29th March 2009

Seathwaite Fell to Bessyboot


Walk Overview
Time 08.45 to 14.45
Duration 6 hr
Distance 10.9 mile
Ascent 3600 ft
Walking with On my own
Seathwaite - Stockley Bridge - Styhead Pass - Seathwaite Fell - Sprinkling Tarn - Allen Crags - High House Tarn - Lincomb Tarns - Glaramara - Combe Head - Combe Door - ridge to Tarn at Leaves - Bessyboot - Combe Gill - Nr Thornythwaite Farm - Seathwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking leading to Seathwaite, Borrowdale

The popularity of the fells around here are more than reflected in the number of cars you find lining the road from Seathwaite Farm working back in the direction of Seatollor. I'm almost tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get parked. Simply join the back of the line on the grass verge.

Parking is free and there is a tea room and toilets at Seathwaite.


Route Map

What a gorgeous day it was going to be, but first I had to get out of the shade and into the sunshine. On route to the sun I passed Stockley Bridge

That's better, just as I reached the small group of trees on Styhead Pass, I got into the sun. Although I have to say it did nothing to warm things up.

Green Gable and Great Gable seen from my route onto Seathwaite Fell.

After an extremely steep ascent I can now stop to catch my breath before heading across the undulating Seathwaite Fell ridge, where I promptly lost it again.

Great End behind Sprinkling Tarn. I'm almost temped to say the higher fells had a decent covering of snow. Although if the snow on Glaramara was anything to go by there wasn't actually that much, and what little there was turned out to be more of a nuisance than anything else.

Peace, quiet and calm at Sprinkling Tarn.

Great Gable and Green Gable.

Sprinkling Tarn seen from the higher ground between the tarn and Ruddy Gill.


Looking over Esk Hause to Ill Crag and Great End.

Allen Crags Summit.

Heading across to the high ground found about midway between Allen Crags and Glaramara.


Great Gable, seemingly dwarfed by one of the craggy areas I passed along the ridge.


From here to the Bessyboot end of the ridge there are quite a few boggy sections that I'd normally have to walk around or avoid altogether. Thankfully there had been such a really frost last night, so in light of this I was able to take a somewhat unusual route across the rest of the ridge.

Glaramara summit. In the distance you have the Skiddaw Fells and Blancathra with a touch of snow, Derwent Water, Borrowdale, the fells around High Seat, and Clough Head on the right of the picture.

And now looking in the same direction as the previous picture, this time from Combe Head.

This is a brilliant ridge walk on days like this. I have to say though, with a notable absence of paths and the confusing nature of the place, it isn't somewhere I'd head for during poor visibility.

One of the boggy bits I mentioned earlier.

An unusual view of Bessyboot, the pointed fell far right. I took this picture from the area of what is normally very boggy ground below Tarn at Leaves.

Tarn at Leaves.

Bessyboot summit.

Quick, take a photo before that cloud moves any further across the fellside.

Taken from the fellside just to the east of Combe Gill, this picture shows Borrowdale flanked at its narrowest point by Castle Crag and Grange Fell. In the distance are the Skiddaw Fells.

Looking back through the valley as I walk along the path below Thornythwaite Fell.

Now all I need is a puddle or a stream to wash all the mud of my boots.

Back at Seathwaite after a fantastic day on the fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks