11th November 2012

Grisedale Tarn and Seat Sandal


Walk Overview
Time 09.35 to 14.00
Duration 4 hr 25 min
Distance 5.3 mile
Ascent 2100 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Mill Bridge - Tongue Gill - Little Tongue Gill - Little Tongue - Hause Moss - Grisedale Hause - Grisedale Tarn - Seat Sandal - South Ridge - Mill Bridge - 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

On the drive from home, we'd more or less decided to walk up Helvellyn today. Once it came into view and we saw just how low down the cloud was, we quickly changed our minds and decided to drive over to t'other side a Dunmail Raise instead. It turned out to be a good move as there was a nice cloud inversion over Grasmere and Rydal.

"Okay, now that we're here where do you fancy walking"
"What about Seat Sandal, you haven't been up there for a few years"

Just along the road from the car I took this picture of Helm Crag.

and another one, this time taken from the track above Mill Bridge.

That's Seat Sandal up there and the darker fell high up on the right is Fairfield.

A view across to Steel Fell and an area of cloud, slowly but surely working its way up Dunmail Raise.

Taking a photo of a cloud inversion while looking into the sun may not be the best thing to do, but it does show the extent of the cloud over Grasmere. Obviously the human eye is better than the camera lens because it was crystal clear standing here in real life. Had I been standing on the top of Loughrigg or Silver How, you might have been more impressed with the pictures.

You can see the route we took going up the middle of Little Tongue. Shortly after passing the top of the bracken, the path goes off to the right.

A view back down shows the cloud beginning to break up in the valley.

Higher up the fellside now and passing by the aptly named Hause Moss. If you look carefully you can make out some other walkers ahead of us on the path below the skyline.

At Grisedale Hause now and the sunshine was lovely on Dollywaggon Pike and across the tarn. Once we reached here we were no longer sheltered and the breeze was quite cool as we walked past the tarn. It's that time of year when you end up carrying your gear for half of the walk and wearing it for the other half.

St Sunday Crag and Fairfield, both seen from Grisdale Hause.

Rather than head straight up to Seat Sandal from Grisdale Hause we (actually it was Jennifer and I just did as I was told) decided to walk above the tarn and then, , , , , , , ,

head up the grassy northern side of the fell.


Not far from the top now and as the gradient begins to decrease the views begin to increase.

A close up of Ullswater, part of Grisedale and in the distance is Penrith.

A look back to Seat Sandal summit. Behind, with a dot of snow left over from last weekend is Fairfield.

Lunch with a view of Grasmere.

On the opposite side of Dunmail Raise is Steel Fell.

A close up of the top section of Dunmail Raise.
The building you can see is actually for sale. Ideal if you like living next to a main road, don't like the neighbours to be too close and aren't bothered about your broadband speed.

A short distance view looking back up Seat Sandal.

And now a longer distance view back up.

A Seat Sandal view of Town Head.

Steel Fell.

Not far to go now and much to Jennifer's discomfort and to my surprise, Jennifer was hobbling along because of a blister on her toe. We've no idea why it would happen on a short walk like this, but it just shows you that even regular walkers aren't immune to the occasional blister or two. We were going to walk into Grasmere and then back below Helm Crag but that idea was scrapped for obvious reasons.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks