20th September 2009

It was just like summer on a walk to High Street


Walk Overview
Time 09.00 to 15.15
Duration 6 hr 15 min
Distance 7.7 mile
Ascent 2620 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Mardale Head - The Rigg - Rough Crag - Caspelgate Tarn - High Street - Straights of Riggindale - Rampsgill Head - Kidsty Pike - Kidsty Howes - The Rigg - 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

What an incredible morning it had turned out to be. When we left home the fells on the western side of the lakes were shrouded in cloud, so I just assumed that everywhere would be the same. By the time we'd passed Keswick however, it was obvious that we were in for a real treat.

Just as we were about to begin the walk along (up) the Rough Crag ridge we got this clear view showing Riggindale and a sizable amount of the skyline we'd be walking today. The pointed fell above the valley is Kidsty Pike.

We couldn't help but notice this morning just how full the lake is. More so on the final part of the walk when we realised the rocks we'd sat on when we were here at the beginning of May were well and truly submerged. It helps to show just how much rain we had in August this year.

Setting out on the long walk up to and across the Rough Crag ridge.


From the bottom of the ridge you'd question how you're going to get over the first rocky section, , , , until you spot the path veering off to the left hand side and bypassing the crags altogether.

The highest point along the ridge with High Street behind.

Blea Water.

Kidsty Pike; blending in with its surroundings and not looking quite so prominent as it does from most other angles.

Caspel Gate Tarn in front of Long Stile; the end of the ridge and the route onto High Street itself.

Looking back down the ridge.

High Street summit.

Heading towards the Straights of Riggindale.

And now with a little sunshine


A short and worthwhile detour took us onto Rampsgill Head.

I'd carried it all the way round, so I suppose it was about time we sat down to eat the family size swiss roll I had in the bag. There's no need to guess who had most of it!

While the ladies carried on down the ridge I had a walk across to Randale Beck to photograph a sheepfold. What I didn't expect was to see a group of about 30 deer spread out across the fellside above me. Seeing deer in the wild is always special, but it's just incredibly difficult to get close to them, unless you're lighter on your feet than I am of course. No wonder I got kicked out of the SAS for failing the "sneaking up on your enemy" training course.

It wasn't half warm walking down here. Quite the perfect day for the fells.

Rough Crag and High Street seen above Riggindale.

The view back up to Kidsty Howes and Kidsty Pike, after what felt like an awful lot of downhill walking.


Crossing Riggindale Beck. The fell in the background is Selside Pike.


A final view back to the Kidsty Pike and the ridge we'd back down to reach valley level.

Now for the last section of the walk alongside Haweswater to the car park at Mardale Head.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks