1st October 2016

Raven Crag and Great How

Time 8:30 to 11:40am
Duration 3 hr 10 min
Distance 6.7 mile
Ascent 2000 ft would be quite close
Walking with On my own
A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag - Forestry tracks back to Thirlmere road - Thirlmere Dam - Great How - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Roadside parking, Bridge End Farm junction with A591
With room for only about a dozen or so cars this spot tends to fill up rather quickly. If you do manage to get parked this is a really handy place to begin a walk onto the southern ridge of High Rigg or even Thirlmere which is only a shot walk down the road opposite the parking spaces.
Route Map


I sometimes think it would be great if the sun was shining every time I went walking. And I suppose in many ways it would, but, if that were the case I'd miss days like this one with its soft autumn mists drifting across the fellside. I'd miss the small of the woodland after it's been raining. I'd miss the huge banks of cloud that rise up from what seems like nowhere to block out the view; only to disappear again within minutes as if they'd had never been there in the first place. I'd even miss the shock you get when a cold drop of water falls from the trees and lands on the back of my neck.
I always feel that woodlands comes alive on these damp autumn days when everything seems to be dripping wet. This is why I chose this particular route today.


Zooming in a little bit on Raven Crag.

Raven Crag reflections.



After dragging myself away from the reflections on Thirlmere I begin the walk up through the woods.

Cloud on top of Great How.


Hands up if you can remember what this used to look like.

New (ish) steps now take you to the top of Raven Crag. They make both the up and the down journey much easier than before. There's no slipping about on the tree roots and there isn't a muddy puddle in sight. Someone has even gone to all the trouble of nailing strips of roofing felt onto the wooden bits of the steps.
Hang on, did you say roofing felt? - - - isn't that the stuff that's brilliant at keeping water out if it's left alone, and its only downside is that it's quite brittle and doesn't last any time at all if it's bent over sharp object and then walked on.
Yep, that's the stuff I'm talking about, , , , ,

Here at the top, I'm greeted by this new platform. Great if it's really windy and you don't fancy getting blown over the edge but there wasn't a breath of wind today so I walked around the side of it and down to the 'usual' viewpoint.

And here's the view from t'other side of the platform. I was only here for about ten minutes but during that time I was treated to a nice display of cloud drama.






That was the second time I've had to drag myself away from somewhere today but needs must so I carried on with the walk. Here I follow the forest track down towards Shoulthwaite Gill, around the northern base of the fell and back to the road near Smaithwaite.

High Rigg seen on the opposite side of Shoulthwaite Moss. In the distance is Lonscale Fell and the Skiddaw Fells.


Back at the dam and once safely across to the other side, I follow a narrow path through the trees over there; eventually ending up on top of Great How. Pity the detailed reflections have gone but then again they almost always do once the day get's going.

The view from the top of Great How towards High Rigg, the Skiddaw fells and Blencathra.

and now looking across to The Dodds.

Before heading down I have something to eat with a view down to Thirlmere.

And to finish, here's a picture of Raven Crag, taken on the route down from Great How.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks