13th June 2009

Not quite a normal route to Fairfield


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 14.45
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 8.2 mile
Ascent 3100 ft
Walking with Anne Leaney
Rydal Church - Rydal Beck - Dalehead Close - Rydal Head - Link Hause - Fairfield - Great Rigg - Heron Pike - Nab Scar - Rydal Church
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking next to Rydal Church

The roadside parking area runs from the church up hill towards Rydal Mount. Even though there is room for quite a few cars, this is a very popular place indeed and you will need to arrive early if you hope to get a space.

Just around the corner you'll find the Badger Bar offering food and drink.

The parking is actually free, but there is an honest box on the fence next to the church for those who are grateful for a days cheap parking.


Route Map

At Anne's request we did a somewhat obscure route onto Fairfield today. First of all we followed the lovely and secluded Rydal Valley as far as possible. Then, at the point where you think there's no way out and you need to turn back, we headed up the steep fellside to Link Hause. An enjoyable walk, but as the guy we met on the ridge said "that was a masochistic route you've just taken wasn't it".

Needless to say we never met anyone else through here.

You might well ask how we ended up on this side of the wall. It was a case of clambering over the wall or keeping our fingers crossed that the herd of angry looking cows (and a Bull) didn't take a dislike to us (we opted to get over the wall).

I'm tempted to say we were nearing the head of the valley when I took this picture, to be honest though, there's still a heck of a walk to do before we could start to make our way up to the ridge.


From here the route took us across to the bottom of the gill where we then did our best to stick to the grassy sections up to the ridge.

The view back through the valley.

And then as if by magic, we reached the ridge and the clouds lifted giving us views all around. This picture is looking through Deepdale towards the Far Eastern fells.

Hart Crag.

St Sunday Crag, seen here from Fairfield.

We didn't expect any view at all from Fairfield today, let along this one looking across to Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn, Striding Edge, Catstye Cam and beyond. It's a good job we didn't set off earlier or walk any faster through the valley.

Now for the long walk back down to Rydal.

Looking down to Rydal Beck.

And a close up of the elaborate sheepfold found next to the beck.


Grasmere, Rydal Water and a long list of fells. The short version of the list is:- Loughrigg, Silver How Lingmoor Fell, the Coniston fells, and the Crinkle Crags ridge.

Rydal Water and Loughrigg Fell.

Every time I get to this point on the ridge my legs really start to tell me just how long I've been walking down hill for.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks