18th May 2011

An evening walk up to Styhead and back


Walk Overview
Time 18.00 to 20.30
Duration 2 hr 30 min
Distance 4.9 mile
Ascent 1500 ft
Walking with Mark Willis
Wasdale Head - Burnthwaite - Styhead Pass - Sty Head - and back
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Wasdale Head

Wasdale can boast possession of the highest mountain, the deepest lake and the smallest church. What I'd like to do is add the busiest car park onto this list. During the summer months this is an incredibly popular place, particularly in June when the three peak walkers are out in force.

Unbelievable I know, but parking is actually free. This tiny hamlet also has a hotel / pub, a shop, a camp site and all the facilities you expect to find with it.


Route Map

The weather was up to its usual tricks this evening, and because of it, our plans were disrupted to some extent. We had intended to walk up Middle Fell until we drove into the valley and realised some of the lower fells in Wasdale were under cloud, the highest of them were clear, and as for those in between, it was just pot luck. Because of this we opted for a walk up Styhead Pass.

After what I'm sure will have been another busy day at Wasdale Head, we arrived to find the place nice and peaceful; not quite deserted mind you, but not far off.


I wish I was that steady on my feet.

A view back along the track towards Wast Water and Illgill Head.

Dramatic crags and clouds.

This is the footbridge over Gable Beck, found just above the point where it joins Lingmell Beck. With the amount of rain we've had lately, both becks were quite full.

Looking back down to Wasdale Head.

Given the amount of cloud, I suppose a dry walk would be a bit much to expect, and here comes the rain. It didn't last long, but it didn't half shuck it down for about ten minutes.

A familiar landmark up here is the mountain rescue stretcher box, seen here in front of Lingmell.

The lateness of the hour meant that we had Sty Head to ourselves this evening. Although I'm sure the place had had a steady flow of people passing through earlier in the day.

The Band and Great End.

Time to head back down now, and thankfully the rain had stopped.

The rain had gone, the cloud was lifting and the short range views were much clearer than they had been. Unfortunately it was to late to hang around or extend the walk.


A final look back to Great Gable and Styhead Pass.

Inside St Olaf's church at Wasdale Head.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks