22nd October 2008

High Street, Mardale Ill Bell and Nan Bield Pass from Mardale Head


Walk Overview
Time 09.45 to 14.45
Duration 5 hr
Distance 6.3 mile
Ascent 2200 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Mardale Head - Haweswater - Rough Crag - Caspel Gate Tarn - High Street - Mardale Ill Bell - Nan Bield Pass - Small Water - Mardale Head
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Mardale Head, Haweswater

Although I've listed this one as being a car park, the truth of the matter is, if you don't get here early you'll end up having to park along the roadside. At times the line of cars can stretch back along the road for quite someway, but this doesn't really matter. Simply park up at the end of the line and away you go.

Parking is free and despite its popularity there are no facilities at all.


Route Map

Leaving Mardale Head with Harter Fell ahead of us. Shortly after taking this picture our route took us off to the right, at the corner of the wall.
It was Jennifer's choice of walk today, and she got it spot on. We did get a couple of rain showers and it was far from warm on the tops, but when the sun came out the light was fantastic and the place was almost deserted.

Mardale Beck running into the Mardale Head end of Haweswater.

Looking through to Riggindale to get a nice selection of Autumn colours, and a rather faint rainbow to the left of Kidsty Pike.

And the view a little further around to the right, showing more of Haweswater's shoreline.

Walking up the bottom section of the Rough Crag ridge (in the rain).


Looking back down to Mardale Head.

This is more like it. From here we enjoyed the sunshine as far as Mardale Ill Bell.


Rough Crag with a black looking High Street behind.

Blea Water and High Street.
Seen from this angle you can understand why the flat (ish) summit of High Street was used for horse racing by the dales folk at their annual gatherings.

Haweswater and in the far distance are the Pennines; still under cloud.

The pot of gold would be nice, but walking all the way down there would have ruined our walk, so we didn't bother.

The view back down to Rough Crag and Caspel Gate Tarn

Blea Water.

A deserted High Street summit seen from the back of the wall, which was just high enough to shelter us as we had a bite to eat.

High Street seen from Mardale Ill Bell's summit.

Heading down to the top of Nan Bield Pass.

Small Water and Haweswater.

And in the opposite direction to the views which seem to have dominated the walk, here we have Kentmere Reservoir with Ill Bell and Yoke rising above the tarn.

Twins !!

Small Water and Haweswater.

Some of the shelters found next to Small Water, which have just enough room for one normal sized person or perhaps two size zeros.

Carefully does it as we cross the outflow at Small Water.

A final burst of sunlight across the fellside at Blea Water Back.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks