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Guidebook for Walks

Best Walks in the Lake District:

By Frank Duerden.

Maps For High Style

Outdoor Leisure 4.
Landranger 89.

Maps For Kentmere

Outdoor Leisure 5 & 7.
Landranger 90.



When doing any of these walks it is essential that you carry a Compass and the appropriate map and know how to use them.


Site Map

The Red Pike Ridge.

Photo of Red Pike and Crummock Water

Should you decide to do this wonderful trek along the Red Pike ridge, weather permitting you will be sure to get magnificent views of the Buttermere valley.  It is quite a tough climb up to Red Pike, but well worth the effort.  The walk can be cut short to return along the south shore of Buttermere or continue over Haystacks to complete the full walk.  This is my favourite walk in the Lake District. Enjoy!
The walk starts from the lovely village of Buttermere, where you soon start the steep climb up past Bleaberry tarn to Red Pike.  Stop a while here and take in the wonderful views of Crummock Water and Buttermere.  This is a lovely spot to have lunch, but be careful not to get too settled as there is a long way to go yet.  From Red Pike we start some great ridge walking with Buttermere, Honister Pass and Fleetwith Pike to your left and The Ennerdale Valley and Pillar Mountain to your right.  Further along the ridge is the summit of High Style, the highest point of the day.  From here you get views of many of the big summits including Green and Great Gable, Kirk Fell, Pillar Mountain, Grassmoor, Robinson and Dalehead.  The next summit is High Crag followed by a steep descent before climbing over the small summit of Seat.  From here we drop into Scarth Gap.  Those of you that have had enough can drop down ScarthGap Pass and make your way back along the shores of Buttermere.  Those with energy to spare can continue up to the top of Haystacks, Alfred Wainwrights favourite mountain (his ashes are at Inominate Tarn).  The route then continues past Innominate Tarn and Blackbeck Tarn, before descending along a lovely path on the lower slopes of Fleetwith Pike to Gatesgarth farm.  Now its just a matter of following the northern shores of the Lake back to Buttermere Village.   "If you've got the energy how about going round again"

Guide map for walk (not to scale)

The Kentmere Horseshoe.

Kentmere Horseshoe PhotoThis is a Lakeland Classic it is also high on the list of my favourite walks.  Anyone considering doing this one must be reasonably fit as it is quite a long walk with a considerable amount of ascent.
The Kentmere Horseshoe is a great ridge walk of 12 miles in length and 3,650ft (1,100m) of ascent.  It follows the upper valley of the River Kent in the shape of an horseshoe, and on a clear day gives some magnificent views.  It is better done in summer when the weather is fine and the days are long, so that you can take it at your own pace.  I will not try to give route directions as this is best left to the many excellent guidebooks available. The route in general follows in a horseshoe shape over the summits of Yoke, I'll Bell and Frostwick.  Before reaching the highest summit of the day, High Street a visit to Thornthwaite Beacon is recommended (it is also an ideal spot for lunch).  The return is over Mardale I'll Bell and then across Nan Bield Pass to the summit of Harter Fell with its Cairn built from fencing relics.  From Harter Fell it is mostly down hill with just the small summits of Shipmans Knotts and Kentmere Pike to climb, returning finally to the lovely little village of Kentmere.  The summits give great views of many of the big fells and lakes including Windermere, Coniston and the Langdales.  This walk is a really good day out on the fells, but care should be taken as it is quite a hard route and should not be underestimated.    Have a great day!!

Guide map for walk (not to scale)