16th June 2013

Arnison Crag, Birks and St Sunday Crag


Walk Overview
Time 10.10am to 3.15pm
Duration 5 hr 5 min
Distance 6.1 mile
Ascent 2500 t
Walking with Jennifer
Patterdale - Arnison Crag - Trough Head - Birks - Gavel Pike - The Cape - St Sunday Crag - Thornhow End - Patterdale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, opposite Patterdale Hotel

I think I'm correct in saying that the hotel actually owns the car park, so needless to say there is a charge. Thankfully this is a daily charge and if I'm honest it is well worth the cost when you consider the fantastic selection of walk that can be undertaken from this spot.

It does tend to fill up rather quickly though, and not only during the summer months.


Route Map

Place Fell taken from the path that runs from Patterdale to Grisedale. We're not going as far as Grisedale today. Instead, we turn off and head up Arnison Crag.

Ullswater seen from the steep path up the side of Oxford Crag.

A little higher up and you see across to Birkhouse Moor, the top of Catstye Cam, Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd.

A close up of Ullswater.

Arnison Crag summit.

Looking across to Hartsop and the surrounding fells. High Street and Thornthwaite Crag are both under cloud for the time being. On the left you have Brock Crags, in the centre is Gray Crag and on the right hand side are Hartsop Dodd and Caudale Moor.

Arnison Crag in front of Place Fell.

Heading towards Trough Head. The wall you can see running up the side of the fell is the one we followed to Birks.

Ullswater, Gowbarrow and Great Mell Fell, seen from the aptly named Trough Head. This is a good spot to take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the steep climb ahead.

Once you get well out of the trough, the view opens up once more and you're treated to views across to Place Fell, Angletarn Pikes and beyond.

Birks summit in front of St Sunday Crag,

"Which way round do you want to go"
"Across the side to Gavel Pike and then back down the steep bit"

A view back down to Birks.


This seemed as good a spot as any, so we parked ourselves for a while and had something to eat before we got higher up and into the cool breeze. The sun even came out for us.

A look back down to Gavel Pike. The white patch just left of centre is Angle Tarn.

We're at the top now and looking across towards Fairfield (left) Seat Sandal (ahead) and Dollywaggon Pike (right).

St Sunday Crag summit.

It's time to head down hill now.

This is the steep bit we opted to to walk down instead of up; as discussed earlier.

A view down to Grisedale and Ullswater.

Because this section of the route skirts around the edge of Birks, height is lost very slowly and as a result, you feel like you;ve walked much further than you actually have.

Looking back up to St Sunday Crag.

A close up of Braesteads Farm.

Arnison Crag, seen from what was probably a great display of blue bells until the bracken started to take over.

A close up of, , , , erm, I think it's called Grassthwaite Howe.


and finally, a look back across to Birks.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks