8th June 2013

Hartsop Dodd to High Hartsop Dodd


Walk Overview
Time 5.50am to 12.30pm
Duration 6 hr 40 min
Distance 9.5 mile
Ascent 4000 ft
Walking with On my own
Hartsop - Hartsop Dodd - Stony Cove Pike - St Raven's Edge - Kirkstone Pass Inn - Red Screes - Smallthwaite Band - Middle Dodd - Scandale Pass - Little Hart Crag - High Hartsop Dodd - Hartsop Hall - Brothers Water - Cow Bridge - 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 is Hartsop Dodd seen from the bridge just above the village. Dawn had only recently cracked, except for the birds there wasn't a sound to be heard, there wasn't a breath of wind, it was quite warm, the sun was out and I had the whole place to myself. Okay, I'm sorry if I'm painting a pretty dismal picture of things but you can hardly blame me because it was a crap morning. Anyway, there's no point in moaning about things so as seen as though I'm here I might as well make the most of the rubbish conditions and go for a walk.

Depending on where you set off from, the downside to early morning starts is that the valley often remains in shade for a while. It didn't take me long to get into the sunshine this morning, although if I'd been heading up the opposite side of Hartsop I might have thought twice about having such an early start.

Looking down to Brothers Water. It was still only 5 past 6 and it was getting really warm already.

The steepness of this route means you gain lots of height without actually walking very far. I can't decide if I prefer a long steady walk up a fell or an in your face steep climb like this one. They both have their good and bad points; the main one being that long and steady is obviously easier than these routes. On the other hand, at least these straight up the front routes 'get you up there' in the shortest distance, which for me always seems an advantage if I'm doing an out of the ordinary walk taking in a few different fells you may not normally include on the same walk..

"That looks steep"
"It is, but if you've never been up this way, you should be aware that this is actually the easy bit"


Far Eastern silhouettes.

Hartsop Dodd summit in front of Stony Cove Pike (Caudale Moor).
It's a fairly easy job getting from here to there. A short down hill and then a longer, gentle up hill walk to the top.

A view across to Red Screes. I'll be on top of it in 2 Hr 40 min, , , , not that the time matters, I just thought I'd check the times on the photos.

Miniature reflections.

A view back down The Great Wall of Hartsop. Admittedly it doesn't compare to the Great Wall of China or the one that Hadrian fella built, but it's still worth a mention.

Stony Cove Pike summit in front of Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke.

Another wall to follow and this time it takes me all the way down to St Raven's Edge and the point where I head down to the top of Kirkstone Pass.

Long distance views were very hazy today as this picture shows.

A short de-tour from the path and you see the Atkinson monument, seen here in front of Red Screes.


As I walked down here, the last thing I expected was for someone to shout "good morning" from the opposite side of the wall. "Blimey, you must have been out and about as early as I was this morning"
My excuse was that I just like getting up early and theirs was to get up onto the tops before the day got too hot.


Looking back up to Caudale Moor.

Looking down to the Kirkstone Pass Inn.

Red Screes. Needless to say I slowed down to a steady plod on the walk up there.

A view over the top section of Kirkstone Pass shows Place Fell and Brothers Water. Towards the end of the walk I'll be walking past the far end of Brothers Water.

Power generation
Sorry, there should have been a question mark after that.

A close up of The Struggle on Kirkstone Pass.

After a sit down for 5 minutes and a bite to eat, the steepest climb of the walk began.

A long distance view down to Wansfell Pike.


And here I am at the top of Red Screes.

The top.

The next fell today is Middle Dodd; not far from here at all and as an added bonus it's almost all down hill.

Heading to Middle Dodd.

Red Screes taken on thr return journey back to the corner of the wall over there. That's where I stopped walking up the fell and started to walk across it instead.

From Middle Dodd I set off to across the side of Red Screes with the intention of joining up with the path down to Scandale Pass. I didn't get far at all when I thought what the heck and took the straight line off path option instead.

Little Hart Crag.

At the top of Scandale Pass.
Over the stile and down hill takes you to Scandale and Ambleside, whereas following the narrow path on the right of the picture would take you through Caiston Glen to Brothers Water. Had the todays weather deteriorated into blizzard conditions I'd probably have taken the Caiston Glen route instead of continuing up to Little Hart Crag.

Little Hart Crag summit.

A close up of Scandale Tarn.

Following the ridge to High Hartsop Dodd. I wonder why this one is called High Hartsop Dodd when it's actually lower than Hartsop Dodd.

A view back up to Little Hart Crag.


It may be a very steep descent and it certainly tests your legs, but when you have a view like this the whole way down, the effort doesn't seem to matter.

Notice the purple (blue) area down there.

Blue Bells and lots of them.





As I passed the guy up there he said "you must have been out early"
"yes, I set off walking just before 6 o'clock" and then I added "the blue bells are lovely aren't they"
"Blue bells, , , , " he looked around for a moment ", , , , yes very nice"
1 out of 10 for observation !!!


Perhaps there aren't as many blue bells here as there are at Rannerdale, but I reckon the setting more than makes up for this and because there are so many flowers so high up the fellside, these ones are equally as good, if not better. Well worth a visit, although you don't need to walk as far as I did to get here.

Twisted tree in front of Brothers Water.

I'm off the fell now and beginning the walk back to Hartsop. Just after passing the old farm building I saw a group of about 20 people standing next to the settlement (as marked on the map). One of the party was obviously explaining all about the place but wasn't talking loud enough for me to hear. That could be interesting I thought to myself and yes, I did think about pretending to be part of the group but I'm not that hard faced (as we say up here).

Because I couldn't hear a word of what the bloke was saying, all I can tell you is that one of these rocks is much bigger than the rest.

Brothers Water in front of Angletarn Pike and Brock Crags.

and again, this time looking a little to the right and including Rest Dodd and The Knott.

After leaving Brothers Water I didn't have too far left to walk before reaching Hartsop and the car. It wasn't half warm though, and the temperature was still rising. This last section was by far the warmest of the whole walk. This shady wood lined footpath took me to Cow Bridge , after which I was back out in the open and able to enjoy the hot sunshine.


Leaning on a gate, I take this picture looking through the valley in the direction of Patterdale.

And here I am back at Hartsop after a brilliant day on the fells. Actually, it was just the morning but given that I set off just before night finished and got back just into the afternoon, I suppose you can call it a day on the fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks