22nd August 2010

Red Screes, Middle Dodd and Scandale


Walk Overview
Time 09.20 to 14.45
Duration 5 hr 25 min
Distance 9.2 mile
Ascent 2680 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Miller Bridge - Ambleside - Kirkstone Road - Snarker Pike - Red Screes - Middle Dodd - Scandale Pass - Scandale - High Sweeden Bridge - Ambleside - Miller Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Miller Bridge, Ambleside

This offers an alternative to the overcharged car parks in Ambleside itself. The downsides are, spaces are limited, it's a little way out from the center of the town and you will need to get here early to get a space.


Route Map

The road and the pavement alongside the iconic Bridge House in Ambleside were almost deserted as we walked past at the start of our walk today. This allowed me to take an undisturbed picture of the entrance to the building, rather than the usual picture which actually shows it as a bridge. When we returned later in the day however, it was a totally different story. The place was packed with people, all of which were jostling for 'their' rightful position on the pavement. And much to the annoyance of the passing drivers those who failed to claim their rights spilled over onto the main road. Had it not been for the lure of the cake shop we wouldn't have even tried to walk down this side of the road, so despite the jostling, we did have our cake and eat it.
Anyway; here I am telling you about the end of the walk when I haven't even told you about the walk itself yet.

The first part of today's route saw us walking up the bottom section of Kirkstone Road, which despite the obvious hazard of speeding traffic, is the only real option there is for gaining access to the fellside from Ambleside. In defence of the route though, it is an easy way to ascend the first 600ft of height on the walk.

Once off the road and onto the fellside, the view opens up to show Ambleside and a small section of Windermere.


Looking ahead to Red Screes from one of a few soggy sections found along the route.

Below us is the top of Kirkstone Pass and the Inn of the same name.
If we'd carried on walking up the road from Ambleside, we would have ended up at the inn via the road you see here (bottom right of the picture); aptly called The Struggle.


A view back down the ridge shows Windermere stretching away into the distance.

Red Screes summit and tarn. A good spot for something to eat, even though we didn't realise how damp the ground was until we stood up and we both said "have I got a wet, , , " I'm sure you can work the rest out yourselves.

Our next objective was Middle Dodd; a short downhill walk which took us about 15 minutes from Red Screes summit.

Middle Dodd summit.

Looking back to Red Screes.
Shortly after leaving the summit we were stopped by a lady who asked if we were David and Jennifer. It turned out to be Maggie Allan who is also a member of the OFC. If you have to meet another keen fellwalker somewhere, it might as well be in a place like this.

From Middle Dodd we headed cross country and headed for the top of Scandale Pass.
We had talked to Maggie about where we'd been and where we were going and my best attempt at describing this pathless section of the route was "across for a bit, then down between the rocks before cutting across the top of the pass".

Brothers Water, Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes, seen from the route to Scandale Pass.

And from the same spot, a close up of Brothers Water.

After some discussion we decided not to continue up to Little Hart Crag (seen here) and onto High Pike / Low Pike. It wouldn't have added too much distance or ascent onto the walk, and it would have kept us higher up for longer. However, it would have meant missing the walk through Scandale which we both enjoy. So going against what most walkers would want to do, we opted to walk through a valley rather than stay on the fells.

Looking down to Scandale; a lovely little valley which as far as High Sweden Bridge, we had to ourselves today.

At the bottom of the pass you find this extra large sheepfold.

Looking back up Scandale Pass.
The pass doesn't go right to the top in a straight line. Once you get more or less to the top of the bracken it veers off to the right and ends up near enough at the point where the fence post in this picture touches the skyline. (I think that makes sense)

A view back through Scandale.

As seen as though the couple in this picture were letting their child paddle in the beck with no clothes on I thought it best to keep my distance before taking a picture of High Sweden Bridge.

Peeping over the wall to get a picture of Nab Scar and Heron Pike.

Looking back up the track which runs from the outskirts of Ambleside to High Sweden Bridge and into Scandale.
If you're looking for High Sweden Bridge, as long as you take the correct road out of Ambleside you can't go wrong and you'd need to do something pretty drastic to get lost. Once you reach the bridge it's a different matter because you're faced with the dilemma of choice.

The Golden Rule is, , , , a good floral display on the outside will entice people to step inside.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks