Buttermere - Haystacks - Red Pike - Buttermere

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The walk starts from Buttermere village and, early on, includes a delightful, level section along the National Trust-maintained lakeshore path. This offers superb views of your first ascent, Fleetwith Edge, a soaring edge shooting skyward to a handsome pointed peak.

From Gatesgarth Farm it is a strenuous climb up this edge but superb views across Buttermere, Crummock Water and beyond open up as height is gained. The upper section narrows with impressive drops down either side but presents no technical difficulty.

The next section around the head of Warnscale Beck to the base of Haystacks can often feel splendidly remote and offers clear views of Great Gable standing majestically at the head of the Ennerdale Valley. This route of ascent to the top of Haystacks, one of the best-loved Lakeland peaks, follows a path that rises amidst impressive rocky surroundings and includes the exquisite Innominate Tarn. The descent to Scarth Gap is rocky and steep, requiring the use of hands in places and the rocks can be slippery when wet. The ascent of High Crag from Seat used to be a hard-fought battle up loose scree until a zigzag path, with a few man-made sections of stone staircase, was built to ease the going, although the same height still has to be gained! Once on top, the going round the edge to Red Pike via High Stile is fairly level and leaves you free to admire the tremendous views over Ennerdale to the left and Buttermere to the right.

A good path, steep in places, descends from Red Pike to Buttermere, although there is one section above Bleaberry Tarn where the many feet over the years have eroded the surface, to leave it slippery underfoot. The final section down through Burtness Wood makes a dramatic change from the open fell-tops and leads to the foot of Sourmilk Gill's plunge down the hillside, leaving just a short wander back to Buttermere Village.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - North West


Cafe, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Mountains, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, Toilets, Waterfall, Woodland
26/08/2022 - Stuart Shaw

Our two year old working Cocker Spaniel managed the walk comfortably in dry weather. We needed to help her up a small section on Haystacks ( we navigated the route in the opposite direction to the suggested one ) . We saw a few younger dogs on the route but I'd be wary about taking an old or arthritic one ...I doubt they'd cope.

13/08/2018 - Stuart Berry

Did this walk on what was an unfortunately cloudy day in 2018. Struggled to find many of the points in relation to Waymarks but only because the mist enveloped us half way up Fleetwith Pike. I am sure that in good weather the views would be tremendous. I would classify what we did today more of a Moutain Challenge rather than strenuous especially in light of some of the other routes we have walked recently. The descent to Scarth Gap is very rocky and steep and the ascent of High Garth taxing.

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