Friday, April 12, 2019

High Rigg from Thirlmere

Date: 12th April 2019
Start/Finish: Smaithwaite Bridge, North Thirlmere
Wainwrights: High Rigg
Distance: 7.5 Miles
Max Elevation: 1224 Feet
Height Gained: 2470 Feet
Time Take: 3 1/2 Hours

The Route : Clockwise from Bridge End (most southern point)

This was first time back in the fells after a 6 month hiatus. I've lost a bit of fitness so decided to peruse the less lofty fells on my Wainwrights 'to-do' list. High Rigg seemed like a nice option. Indeed Wainwright described this very walk as being "... suited to old and rickety fellwalkers long past their best". Perfect for me then! He also suggests doing the walk clockwise so that the lovely views of Blencathra are always in front when on the higher ground. I therefore followed this advice. 

I parked right by Smaithwaite Bridge on the A591. There is a stile and gate within the dry stone wall just north of the bridge where the path heads along St John's Beck. A steepish path then branches off on the left towards Wren Crag. The hillside is littered with uprooted trees following the recent winter storms.

The Stile on the A591

Views down to St John's in the Vale from the upwards path

The first of many uprooted trees on the hill side

Looking back towards Great How

The path up to Wren Crag

Glimpses of Thirlmere behind

Views from Wren Crag looking north - Mart Crag with Blencathra and Skiddaw on the horizon and down along the 'St Johns in the Vale' valley 

A little un-named tarn between Mart Crag and High Rigg

The path up to High Rigg

High Rigg summit views of Blencathra ...

… and back towards Thirlmere

From High Rigg I decided to extend the walk over Low Rigg and Tewet tarn. The path passes the little church and youth centre. 

Low Rigg over the Youth Cente 

There can't be a more picturesque Youth Centre in the UK ?

Looking back over High Rigg

Skiddaw from Low Rigg summit

Tewet Tarn

I then headed back via Yew tree farm and the main path skirting Rake How and heading towards Low Bridge End Farm following the course of St John's in the Vale Beck. Overall a lovely little walk perfect for blowing off the cobwebs.