5th July 2013

Whin Rigg, Illgill Head and Wast Water


Walk Overview
Time 1.00 to 5.10pm
Duration 4 hr 10 min
Distance 9.4 mile
Ascent 2500 ft
Walking with On my own
Wast Water - Low Wood - Lund Bridge - Greathall Gill - Whin Rigg - Whinrigg Tarns - Illgill Head - Straigthhead Gill - Brackenclose - Overbeck Bridge - Netherbeck Bridge - Road alongside Wast Water
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Wast Water

There are lots of parking options along here, ranging from quite large areas which have been adopted as car parks to simply driving onto the grass verge.

They are all free, but this is a very popular place with families so be prepared for the need to drive up and down the road to find a space.


Route Map

Countess Beck flowing into Wast Water.

Looking back along the road. Shortly after taking this I turned off the road and headed towards Wasdale Hall.

The path follows the lakeshore through the grounds of Wasdale Hall.

Looking down the length of Wast Water. The bulky fell on the left is Middle Fell and Yewbarrow is on the right of that.

Looking across to the boathouse on the edge of Low Wood.

Walking through Low Wood.

Lund Bridge.

After a short fight with the ever growing bracken I began the the walk up the side of Greathall Gill.

Not quite the full day of blue sky and sunshine the guy on telly promised us last night, but all wasn't lost. It was dry, very warm and thankfully by the end of the walk the promise came to fruition.

A bit of height gained and the fells on the western side of Wast Water begin to take shape.

I've passed the top of Greathall Gill, turned left and now I'm heading towards Whin Rigg.

Whin Rigg summit in front of a vary hazy / cloudy cumbrian coast.

Just past the summit cairn you get this view down to Wast Water. If you're up here in a day without strong winds you can walk along the edge of the fell and appreciate more of these dramatic views down The Screes to Wast Water.

A view ahead to Illgill Head.

Looking down to Wasdale Hall.

and not so close up.

A view back to Whin Rigg.

I'm parked down there just to the right of the road junction on the opposite side of the lake.


Approaching Illgill Head.
The fells behind are Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Lingmell and Scafell.

Illgill Head is another example that the better view isn't had from the summit. Here, shortly after leaving the summit, is a view down to Wasdale Head and it's surrounding fells. Yewbarrow, Red Pike, Pillar (under cloud), Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Lingmell.

A slight de-tour from the path allowed me a picture showing the whole of Burnmoor Tarn.

A little further on from here and the path joins up with the old corpse route between Wasdale Head and Eskdale. Once you approach the valley, the skyline begins to take on it's familiar classic look.

The small ford on Straighthead Gill.

Just about to cross the lovely bridge over Groove Gill and Hollow Gill. If I had to be really picky I should point out that there are actually two bridges built into one with a narrow section of rock underneath.


Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Lingmell seen from the bridge over Lingmell Beck, actually it could be Mosedale Beck. They both join forces at the other side of those trees so I'm not exactly sure which one keeps it's name all the way to the lake.

Looking across the end of Wast Water to Scafell.

Here you can see Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Scafell.

Standing on tip-toes to take a picture of Bowderdale and Yewbarrow.

Nether Beck.


Wast Water and The Screes.

The classic of all the classic Lakeland views.

As I walked along I passed an elderly couple sitting on deck chairs enjoying the views and the sunshine. They asked me where I'd been walking and when I pointed at the crags and the skyline and told them I'd walked across there, they told me I "must be very brave and have lots of nerve". "Not really" I told them, "Once your up there the place is grassy, wide open and totally safe if you don't get too close to the edge". I showed them some pictures on the camera and as with so many folk that look across Wast Water to The Screes they didn't realise what was on the other side.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks