4th June 2016

The Greenburn skyline - Helm Crag to Steel Fell

Time 9am to 1:40pm
Duration 4 hr 40 min
Distance 7.5 mile
Ascent Somewhere close to 2300 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
A591 - Low Mill Bridge - Helmside - Helm Crag - Gibson Knott - Calf Crag - Steel Fell Tarn - Steel Fell - Cotra Breast - Helmside - Low 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


A cloud topped Seat Sandal seen from the road on route to Ghyll Foot & Helmside.

Ghyll Foot Farm.

Steel Fell seen from zigzag path on Helm Crag.

After a very hot and humid walk up we arrive at the top of Helm Crag. The two prominent rocks in the centre of the photo are the famous Lion & Lamb - - best seen from Dunmail Raise because from here, they just look like two big rocks. As you can see the conditions were very hazy this morning and if you add that to the cloudy skies, photos of long distance views just don't do the place any favours.

This big rock is the Howitzer, the highest point on Helm Crag. Rod climbed to the top while I stood here and watched.

Looking ahead we see Gibson Knott being lit up by the sunshine. Unfortunately we remained in the shade until much later in the walk.

Looking back to Helm Crag from the strangely named Bracken Hause. Not sure where they got that name from.

Gibson Knott summit.


Lunch with a view of Steel Fell Tarn.

Part of Thirlmere comes into view as we approach the top of Steel Fell.

Steel Fell summit with Helm Crag seen behind, and, Loughrigg Fell behind that.

It was definitely starting to brighten up but sadly for anyone on the Helvellyn fells, the cloud didn't seem to be budging at all.

Looking back up Steel Fell.

And here's a view down the bottom section of the ridge. That's Helm Crag in front of us.

Our arrival at the bottom of Steel Fell coincided with the arrival of the sunshine. Pity it ever arrived when we set off.


And to finish, a view looking back along the road to Steel Fell.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks