9th October 2010

A fantastic day for a walk from Red Pike to Haystacks


Walk Overview
Time 09.40 to 15.20
Duration 5 hr 40 min
Distance 10.4 mile
Ascent 4000 ft
Walking with On my own
Buttermere - Old Burtness - Bleaberry Tarn - Red Pike - High Stile - High Crag - Gamlin end - Seat - Scarth Gap - Haystacks - Blackbeck Tarn - Warnscale Beck - Warnscale bottom - Gatesgarth - end of Buttermere (lake) - Road Back to Buttermere (village)
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Buttermere Village

There are a few different options for parking in Buttermere. A couple of decent sized car parks the road side leading up past the church onto Newlands pass and the sneaky couple of spaces next to the bridge. Despite these options and the village being so small they all fill up pretty quickly.

For such a small village there are a couple of hotels / pubs, public toilets and a couple of tearooms, one of which sells the best ice cream you could ever hope to find.


Route Map

Given how popular these fells can get, I had wanted to do this walk sometime mid week when it would be a bit quieter. With weather like this though, I thought what the heck and just went for it. Sunshine like this isn't unheard of in October, but the warmth it gave off is quite a rarity.

This little piggy went to market, , ,

A view back along the track between Buttermere village and lake.

Buttermere with Fleetwith Pike silhouetted at the far end of the lake.

Out of Burtness Wood now and looking across to the Grasmoor fells.

A close up of Buttermere village.
Isn't it amazing how they make high heal shoes small enough to fit pigs?

Most of Crummock Water.
The fell on the left of the lake is Mellbreak, at the far end is Low Fell and Fellbarrow, on the right is Grasmoor and Rannerdale Knotts.

Reflections on Bleaberry Tarn.

A view back down to Bleaberry Tarn, taken from the steep scree section below Red Pike's summit.

Standing on Red Pike summit and looking over Crag Fell, Ennerdale Water and the Loweswater fells. The Solway Firth is out there under the band of cloud.

Time to start heading across to High Stile; the high point in the centre of the picture.

Looking back to Red Pike.

And again, this time with Bleaberry Tarn in the picture.

A close up of the aptly named Red Pike.
The group of people you can see help to add a little bit of scale to the picture.

High Stile summit.


Buttermere, High Snockrigg, Robinson and the Grasmoor fells, all seen from the ridge walk between High Stile and High Crag.

High Stile, seen from High Crag summit.

Gamlin End; very steep, very loose under foot and very hard on the legs; whichever direction you're walking in.


Pillar, seen behind a small pool on route to Haystacks.

I knew it would be this busy up here on a Saturday so I've only got myself to blame.
Inevitably many of these folk are going to be 'none fell walkers' who are only here because the place was on TV. And with this many people there are bound to be a few with dodgy volume switches. For example, , , the people at the top wanted everyone else to hear them naming the fells in the background. Mmmm, unless I'm mistaken, the fells over there are Hindscarth and Robinson not Great Gable and Pillar. What I found most amusing was the guy on the left. As I walked past them, he was busy telling the little girl that this was Innominate Tarn, and the reason was; "because it's at the top". I hope he isn't a geography teacher.

I'm sure a few of them must have thought I was a miserable git because I didn't hang around any longer than I needed to take this picture before I escaped to the quiet side of the fell.

This is more like it.
The only other person I passed along here said hello, commented on how warm it was and asked if I was on this path for the same reason as he was. Because the other side of the fell was just too crowded for comfort.

Blackbeck Tarn but not by a conventional route.


My legs were crying out for a rest now, but there was still a fair bit to walk so they just had to wait until I got back to the car.

Almost at the road now and thankfully the ice cream van was at Gatescarth. Not just for the ice cream, which was very nice, but for something to drink, , , I ran out of water on Haystacks.

Chick chick chick chick chicken lay a little egg for me, , , , I'm sure you know the rest of the song.

A view down Buttermere.
It wasn't half hot walking along here.

The Buttermere pines in front of Haystacks.

Rather than follow the lakeside path I kept to the road, just to get some slightly higher views of the lake, like this one.

Looking back along the road.
Fleetwith Pike is the pointed fell in the centre of the picture and Haystacks is one to the right of the cloud.


Looking up to the crags below High Snockrigg.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks