A nice walk taking in the ever popular Lion and Lamb rock formation at Helm Crag before following the ridge walk with great views to the head of Easedale and then descending more gently down the lovely valley, passing some waterfalls.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Park in Grasmere. It is a busy and popular place so you will need to arrive early to secure a parking spot. There are some free parking spaces out of the village on the roadside (take care not to obstruct) and some paid car parks. This walk starts from the paid car park off Red Bank Road; £6 for up to 6 hours in Aug 2020.
(D/A) From the car park cross the road and take the narrow road ahead of you (Broadgate), it runs behind the main part of the village. As it rejoins the road that runs through the village centre lookout for a turning on the left onto another narrow road.
(1) Turn left and follow the street past houses and up the entrance to the National Trust property of Allen Banks. Go through the entrance and look for a gate on the right and signpost for Goody Bridge,
(2) Turn right through the gate and follow the path, passing a white house offering bed a breakfast. You will join a path running parallel to the road (Easedale Road). At the end of the path go through a gate onto Easedale Road, just before Goody Bridge. Go over the bridge and continue; the road bends to the right and there is a signpost on the left for paths running up to Easedale Tarn.
(3) Ignore the signpost and paths and continue on the road, passing the entrance to Lancrigg on the right. The road curves back left and crosses an open piece of grassland then passes between houses again. Look out for a split in the path at Jackdaw Cottage, a sign for ''Far Easedale and Helm Crag and on the wall another sign reading Not for Cars.
(4) Take the right hand split up the path, pass through a wooden gate (you may have to lift it to open it) and bear left, then at the next junction turn right to follow the path up the side of White Crag. The path is well maintained and rises in a series of steps before bringing you out on a grassy shoulder just below the summit of Helm Crag itself. Enjoy the views before tackling the last ascent up to the top and the Lion and Lamb. You can make a direct route or take a path to the left and then back right.
(5) The Lion and Lamb is the name given to the outcrop of rock at the top of Helm Crag; viewed when travelling from Ambleside to Keswick the rocks look a male lion lying down with a lamb in front of it. If you have small children with you take care as there are some very steep drops as you approach the rocks. It is also possible to scramble up to the top of the lion rock.
From Helm Crag continue along the ridge path passing another rock inclined at an angle (more steep drops on the far side) and then descend into a col before ascending over the top of Gibson Knott. The path continues in the same way; following an undulating course with has rocky steps and some boggy parts that can be easily avoided. It will climb up to and pass over Pike of Carrs and then round a more boggy section to Calf Crag.
On this part of the walk keep stopping to look back at the views.
(6) From Calf Crag the path descends to pass Brownrigg Moss and arrives at a junction beside an old boundary line marked by two iron gate posts.
(7) Turn sharp left and follow the stepped path downwards into Easedale. The path descends to a flat area where there is a waterfall on the left and a gully on the right with another waterfall in it.
(8) This is a great place for photos. Then descend and cross the stream. Continue to descend Easedale, on an easy angled path beside the stream to pass beneath the jumble of blocks up on your right, which was once Deer Bield Buttress. The path is joined on the right by another coming down from Easedale Tarn and then it arrives at a wooden footbridge.
(9) Cross the bridge and continue to descend with the stream on your right. (You will pass beside a nice slab of rock which can be ascended without using your hands, up to a wall. Then descend the same way or follow the wall for a few feet back up the valley to descend on grass; it is a bit of fun and a challenge for those up for it)
You will arrive back at (4).
(4) Now follow your track back to Grasmere village. Go along the road, cross Goody Bridge, take the path on the right, cross the field to the Allen Banks drive, then down the road, turn right and along to the car park. (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 226ft - Car park
1 : mi 0.12 - alt. 236ft - Longdale Road
2 : mi 0.21 - alt. 256ft - Gate
3 : mi 0.69 - alt. 302ft - Easedale Road
4 : mi 1.09 - alt. 384ft - Split
5 : mi 1.88 - alt. 1250ft - Helm Crag
6 : mi 3.72 - alt. 1706ft - Calf Crag
7 : mi 4.13 - alt. 1611ft - Brownrigg Moss
8 : mi 4.54 - alt. 1102ft - Stream
9 : mi 5.78 - alt. 512ft - Bridge
D/A : mi 7.64 - alt. 226ft - Car park
No shelters on this walk, take all you need with you.
You will be above 1000ft so you should be prepared with a windproof/waterproof. You will need boots as the ground can be rocky in places. There is boggy section and it takes a prolonged dry spell to dry these out.
You could use approach shoes but the chances are you will get wet feet.
Take a snack with you. The waterfalls, the head of the valley or Calf Crag are nice place to stop.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
The Lion and Lamb are very popular and many people just go up and down the same way; you can always do his for a shorter walk.
This walk can be done in either direction and both have their merits. This direction you get the steep ascent out of the way and have a gentle descent. In the opposite direction you get great views ahead of you as you follow the ridge over Pike of Carrs and Gibson Knott. (Wainwright himself, recommends the descent of the ridge from Calf Crag to Helm Crag.)
From the head of the valley you can always walk over to descend to ridge between Tarn Crag and Deer Bields but this requires a little careful navigation.
Alternatively walk up to High Raise and the over Sergeant Man to pick up the path the descends past Easedale Tarn.
Grasmere is a lovely village, although popular with tourists. It is worth seeking out the Ginger Bread Shop and the Wordsworth's Grave in St Oswald's Churchyard.
Starting from Grasmere this Lake District walk includes a circuit of Rydal water and Grasmere. The route includes some wonderful views especially from Loughrigg Terrace.
The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 6 Wainwrights, 3 tarns and 1 pub
This variation of the Fairfield Horseshoe starts from High Close on the western edge of Loughrigg Fell. The route follows a clockwise direction offering a different perspective to the normal horseshoe route.
The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 1 Wainwright, 1 tarn and 1 pub.
The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 8 Wainwrights and 3 tarns.
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