan A.

The view back along the ridge to Helm Crag.

And from Gibson Knott, looking ahead towards Calf Crag. A long undulating ridge with a succession of false summits.

A close up of Easedale Tarn.

Another view back along the ridge.

Brownrigg Tarn seen from Calf Crag.

Not quite the best of days for photos, but this picture taken from the path near Calf Crag is one of my favourite views of the Helvellyn Fells. Shortly after taking this picture I left the path and headed right, to start my descent into Greenburn Bottom.

Although it was undoubtedly a very steep descent into Greenburn Bottom, an off path route was easy enough to make up. It would have been a bit tricky if the grass had been wet, but today wasn't too much problem at all. First of all I headed across to the sheepfold I'd spied (just below the tree on the right).

Once I reached the valley I had a look around the area near this shelter before heading back up to slightly higher ground for the walk through the valley. I don't mind getting my feet a bit wet, but this place looked just a little too wet to be comfortable.

Time for something to eat now and a look back to the head of the valley.

I think it was a wise move to take a higher route through the valley along the "proper" path. It really does look like a wet place indeed. The fells in the background are Great Rigg, Stone Arthur and Heron Pike.

Stepping stones over Green Burn.

The view back through Greenburn seen just after crossing the beck.


Green Burn.

A close up of Town Head.

Steel Fell ridge seen from the road described in the fourth picture.

One final picture of a colourful Travellers Rest.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks