27th July 2008

What a scorcher for a walk from Causey Pike to Barrow


Walk Overview
Time 9.00 to 14.30
Duration 5 hr 30 min
Distance 7.1 mile
Ascent 2550 ft
Walking with On my own
Uzzicar - Stoneycroft Gill - High Moss - Causey Pike - Scar Crags - High Moss - Outerside - Low Moss - Barrow Door - Barrow - above Braithwaite Lodge - Newlands Valley Road - Uzzicar
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Newlands Valley

Newlands is my favourite of all the Lakeland valleys and this car park offers easy access to the very heart of the place. For those with a preference for higher places, Causey Pike and Barrow are both within easy reach of the car park.

Parking is free.


Route Map

Newlands Valley; with no view of Cat Bells.

The morning had looked far from promising when we'd set out, but I was already starting to realise that this was about to change, and if we had set off a couple of hours earlier we would have experienced some great cloud inversions. Never mind. We may have missed the best of the cloud inversions, but it still turned into the best summers day I've had all year (so far ??).

Fragile nature.
We had no plans at all when we left home today, we hadn't even thought about whether to turn north or south. Initially we ended up heading out with the thought of walking somewhere from Glenridding. I've no idea why, but as we approached Keswick, I had a quick change of mind and suggested we do a walk which includes Barrow.

The distinctive shape of Causet Pike's summit coming into view as the cloud was starting to clear and the sunshine was beginning to break through.


Just a hint of what we'd have seen had we set out early enough to reach the fell tops before the cloud started to clear.

Outerside, seen ahead of us as we walked up the Stonycroft Gill path to High Moss.
I seem to remember this what the fells are supposed to look like in summer.

Looking back again and we could see a definitive line forming the edge of the cloud. I'm not sure what the technical description is, but you can see what I'm trying to say.


Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head and Coledale Hause seen over High Moss.
The route we took to Causey Pike today feels so much easier than the more obvious and popular route up from Rowling End. It is somewhat further and still almost entirely uphill, but the lack of 'really steep bits' make this an ideal choice for anyone wanting to climb this great fell without the need to keep stopping for breath or to struggle over the rocky bit at the top.

Looking down to Rowling End, Newlands Valley, Derwent Water and Cat Bells from Causey Pike summit.

From Causey Pike you're faced with a fine outlook of Lake District Fells. To name but a few there is: Scar Crags, Knott Rigg, Sail and Red Pike.

Grisedale Pike, seen from Causey Pike summit.

As we left Causey Pike (seen here looking back) there was a slight breeze starting to pick up, hardly anything at all to be honest, but still enough to start lifting the remaining parches of cloud out of the valleys.

Scar Crags with the well worn path to Sail visible between the cloud.

The highest point on the walk was Scar Crags and after rounding the crest of the fell we got some great views across to the cloud rising from the Buttermere area.

And also looking in the other direction towards Coledale Hause, Sand Hill, Hopegill Head and Whiteside.


We didn't continue along the ridge to Sail, instead, we turned right and headed back towards High Moss from where you can make a relatively quick and easy ascent of Outerside.

Before too long we had reached Outerside where we met one of the few people we'd seen since setting out. Looking behind us we had a clear view to Crag Hill / Eel Crag and Coledale Hause.

A close up of the path we walked down on our route between Scar Crags and High Moss.
As this picture shows, the path cuts through a short area of scree, and although you do need to pay a little more attention to your feet than you normally need to, the route isn't as precarious as it may first appear from this angle.

Another close up; this time of the much improved path running from Coledale Hause to Force Crag Mine.

As you descend from Outerside you get a view of the seemingly unnecessary quantity of paths running across Low Moss and Stile End.

Barrow ahead of us and this was the point at which it started to get busy. I shouldn't complain though, considering where we'd walked and at what time of year, we'd seen very few people at all.

A little further along, near Barrow Door, someone had used the stones that were lying about to spell their name out in big letters on the ground. There's no need for three guesses how it happened, but after we left Barrow Door the name was no longer there! This is the second time I've seen this here, the other time being in May this year when I was here last. (I removed the name that time as well) Some people may be thinking "who does he think he is to do that", but I don't mind saying if I find the same thing here again I'll invest enough time to completely remove the stones from the area.

A couple of times throughout the walk I'd mentioned that the cloud had cleared from us, but never really cleared from the eastern fells. Luckily for us I'd had that change of mind about where to walk today. Sometimes totally unplanned days on the fells can turn out to be some of the best.

Quick take a picture when there's no one in the way.
Bassenthwaite Lake, the Skiddaw Fells and Braithwaite, taken from the lower end of our route off Barrow.

Almost back at the car now and it was scorching hot as I took this photo looking through Newlands Valley towards the the Skiddaw fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks