19th March 2011

Nine far eastern fells from Hartsop


Walk Overview
Time 08.10 to 15.40
Duration 7 hr 30 min
Distance 12.3 mile
Ascent 4100 ft
Walking with Richard and Neil all day - Simon from Stony Cove Pike - Leslie and Keith twice along the way
Hartsop - Hayeswater - The Knott - Rampsgill Head - High Raise - Kidsty Pike - Straights of Riggindale - High Street - Thornthwaite Crag - Gray Crag - Threshthwaite Mouth - Stony Cove Pike - Atkinson Monument - Caudale Head - Hartsop Dodd - Hartsop
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Hartsop Village

Unspoilt, sums up the lovely village of Hartsop; apart from the car park that is. At least it is tucked away beyond a narrow gap between the buildings at the top of the village.

The car park is free and offers almost instant access to the surrounding fells. The number of different walks you can do from here are jut too many to list.


Route Map

This walk has been on the cards for sometime now, I'd just been waiting for that illusive 'right day' and today certainly was that. And even though we set off from Hartsop in the shade, it wasn't long at all until we were walking in the best that spring sunshine has to offer.

Well up the route to Hayeswater now and I took this picture of cloud topped Fairfield and St Sunday Crag before they disappeared from view for a while.


Morning peacefulness at Hayeswater.

A full view of Hayeswater.

This picture looking across to the eastern fells shows the cloud rolling in to cover the highest of the fells.

Rest Dodd.

The Knott summit.

Looking back to The Knott.

It's all a matter of personal opinion, bit I recon from all the fells we visited today, Rampsgill Head probably offers the best view of them all from the top.

The next fell for us was High Raise. Not a huge distance from Rampsgill Head but on this route it does require a short out and back which was well worth the effort on a morning as nice as this one.

The path running up the side of High Raise is a section of the Roman road across these fells. We talked about this for a while and in the end decided that all the archaeologists and historians are all wrong, and the Romans never used this road at all. After all, why would anyone march an army over here when there's a nice easy valley to walk through. So, common sense tells us that they must have built it for the tourists so the valleys would be quieter for them to walk through.

High Raise summit.

Kidsty Pike summit in front of High Street. We were still hopeful that the cloud over there would lift or better still, disappear altogether.
On the left hand edge of the picture you can see Caspel Gate Tarn.

Kidsty Pike's steep side, dropping down to Riggindale which in turn leads to Haweswater.

Looking back down the Straights of Riggindale.

High Street summit, , , , without a view. Never mind, we can't really complain. Out of the nine fells we visited today, this was the only one without a clear view.

On route to Thornthwaite Crag we could see Hayeswater and its surrounding fells were enjoying plenty of sunshine.

The beacon on Thornthwaite Crag is an unmistakable landmark whether you're standing next to it or if you're viewing it from one of the other fells.

Now for the long out and back part of the walk to Gray Crag. This is the Gray Crag with an 'a", not the Grey Crag with an 'e'. I can never remember which one is which, so, I wonder if it counts as being lost if I get here and I think it's the one with an 'e'.

Gray Crag summit.

That's Leslie and Keith making their way up to Stony Cove Pike. I first met them near Lilly Tarn last year, and as we approached Threshthwaite mouth, I was greeted by a "Don't you recognise us", , , , then the penny dropped.

Lunch with a view down to Pasture Bottom.

Stony Cove Pike summit.
While we were here someone reached the summit saying "I thought I recognised you lot". This time it was Simon Howard who we all knew. Simon was parked at Troutbeck Church so he was actually heading back the opposite direction to us. "Never mind we can still walk as far as the Atkinson Monument together", and off we went.

The Arkinson Monument.
Richard's suggestion of giving Simon a lift back over Kirkstone Pass at the end of the walk meant that although we set out as a trio, we could finish the walk as a quartet.

From the Atkinson Monument, we decided to head across to the top of Rough Edge; for the view.
This ridge does take you off the fell and down to the Kirkestone Pass road, but today we were heading across to Hartsop Dodd; the fell with the sunshine to the right of Brothers Water.

Heading down to Hartsop Dodd.

A view back to Caudale Head.

Half a stones throw away from the summit, and this cairn on Hartsop Dodd acts as a good foreground in a picture looking towards Ullswater.

Suddenly the ground disappears and you're treated to this wideopen view down to Hartsop and Ullswater.



What a fantastic day on the fells in an area where once you're up there, it's relatively easy to nip from fell to fell as we did today. Although, anyone who prefers nice round numbers could have walked across to Mardale Ill Bell without using too much extra effort.
It seems a long time since we set off along the path you can see on the left hand side of the picture.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks