29th December 2013

Helm Crag and Grasmere


Walk Overview
Time 11:20am to 1:50pm
Duration 2 hr 30 min
Distance 5.5 mile
Ascent 1200 ft
Walking with On my own
A591 - Grasmere - 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
Parking Spaces, A591 outside Grasmere

When Grasmere is very busy and parking is a problem, this would be a good place to try. It may be outside the village but it's only a 5 minute walk to the village centre. From the south end of the lay-by cross straight over the road and follow the signed footpath to Millennium Bridge and the church.


Route Map


I couldn't be bothered getting up this morning and as a result, I didn't get to Grasmere until well after 11am. Shocking I know, but there you go. The downside was getting parked at this time of day so I ended up in one of the lay-bys on the main road. I spent a few minutes searching through all the rubbish I have filed away in my head and couldn't remember ever starting a walk from this spot. As it turned out it was quite good so I may start using this to start walks more often.
That's me at the bottom of the picture cleverly disguised as a tree.

A sign says you can get to Grasmere via the Millennium Bridge and here it is.

I wonder if they've explained how this works to the Deer.

I took this picture and for a split second wondered why. It was only when I got home and looked at it that I thought it didn't appear quite right. Admittedly it could be my eyes, but it seems to be a picture of a path running down hill when it's actually looking up the path at the bottom of Helm Crag. An optical illusion or my dodgy eyesight? I'll let you decide.

The sunshine was in and out today. Very nice while it was out but still okay when it was in.

A vantage point on this side of the fell offers a view into Far Easedale and across to Sourmilk Gill waterfalls. Easedale Tarn remains out of view for a little while longer.

Once you reach the south ridge on Helm Crag the view opens up to show Seat Sandal, Fairfield and Great Rigg. These remain in view for almost the rest of the walk; except the walk through Grasmere.

Grasmere, lake and village.

I hadn't saw many people on the way up but once I got to the top, the place was packed. Lots of families no doubt taking advantage of a decent day's weather.


The Lion and the Lamb.

It looks like I'm not the only one that walks about on the fells at this time of year wearing a tee-shirt and not bothering about a hat or gloves.
As I was walking away from the top of Helm Crag a couple asked it I knew of a different way back to Grasmere instead of going back the way they'd just came.
"There are two easy options and quite a few longer / harder options"
"What are the easy ones"
"I can show you if you like. They're just down there"

Having done my good deed for the day, here are Bracken Hause I set them off on the path down to Easedale (on the left). I took the right hand path down to Green Burn.

At the top of the zigzags and looking cross to Seat Sandal, Fairfield and Great Rigg.

A close up of Town Head.

Green Burn taken from the bridge.

Turning around for a view into Greenburn.

Another close up of Town Head.

Ghyll Foot farm.

Steel Fell seen from the road near Ghyll Foot Farm.

And again.

Seat Sandal, Fairfield, Great Rigg and Stone Arthur taken from the road near Underhelm, , , , surely one of the scruffiest farms in the Lake District. If you've walked along here you'll know what I'm talking about.


I'm almost back at the car so it's time to put the tree costume back on. The sun has moved around and the shadows are now pointing at Stone Arthur instead of Seat Sandal as they were at the start.
Actually, it's us that moved while the sun stayed in the same place but I'm sure you knew what I meant.

Across the fields, the distinctive shape of Helm Crag can be seen. Pity it wasn't lit up by the sun but at this moment in time I was more than glad it was shining on me.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks