19th March 2016

A High Street fell wander from Hartsop

Time 9am to 1:20pm
Duration 4 hr 20 min
Distance 8.5 mile
Ascent 3200 ft or there abouts
Walking with On my own
Hartsop - Hayeswater Gill - The Knott - Straights of Riggindale - High Street - Mardale Ill Bell - Above upper Kentmere - Thornthwaite Crag - Threshthwaite Mouth - Stony Cove Pike - Hartsop Dodd - 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.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


The plan today was simply to walk High Street from Hartsop and the rest would be decided as I went along. The route I ended up doing wasn't anything particularly out of the ordinary but, it was made up as I walked around so that made it feel that little bit special.

The old empty barn, , , , , OK, it isn't actually empty but it's definitely old.

Blimey, I can only assume they've been clearing up the flood damage.

Hayeswater with High Street up on the left and Gray Crag on the right hand side.


The Knott summit in front of Rampsgill Head and a misty looking High Raise.

From The Knott I look across to High Street and see the cloud slowly dropping across the summit area.

And as quickly as it came, the cloud has gone again.

On my left hand side I catch a glimpse of Haweswater at the far end of Riggindale.

Looking backwards across the Straights of Riggindale. Cloud is still on High Raise but Rampsgill Head and Kidsty Pike are both clear now.

Not far from High Street summit now.

High Street summit. When I left here I was intending to go straight to Thornthwaite Crag. But,

, , once I got this far I had a sudden change of mind and cut across to Mardale Ill Bell instead.

Heading down to Mardale Ill Bell.

Ah, , , it looks like the road to Mardale Head is open again.

Mardale Ill Bell summit in front of Harter Fell - not the Eskdale one.

Another spur of the moment decision was made and I choose to follow the narrow path around the head of Upper Kentmere as a means of getting from here to Thornthwaite Crag. A great little route that I'd recommend as an alternative to the more popular paths / tracks.

Here are just two reasons why this is a good route.
The first is this view into Hall Cove (no relation to me) and the view of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick

The second reason is this view looking down the steep route you can take in or out of Hall Cove.

I'm back on the normal track now and here I stop to gaze down to Hayeswater. I consider just how much water must have been running into the tarn at the start of December to cause so much damage further downstream.

Thornthwaite Crag - Beacon. It's decision time again and I'm torn between Gray Crag and Stony Cove Pike. Gray Crag would have been the easier / quicker option but I talked myself into slightly more strenuous Stony Cove Pike & Hartsop Dodd route instead.
This is route planning using the off the cuff method.

Looking across to Stony Cove Pike. Red Screes is on the left.

Once I'd found some firmer ground to stand still on, I take this picture of Gray Crag and, , , , , wait for it, , , , , Pasture Bottom (giggle - giggle; oo, er, missus).

At Stony Cove Pike summit I look across to Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke.

I also look across to Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Kidsty Pike, Rampsgill Head, The Knott and of course Gray Crag.

If the cloud was down and assuming you leave the summit cairn in the correct direction, after only a couple of minutes you reach the wall which you can follow all the way to Hartsop Dodd. Despite the clear conditions today, I still left the cairn in the correct direction, I still reached the wall in a couple of minutes and I still followed it all the way down to Hartsop Dodd. Very pleasant ridge walking indeed.

And almost half way along the ridge.

Here's a view back up to Caudale Moor / Caudale Head.

Well folks, if you have a passion for walking beside walls then I'm sorry to say this one ends abruptly at this spot. If you want to sit on something the only option is the ground, if you want to sit behind something you're out of luck and if you want a pee, there's nothing hide behind if it's busy.

Here's a close up of Hartsop.

A little bit further on from the previous picture and on t'other side of the ridge you get this view down to Brothers Water.


Well, I really enjoyed that. I'd wanted to walk on High Street for a while but for no particular reason I always ended up somewhere else instead. It's always good to reacquaint yourself with places you haven't been for a while.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks