17th April 2017

Visiting Fairfield, a mini walking project - Walk No 4 - From Grasmere via Tongue Gill and Grisedale Hause

Time 7:15am to 1:15pm
Duration 6 hr
Distance 6.2 mile
Ascent 2700 ft or there abouts
Walking with Jennifer
Grasmere (just ourside) - Tongue Gill - Grisedale Hause - Fairfield - Great Rigg - Stone Arthur - Grasmere
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


Today, we're setting out for a walk up Fairfield via the Tongue Gill route and, because of the forecast for showers later on, we decided to have an early start (7:15). That's no hardship because we're always up early anyway. Setting off at this time also has the bonus of allowing you to visit while you can still have the place to yourself. Ours was the only car in the lay by when we left and even the main road was deserted. With it being a bank holiday I was correct in assuming when we returned the place would be packed.

Silver How seen from the bottom section of the Tongue Gill route.

A view across to Steel Fell from this angle makes it look much less steep than it actually is.

On route up the side of Tongue Gill. Way up ahead of us is Fairfield; currently topped with cloud.


Looking back down the route we'd followed up from the valley. A couple of landslides can be seen on the right hand side of the beck and in the far distance the Coniston fells are topped with cloud.

Grisedale Hause is reached and here we look over Grisedale Tarn to Dollywaggon Pike.

And after a couple of minutes sit down we begin the walk up to Fairfield.

Seat Sandal seen from the side of Fairfield. You can see the path we'd just followed on the left hand side of the picture.

Grisedale Tarn and Dollywaggon Pike.

Looking down to Grisedale and across to St Sunday Crag.

Looking to the far eastern fells from the top of Fairfield.

Jennifer sits in the shelter on Fairfield feeling very pleased with herself today. For quite some time she's had really bad feet and achilles so walks like this have been avoided in favour of less demanding terrain / steepness. Lots of stops on the way up and a nice gentle pace on the way down certainly helped make it more comfortable.

Follow the left hand line of cairns to get to Hart Crag - follow the right hand line of cairns for Great Rigg.

We leave Fairfield with views down the western arm of the 'horseshoe' and, long distance views over Windermere, Esthwaite Water and Coniston.


Looking across to Seat Sandal, the path we were on earlier, Grisedale Tarn, Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn.

I'm not sure where all the Fairfield Horseshoers are at this time of day on a bank holiday.

A Great Rigg view of Ambleside and Windermere.

Shortly after leaving Great Rigg we turn right onto the path down to Stone Arthur. Easy walking along here with great views all the way.

A close up of Alcock Tarn.

Stone Arthur is a brilliant fell to walk across. Covered on lumps, bumps, rocky outcrops and a winding path that finds it's way through everything and, the view down to Grasmere to top it off nicely.

zooming in a little on Helm Crag.

ah, it looks like our 3 minutes of sunshine is on the way across from Grasmere.

The final section on the fell takes you down this twisting pitched path.

And to finish, we make our way back to the car with a view over to Silver How and Blea Rigg.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks