22nd December 2011

Helm Crag and Grasmere


Walk Overview
Time 10.00 to 12.30
Duration 2 hr 30 min
Distance 5.5 mile
Ascent 1200 ft
Walking with On my own
A591 - Butharlyp Howe - Easedale Road - White Crag - Helm Crag - Bracken Hause - Green Burn - Ghyll Foot - Underhelm - Easedale Road - Grasmere - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map

Yes, that looks like a good option for today's walk. I had intended to have a walk up to Easedale Tarn this morning, but the rain didn't look like it was going to turn up and the cloud seemed to be lifting. So, while still setting off from the same place, I headed for Helm Crag instead.

Walking through the woods on Butharlyp Howe.

I wonder if anyone has explained this to the Deer.

Almost at the end of Easedale Road.
Tarn Crag is the high point and you can just see Sourmilk Gill waterfalls above the trees.

Shortly after passing the house in the previous picture, the route turns right onto this lonning. I'm never sure is anyone lives in this or if it's some sort of holiday accommodation.

Looking down to Brimmer Head Farm and Blindtarn Cottage.

The warm temperatures are causing the higher fells to quickly loose their covering of snow. In fact, I'd only walked about a hundred yards from the car today when I decided I didn't need to carry a jacket with me after all. I still took the waterproof (just in case), but the 'keeping you warm' jacket wasn't needed. Last night's weather forecast said something along the lines that the current night time temperatures are at the high end of what you could normally expect during the day at this time of year. They were right !

A view back. The dark fell on the right is Loughrigg.

Far Easedale.

Grasmere village and lake seen from the flattish bit found about half way up Helm Crag.

A close up of Easedale Tarn.

The lion and the lamb.

Rocks, stones and boulders scattered about the summit of Helm Crag.

This is the Howitzer; the highest point on the fell. Behind is Steel Fell and to the right of that you can see the road going over Dunmail Raise.

If you're a member of the zigzag appreciation society you'd love it on here. These aren't the curlywurly type, these are proper sharp angled zigzags where you almost turn back on yourself to move from one to another. I have to admit it's now much easier to get down here than it used to be. The old straight up and down steep grassy slope was somewhere I used to avoid unless it was absolutely dry under foot.

A zig and a zag in front of Steel Fell.

Bridge over Green Burn.

And from the bridge, a photo looking up stream.

As soon as you leave the fellside you pass this cottage (I forget its name). The fell in the background is Seat Sandal.

Ghyll Foot Farm.

Steel Fell seen from the road along the bottom of Helm Crag.

Just past Underhelm Farm you get this view across to Seat Sandal, Fairfield / Great Rigg topped with cloud and Stone Arthur.

Incidentally, Underhelm has to be one of the untidiest and scruffiest looking farms in the Lake District. Plastic silage bags, old equipment and rubbish all over the place. Never mind the fact that they're in one of the most beautiful places in the country and they should show a bit more care for the place. When you consider they're in the middle of a National Park, I find it hard to believe they haven't been made to tidy the place up by the authorities.

What a great little walk that was. Better than forecast, warmer than I'd expect, the fell itself was deserted and to top it all, on the way back to the car I found a £10 note, , , , what a result.

I must point out that anyone claiming the £10 was theirs will be laughed out of court.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks