7th August 2014

Scafell and Slight Side from Eskdale Green


Walk Overview
Time 8am to 4:55pm
Duration 8 hr 55 min
Distance 15 mile
Ascent 4100 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey
Eskdale Green - Giggle Alley - Porterthwaite - Miterdale - Low Place - Miterdale Head - Burnmoor Tarn - Burnmoor Lodge - Bulatt Bridge - Hard Rigg - Green How - Scafell - Slight Side - Broad Tongue - Hardrigg Gill - Bulatt Bridge - Eskdale Moor - Brat's Moss - Blea Tarn - Fell End - Hollin How - Eskdale Green
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces next to Giggle Alley, Eskdale Green

This is a great little car park. Right in the centre of Eskdale Green with a shop down the road and toilets next to the car park. It is a great starting point for a whole host of walks in this area, it's free and more often than not there are empty spaces available.


Route Map


Everyone needs a good laugh from time to time so we set out from Giggle Alley this morning. Whether you do or don't find this spot highly comical is still offers a convenient route from the village over to Miterdale.

As we walk past Low Holme we try, and fail to remember the name of the craggy bit over there. Computer says it's Great Bank.

We arrive at Porterthwaite in bright sunshine but, all around the place was dripping with early morning dew. Boots were now wet, legs were splashed and although it's only August, it's sad that I have to admit the expression 'Autumnal feel ' was mentioned. Hopefully it'll be a while before Autumn truly arrives because I'd like to see a bit more summer first. The walk we did today could easily have been started from here, although, to give us more options towards the end of the day, it seemed like parking in the village itself would be a better idea. This worked out quite well because towards the end of the walk I even managed to walk on a little bit of new ground.

The River Mite.

Head right for Eskdale.

Turning around we see Muncaster Fell in the distance.

All the windows and doors were boarded up so there was no point in trying to enquire about the outdoor pursuits they could offer us. However, there was a mirror so we could at least check to see if our hair needed combed. You should be aware that I have less need of this facility than Paul.


This lovely little bridge is found just across the field from Bakerstead. It's just a pity someone thought it a good idea to pour concrete over the top of it.

Here we are in the upper half of Miterdale. I wouldn't say it's a 'hidden' gem because it's difficult to miss and fits in perfectly with walking routes in the area. What it is, is one the many Lake District places that most people simply don't visit. Sad for them because they're missing a real treat but good those of us that do come here because there's rarely anyone else here.

Talking about not seeing any other people. Notice the two tents near the centre of the picture and the two blokes on the left hand side in among the felled trees, , , , , I've no idea what they were doing, , , , unless, , , ,

, , , , 98, 99, 100, coming ready or not.
Thinking about it, playing hide and seek isn't the strangest game I've known to be played by campers. Years ago I was camping at Stonethwaite with one of my nephews and me woke me up at about 1 in the morning to ask "what's that noise". I couldn't believe it, the couple in the next tent were playing that board game Frustration. You know, the one where you press the plastic dome to make the dice jump and then you move the coloured pieces around the board.


I can't think of any other valley that stays as narrow as this one for as long as this.


We're almost at the point where we walk out of the valley (on the right hand side). Up there we can still see Scafell is just and so topped with cloud.

A close up of the upper section of Miterdale.


As seen as thought the place isn't anywhere near as dry as it was a few weeks ago we had to choose which route to take to get to Hardrigg (the area of bracken at the far end of the tarn). We'd both been here before so we're aware that choosing to turn left instead of right or right instead of left can make the difference between dry or wet feet. A route that passed by Burnmoor Lodge got the vote. this would keep us out of the boggy bits at least until we got to Bulatt Bridge.
On the left side of the picture you can see the top of Kirk Fell.

Here's Burnmoor Lodge, isolated, lonely, but today, not looking quite as creepy as it does on dull, cloudy days. I hadn't expected to see anyone around here and then a guy walked out from behind the house as if to check what we were up to. He gave us a wave and then headed back inside. I'd love to know what was going on in there. Black magic, devil worshiping, human sacrifice, , , yes, okay my imagination seems to have got the better of me. Perhaps they're just after a bit of peace and quiet where they can contemplate the universe and the meaning of life.


Bulatt Bridge, no frills but it does exactly what you'd hope a bridge would do. We cross the bridge, walk for a short distance and then head across the flat ground towards Hardrigg Gill.
"Those two don't look too sure about where they are or which way to go"

Looking back across to Burnmoor Tarn. You can see how flat it is here and you can probably guess how soggy this area can be.

Hardrigg Gill draws the eye up to Scafell.

It looks like the young couple have decided to follow us. They eventually caught up with us, asked if we were going up Scafell and once we'd said yes, it sort of became obvious that they'd rather follow us than overtake us. That's fair enough I suppose and I'm glad we may have helped them out, however, it's a pretty risky way to ensure you get to the correct place, I mean, who's to say the people you're following aren't totally clueless and leading you into disaster.

A view backwards shows Illgill Head in front of the Irish Sea, Wast Water, and Buckbarrow.

A close up of Sellafield. I'm glad I'm up here today and not down there !!

Lots of height has been gained now and you become conscious that you're looking down, rather than across to other places.

For a brief time cloud swirled around the top of Scafell Pike. Thankfully it didn't last long, in fact, it took about the same length of time to clear as it takes to say "look at all those people over there".

Lunch was taken on the grassy ground only a couple of minutes from the top

Looking northwards to Red Pike (both of them), Scoat Fell, Pillar, Kirk Fell, the High Stile ridge and Grasmoor.

A close up of Great Gable.

Scafell summit. The young couple had left, there were two guys in the shelter, there was us two, and that was it. All the while we could see lines of people making their way to the top of Scafell Pike. Okay, I know people want to get the the highest place and I'm not putting them down at all, but surely this is the more enjoyable of the two fells by a heck of a long way.

Looking down to Foxes Tarn.

If you're heading in the direction we'd just walked, it doesn't feel as far from Scafell as it looks.

Slight Side summit.

Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags seen from Slight Side.

Just below the summit you'll find the wreckage of a Hurricane aircraft which hit the side of the fell during World War II. Despite the amount of metal laying around it's still quite difficult to find. I know it's here and I almost walked right past it today.



The good new was that waterfalls in Hardrigg Gill were quite impressive today because of the recent rains. The bad news was the waterfalls in Hardrigg Gill were too risky to cross because of the recent rains.

I guess we'll have to try and cross further down.


Looking back to Hardrigg Gill waterfalls and Scafell.

Back at Burnmoor tarn and again we can see Yewbarrow, Red Pike, Pillar and Kirk Fell.


Here we're at one of the stone circles found on Brat's Moss.

It was the clearest part of the day now and certainly the warmest. Here we look across to Harter Fell and Green Crag.

Here's a final view of Scafell and Slight Side, taken as we make our way over to Blea Tarn.

Blea Tarn, Eskdale. What a lovely spot!

We look over Eskdale to the fells around the Birker Fell Road area.

A seat with a view of Harter Fell and Green Crag.

For myself, I feel this has been a really poor year for walking. I haven't walked as often as I'd like or as far. I can't pinpoint why, it's just the way 2014 has turned out. Then a walk like this comes along which is completely out of the ordinary and I almost convince myself I'm not doing too badly after all.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks