Our Top Walks in the Lakes
13th September 2019 by Kathryn
When it comes to walks in the UK, there are few places that can top the quality and quantity offered right here in the Lake District. Located on the North-West coast, the Lakes are surrounded by the Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines and border the Irish Sea.
For years, both British and foreign visitors have been flocking to the Lake District to catch a glimpse of its beauty and walk the famous routes. Here at the Epicentre, our team live and breathe the Lakes and this means we have walked a fair share of the routes. We’ve put together our top walks in the lakes.
Ali- Fairfield Horsehoe
Mine is the Fairfield Horseshoe (or any variation that gets you up Fairfield, there are so many different routes that you never get bored and the views are fantastic and far reaching). Starting at Rydal, you walk up Nab Scar (where you can look down over Rydal Water), over Heron Pike and onto Great Rigg before getting to the summit of Fairfield for a bit of lunch. Then you tootle onto Hart Crag and Dove Crag (where you get lovely views over to the Eastern fells) before going down over High Pike and Low Pike to end up back in Ambleside for a cup of tea and piece of cake! The first two photos are from the summit and the third is en route up Great Rigg in an inversion.
Paddy- Hartsop Horseshoe
Paddy’s is what he calls the Hartsop Horseshoe – though this is a completely fictional name! There are variations that can make it longer or shorter but his favourite is starting at Hartsop, going up Hartsop Dodd (a steep pull but with lovely views over Brothers Water) to Stony Cove Pike, then a down and up to Thornthwaite Crag for lunch with brilliant, all round views before going on to High Street and The Knott and back to Hartsop. The last three are High Street, the view from Thornthwaite Crag and the valley near Hartsop.
Chris- Great Gable and Kirk Fell from Wasdale Head
Start and finish in Lakelands most dramatic and awe inspiring valley.
Visit the historically significant Great Napes, famed for the Napes Needle – the birthplace of British Rock Climbing.
See the famous Wasdale landscape from Westmorland Cairn.
Climb two hills of contrasting character.
Starting from Wasdale Head, take the bridleway under the extensive southern flanks of Gable towards Sty Head, heading straight up towards Kern Knotts from just before you reach the pass. From here join the ‘Climbers Traverse’, at first a little hard to follow as you navigate under Kern Knotts, before becoming more defined on your way towards ‘Great Hell Gate’ and the fantastic ‘Tophet Wall’.
From here you essentially have two choices – firstly you can take the higher route directly under the Great Napes, ascending Needle Gully to the ‘Dress Circle’ for that famous view of Napes Needle itself. After a bit more scrambling you’ll eventually come across Sphinx Rock (or Cat Rock depending on what angle you’re looking at it from), then from here it’s best to head up Sphinx Ridge for ongoing atmosphere and exposure before finally topping out on the grassy crest of the Napes.
The second choice is a lower alternative, but just as worthwhile if you’re not competent at scrambling. The path continues across Needle Gully, parallel to the higher route and with the same fantastic views down Wasdale. Keep an eye out for the smaller scree chute of ‘Little Hell Gate’ and ascend this to the same point at the top of the Napes. (Some may prefer to continue on the good path to Beck Head and ascent Gable from the NW).
Soak up the atmosphere and reminisce about where you’ve just been.
Once satisfied, climb the final slopes around Westmorland Crag to the summit of Great Gable, taking in the fabulous viewpoint of Westmorland Cairn on the way.
Descend to the NW to the extremely pleasant Beck Head, before a steep pull up the eastern flank of Kirk Fell. Completely different in character to the neighbouring Great Gable, Kirk Fell in my opinion is Wasdale’s most underrated fell. It gives the sense of a large elevated plateau – for that it is – with unusual views of Gable and an even steeper descent route!
Head straight down the nose back down to Wasdale Head – not one for wobbly knees. Alternatively, if you would like to extend the walk head NW to Black Sail Pass and head down the bridleway back into Mosedale.