Stunning views in all directions with this classy, grassy route over the far-eastern fells.
Walking Route - High Street, Lake District
Mardale Head > High
Street > Harter Fell > Mardale Head
Distance: 7.4 miles
Height Gain: 2703 ft
Overview: The long, rolling grassy
ridge of High Street gives fantastic views over to the west
on a clear day
Maps: Landranger 90, Explorer
Photo Grade: 4
Start Point: NY 468 107
Sat on the far eastern side of the Lakes, High Street's long, grassy
rolling ridge doesn't give the most interesting technical walking in
the area, but it makes up for it with spectacular views westward of
the likes of Fairfield and the Helvellyn range. Look the other way
and you can see the Dales. On a clear day there are few better places
Section 1 - Mardale Head to High Street
Distance: 3.4 miles (5.4km)
Height Gain: 2112 ft (644m)
From the car park at the southern end of Haweswater take the
path south west and follow it as it turns through 180 degrees having
crossed Mardale Beck. The path continues along the banks of
Haweswater to The
, a forested spur jutting out into the artificial
Rough Crag looking mean and moody above Haweswater
- the wooded
promentory is The Rigg - by Tommy Martin from his Cumbria
Here the path doubles back again, to follow an old wall uphill. The
angle is gentle at the outset, then increases over Swine Crag and Heron Crag
before relenting slightly.
As you approach Rough
Crag the ridge broadens and the angle levels out before
dropping slightly to Caspel Gate. The half mile from Caspel Gate
climbs over 700ft to emerge on the broad summit ridge of High Street,
where a north-south wall leads you easily to the summit and high
point of this route.
At 2717ft High
Street is the highest point east of the Kirkstone Pass and is
best known for its Roman road linking Ambleside and Brougham. This is
a bridleway and makes a great high-level mountain bike route as well.
Section 2 - High Street to Harter Fell
Distance: 1.9 miles (3km)
Height Gain: 558 ft (170m)
Return to the path from High Street's summit cairn and turn left to
follow it away south along the ridge.
Almost immediately the path splits in two, with an option of
taking in Thornthwaite Crag if you choose to take the right
hand fork. The main route takes the left hand fork and begins the
descent towards the Nan Bield Pass.
The view down to Hayeswater from High Street by
from his Lake District album
After a short col the path rises again to Mardale
Ill Bell where you get a superb view down to the almost
circular Blea Water backed by the High Street ridge.
Atmospheric when snowy... bonkers High Street
by Mav in his OM album
Continue the descent along a good path to Nan Bield Pass, reckoned
to be the Lake District's finest mountain pass by many. From here the
path climbs steeply again for 500ft to the summit plateau of
Fell, and the pleasant relief of level walking.
Being the most easterly of the Lake's 2500ft mountains the views
extend east to Ingleborough and south west to Morecambe
Section 3 - Harter Fell to Mardale
Distance: 2.1 miles (3.3km)
Height Gain: 33 ft (10m)
Fom Harter Fell the route is almost exclusively downhill,
first north east then south east as you descend from the wide
Just beyond Little Harter Fell you meet the Gatesgarth Pass track,
where a left turn leads alongside Gatesgarth Beck to return you to
your starting point.