6th August 2013

Haystacks and Honister Pass


Walk Overview
Time 10:20am to 2:50pm
Duration 4 hr 30 min
Distance 6.4 mile
Ascent 1800 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Gatesgarth Farm - Peggy's Bridge - Scarth Gap - Haystacks - Innominate Tarn - Blackbeck Tarn - Dubs Hut - Drum House - Honister Pass road back to the car
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Gatesgarth Farm, Buttermere

This is an incredibly popular parking spot that fills up very early in the day. If you arrive here to find it full, simply continue towards Honister Pass where there is usually spaces available on the couple of small car parks found along here.

I think this car park is actually owned by Gatesgarth Farm. There is a full day charge but every time I come here the price is different.
More often than not you've find a van here selling refreshments.


Route Map

It costs £3 to park at Gatescarth for the day and although I can easily afford this price, if I were to pay £3 to park every time I go for a walk it would set me back around £400 a year. Given that £3 is cheaper than most places that yearly cost would actually be much more than this. Yes, that's enough to make me think about what I'm doing. So, I did what I always try to do and I found a free parking place. In this case it's found only a short walk along the road towards Honister Pass.

Just notice the water running down the road. Hardly surprising after yesterday's deluge.

Haystacks seen from Peggy's Bridge.

We're on Scarth Gap Pass now and looking down to Buttermere. Many years ago it was called Scarf Gap Pass. I wonder why / who decided the "f" should be replaced with a "th".
The fell in the distance is Grasmoor.

A similar view to the previous picture, this time taken from much higher up the path and now with Robinson in view.

Heading up Scath Gap Pass.

Looking across to Fleetwith Pike.


Gamlin End / High Crag taken as we reach the top of the pass.

Now for the steep bit.

Buttermere, Crummock Water, the Grasmoor fells in the background and Robinson on the right.

To give you a little bit of an idea what to expect along here, my assistant adds scale, provides a foreground for the picture and shows how steep and rocky it is. She also demonstrates that despite the need to use hands and feet in some places, most of it can be walked up; with a bit of care.

A view across to High Crag and Seat.
"Seat? I can't see a seat"
"There isn't one, that's what you call the rocky bit on the left of the picture"

Haystacks summit. There were a few people knocking about but there was no where near as many people up here as I thought there might have been.


Green Gable, Great Gable and Kirk Fell, taken from Haystacks summit.

The Innominate Tarn side of Haystacks summit.

Flowery reflections on the tarn.

Innominate Tarn and Pillar.

There are lots of rocky and craggy sections around here and some edges that you really don't want to get too close to. Having said that, there is a good, easy to follow path across the fell to keep us all out of harms way.

Fleetwith Pike and Robinson.

This view from the outflow of Blackbeck Tarn has to be 'another' of my favourite views. Lots of different things to see including Buttermere, Crummock Water, The Solway Firth and Scotland.

You might not know this but Jennifer used to be a tightrope walker in a circus before she met me. It's only when I see her crossing these stepping stones with all the apprehension of an apprentice lion tamer that I understand why they wouldn't let her perform without a safety net. Aye they were happy days, , , I can still hear the audience booing as the ringmaster tried to persuade her to take that initial step onto the rope.

As I reached Dubs Hut a lady was standing looking at the building and we both agreed how rundown it was looking. "people used to stay in there" she told me. "They still do" I replied. Then she told me "The first time I came here it had just been built and it looked all clean and tidy". Well, she didn't look much older than I am so unless she was making it all up, the building isn't as old as I thought it was.

Walking over the Drum House.

If you look around you can still see some evidence of the Drum House's past.

Heading down to Honister Pass.

There are a few shorter ways to get back to the car from Haystacks, but today we decided to take the longer route via Honister Mines and Honister Pass.

I took this picture as I waited for Jennifer to turn up with the ice creams.

Time to head down Honister Pass.

A sort of close up of the bottom section of the pass.

Two views looking back up Honister Pass.

Not far to go now as we cross over Gatescarthdale Beck for the final time.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks