Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Circuit of 12 Wainwright's from Howtown

Date : 4th May 2013
Route : From Howtown along the Roman Road to High Raise and back via Martindale
Wainwrights : Arthur's Pike, Bonscale Pike, Loadpot Hill, Wether Hill, High Raise, Kidsty Pike, Rampsgill Head, The Knott, Brock Crags, Rest Dodd, The Nab, Hallin Fell
Distance : 30 km (18.6 miles)
Height Gained : 1436 m (4711 feet)
Time taken : 11 Hours

The Route - Clockwise from Howtown

 I had planned a long walk today to take advantage of the lengthening days but with a number of opportunities to cut it short if stamina was found wanting. An early start had me in full rain gear at 6:30 after parking near the zig zags in the road by Howtown. It was drizzling steadily but the weather forecast was reassuringly optimistic that things would brighten up later.

A calm Ullswater on the drive in

Hallin Fell in the rain from the Bonscale path

Arthur's Pike

 There was no easy way to climb the steep west side of Arthur's Pike so it was a case of following the path northwest past Bonscale and Arthur's Pikes towards Barton Park and then cutting back so as to gain the ridge from the north side. Along the path the rain suddenly stopped and the sun came out.

The sun comes out and illuminates Ullswater and Hallin Fell on the left

The view over Ullswater from the approach to Arthur's Pike. Catstye Cam peeping though the cloud on the horizon

Arthur's Pike summit

 From Arthur's Pike a path continues southeast towards Bonscale Pike and the stone pillars of Bonscale 'towers', the lower of which provides a great viewpoint down to Ullswater.

Bonscale Towers, old and new

Bonscale Tower overlooking Ulswater and Hallin Fell

 The path then continues south to join with the old Roman Road but a slight deviation eastwards is then required to reach Loadpot Hill.

The Boredale Valley from the walk to Loadpot Hill

Loadpot Hill summit cairn

 Its then an easy path for a mile along the Roman Road to Wether Hill, the summit of which is a small pile of stones to indicate the apparent high point of an otherwise expansive featureless grassy plateau.

Finally some rocks on the Roman Road to Wether Hill. High Raise summit just in mist

Wether Hill summit panorama west

 The Roman Road continues south towards High Raise. This must be a fell runners paradise but by this time I was getting fed up of grass underfoot and was looking forwards to the promise of more rocky terrain on the fells to follow.

Place Fell over Beda Fell from the path to High Raise

The view onwards to High Raise

High Raise summit looking south

High Raise summit view north back along the path to Wether Hill and beyond

High Raise panorama east

High Raise panorama west

Fairfield from High Raise

The Helvellyn range over Rest Dodd

Rest Dodd and The Nab from High Raise

Looking south from High Raise; Kidsty Pike left, Rampsgill Head right, High Street in the middle

 Kidsty Pike is a must visit from High Raise as it offers the first good view of Haweswater and is a great view point for the Riggindale valley.

Kidsty Pike summit
The Riggindale valley and Haweswater from Kidsty Pike
High Street from Kidsty Pike

The superb southern panorama from Kidsty Pike
Kidsty Pike view west to Rampsgill Head
 The path westwards follows a gentle depression before rising up a little to a few cairns indicating the summit of Rampsgill Head.

Rampsgill Head summit panorama
Rampsgill Head summit view west

Striding Edge, Helvellyn and Swirral Edge from Rampsgill Head

The Knott (left) and Rest Dodd (right)

 The next objective was The Knott which is an easy path down towards the stone wall seen in the picture which then follows it to the summit. 

The Knott summit view towards High Street

The Knott summit panorama east

The Knott summit panorama west

Brock Crags (left) and Rest Dodd (right) - from The Knott

 At this point I was in 2 minds whether to take in Brock Crags which from this view seemed a long way off the obvious route to Rest Dodd. After considering the great weather and with no compelling reason to rush back, I set off westwards to bypass Rest Dodd. It was worth the detour. The views from Brock Crags were some of the best from the day.

Hayeswater from the descent of The Knott

Angle Tarn from near Brock Crags - wild campers just visible on the little 'peninsula'

Brock Crags view over Brothers Water

Brock Crags view back over Gray Crag to the High Street range

Brock Crags summit panorama west

The view back to Rest Dodd and The Knott from Brock Crags

 It felt like a long trudge back towards Rest Dodd and the steep climb to this 10th summit of the day was punishing on the old legs.

Rest Dodd summit view west back to Brock Crags; Brother Water left, Angle Tarn right

From Rest Dodd, the way back to Ullswater over The Nab
 It was a steep descent down from Rest Dodd and then awkward terrain over peat hags before reaching The Nab.

The Nab summit panorama east and the route already trodden

The Nab summit panorama west

Looking down a very steep descent into Martindale from the Nab

The 'north face' of The Nab

 The steep route down directly north from The Nab is one of steepest I have encountered in the Lakes. Although the photo above perhaps doesn't illustrate the inclination well, I can assure you, it was very steep! At this point the legs were tired and my mind was set on getting back to the car and calling it a day but by the time I reached the foot of Hallin Fell I decided there was just enough left in the tank to get me to the summit. 

Place Fell from the foot of Hallin Fell, The Nab visible far left

Hallin Fell summit cairn looking north

Hallin Fell summit panorama west

Hallin Fell summit view southwest

Hallin Fell panorama east

Nearly back at the car with Bonscale Pike and Arthur's Pike beyond

 So that's 93 Wainwrights so far and still a long way to go. Looking forwards to the remaining 121.


  1. The representation of this article is actually superb. I think this is a genuinely beneficial and instructive article for everyone. I appreciate this kind of writing. Thankful to you for sharing an article like this.3D Virtual Home Tour Toronto

  2. This is one hell of a walk that you've done. Very impressive and what views along the way too. You must have had the best time along the walk including The Nab, and Rest Dodd. We recently did the smaller walk of Brock Crags, Rest Dodd, and The Nab from Brothers Water and loved every minute of it too. But this walk you've done makes me want to give this route a go too. And congratulations on the 93 bagged. I can assure you being on 189 it doesn't get any less enjoyable and quite the opposite, when you want to do more routes to see every inch of what the Lake District has to offer.

    We write our own blogs on the walks and Wainwrights we have done, so you should check us out to see if you can get some routes for your next walk too. It's always nice to help one another out. Our website is the same as our posting name, so the option is there.

    However, either way thank you for the great read and keep up the good work. I hope you've managed to bad a few more since then and are enjoying the weather that we've been having too.

  3. Thanks for commenting. It was certainly a very long walk but also very enjoyable. The walk was a few years ago and i'm now at 194 fells so almost there. I will definitely check out your blog too. Am always looking for new routes and new ideas. Best wishes.