High Tove

Grid Ref NY 289 165
Height 1,689 FT

High Tove and indeed most of this area has a reputation for being the boggiest part of the Lake District, and for once, a reputation which precedes a visit is totally correct. This is a place I enjoy walking so much, yet it's difficult to take advantage of as often as I'd like to. I suppose it's the water that makes the place what it is, yet it's the sheer amount of the stuff that makes me pick and choose when to come here. I don't mind squelching my way across the fells, but for most of the time this is just too wet.

Given that there are many places up here you really do not want to wander into inadvertently, perhaps this is somewhere you should leave until you have a day of guaranteed good visibility with a hard frost or even during drought.

Location maps

Route suggestions

Route suggestion: Watendlath - High Tove
1 mile / approx 800 ft ascent
This route may only be a mile in length and less than 1000 ft of ascent, but once you get above the intake wall, the very nature of the terrain makes it hard going indeed. This is quite contrary to anything you'd expect after consulting the contour lines on the map where the steeper section just above Watendlath would appear to be the most strenuous.
The bottom section of the route would be easy to follow in any conditions. However, should you decide to head onto the upper section of the route when the cloud is down, you'd have a difficult job of finding the path again if you happened to wander away from it.


Route suggestion: Armboth - Fisher Gill - High Tove
1.2 mile / approx 1000 ft ascent
The initial section of the route from the Thirlmere side takes you through a fantastic place where you have an overwhelming feeling of being closed in and almost trapped by Cockrigg Crags on one side and Fisher Gill on the other. There are huge boulders strewn about the place and for a brief time at least, you'd hardly think you were just above a minor road in the English Lake District.

The thrill of your confinement is over all too quickly and you're soon out on the open fellside where in decent conditions the route is hard going but easy enough to follow.


Route suggestion: Dobgill car park - Harrop Tarn - Mosshause Gill - above Blea Tarn - Middle Crag - High Tove
3.1 mile / approx 1300 ft ascent
This is the longest route I've shown for High Tove and undoubtedly the one which gives a greater insight into the area. Along the way you pass two very different Lakeland tarns, thick woodland and finish off by walking almost two miles through the bleakness of the central ridge.

Despite being found in the middle of a wooded area, Harrop Tarn is a beautiful place and on a sunny day surprisingly well lit up. Sadly the tarn is silting up and should you happen upon the tarn at the height of summer, you'll find the place somewhat overgrown and dominated by reeds. This is a total contrast to Blea Tarn, which is about as bleak as you could wish for.

You'll find a very useful fence running along this route from the area above Blea Tarn all the way to High Tove itself. For those new to the area this fence could very well be employed as a navigation aid. And while you never really loose sight of it, do not assume that you'll be able to walk alongside the fence for the duration. The pools, mud and standing water will have you zig-zagging about the place.

Photo gallery

In front of the Helvellyn fells

Looking towards High Seat
The flag marks High Tove summit




Choose a walk that includes this fell
The number of walks to choose from is 8

23rd January 2013
  Taking advantage of the frozen ground - Walla Crag to High Tove 8.9 mile 2300 ft
Ashness Bridge - top of Cat gill - Walla Crag - Bleaberry Fell - High Seat - The Pewits- Eddy Grave Stake - High Tove - Watendlath - Road back to Ashness Bridge

24th March 2012
  Walking the Lakeland Passes - Walk 4 - Puddingstone Bank and High Tove 13.5 mile 2800 ft
Rosthwaite - Puddingstone Bank - Watendlath - High Tove - Armboth - Thirlmere road - Wythburn - Greenup Edge - Stonethwaite - Rosthwaite

29th August 2011
  Borrowdale to Thirlmere - High Tove and Walla Crag 12.7 mile 3000 ft
Borrowdale Road - Ashness Bridge - Surprise View - Watendlath - High Tove - Armboth - Thirlmere - Shoulthwaite Farm - Rough How Bridge - Shaw Bank - Dale Bottom - Nest Brow - Castlerigg - Rake Foot - Walla Crag - Cat Gill - Derwent Water

17th April 2010
  High Tove, Blea Tarn and Armboth Fell 8.4 mile 1910 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - High Tove - Middle Crag - Shivery Knott - Blea Tarn - Bell Crags - Armboth Fell - Armboth - Thirlmere Dam

30th November 2008
  It's so much easier when the ground is frozen - Ullscarf to High Tove 10.9 mile 2800 ft
Rosthwaite - Nr Stonethwaite - Lining Crag - Greenup Edge - Greenup Edge Tarns - Ullscarf - Standing Crag - Bell Crags - Armboth Fell - High Tove - Watendlath - Puddingstone Bank - Rosthwaite

29th April 2006
  Keswick to Grasmere along the Cenral ridge. 17 mile 4100 ft
Keswick - Rakefoot - Walla Crag - Bleaberry Fell - High Seat - The Pewits - High Tove - Armboth Fell - Bell Crags - Ullscarf - Greenup Edge - High Raise - Sergeant Man - Blea Rigg - Lang How - Silver How - Grasmere

17th July 2005
  Out of food, out of water and out of energy - A section of the central ridge and Thirlmere shore path. 10.35 mile 2549 ft
Dob Gill - Harrop Tarn - Bell Crags - Armboth Fell - High Tove - High Seat - Raven Crag - Thirlmere - Dob Gill

26th June 2004
  Water, water everywhere on the Central ridge. 7.6 mile 2264 ft
Ashness Bridge - Walla Crag - Bleaberry Fell - High Seat- High Tove - Watendlath - Ashness Bridge

David Hall -
Lake District Walks