A Round of Greenburn.

Start. Grasmere (lay-by on the A591 just north of the village).

Route. Grasmere - Mill Bridge - Low Mill Bridge - Ghyll Foot - Helmside - Steel Fell - Steel Fell Tarns - Calf Crag - Rough Crag - Moment Crag - Gibson Knott - Bracken Hause - Helm Crag - White Crag - Easedale Road - Butharlyp Wood - Grasmere.

Notes. Tucked away to the north of Grasmere, sandwiched between the steep slopes of Steel Fell and the long arm of the Helm Crag ridge lies Greenburn, a rather boggy valley visited by a handfull of walkers, the fells to the east grace even fewer, well normally? Today I was forced to share the hills with the fearsome fell runner, rather insane athletes whom gleam great pleasure from throwing themselves down death defying descents in the name of sport, risking broken bones and various sprains for very little reward. One thing they don't have time to enjoy are the views, why not join me on a more leisurely saunter above Greenburn, we'll lift our eyes from the toe of the boot and enjoy the views they missed.

I parked the car on a rather large lay-by just north of Grasmere village, bag on my back I wandered north, at the bottom of Dunmail Raise on a sharp bend a lane emerged from the left, time to leave the traffic behind. Over Mill Bridge then Low Mill Bridge I wandered, passing Ghyll Foot farm before a finger-post assured me I was treading the right path, the lane that guided me terminated at the fell gate, I stepped through said gate to start my assault on Steel Fell, don't rush this one, there was three false summits before I reached the cairns marking the actual top, breakfast time, fresh bacon sarnies with lots of black coffee to wash them down. A leisurely breakfast over I let the fence line guide me west, when the fence swung north a faint path carried me passed two unnamed tarns, (lets call them Greenburn Tarns) before swinging south to deposit me on the summit of Calf Crag.

For me Calf Crag marks the start of almost two miles of wonderful ridge walking. Above Rough Crag and Mement Crag and Horn Crag before reaching the cairned summit of Gibson Knott, a short descent to Bracken Hause followed where I opted to stop and have another brew, in truth I was “girding the loins” before my assault of Helm Crag, or if you're driving past on the A591 The Lion and the Lamb. I descended Helm Crag via the tourist route, (you'll recognise it, the path with all the people) soon I found myself wandering over the tarmac surface of Easedale Road. Next to Silver Lea guest house a finger-post invited me into the oddly named Butharlyp Wood, a delightful woodland stroll followed, a nice way to end the day. On exiting the wood I turned left then followed Pye Lane onto the A591 to start the short walk back to my starting point.

view route map.


Near Low Mill Bridge looking to the cliff and scree of Helm Crag.

The southern ridge of Steel Fell, with my ascent route clearly visible.

Looking to the arms of the Helvellyn massif from the ascent of Steel Fell.

Wonderful views over the Vale of Grasmere.

Towering above Greenburn, Helm Crag, a fine final summit on a day of many fine summits.

Greenup Edge as seen over the head of Greenburn.

Near the summit of Steel Fell soaking up views over South Lakeland.

The summit of Steel Fell provides a fine viewpoint, Thirlmere with Blencathra gracing the skyline.

Stunning vistas over the Wythburn Fells, it's head in cloud on the far horizon Skiddaw.

From Steel Fell dramatic views to the Coniston massif.

The scene over Greenburn Tarn.

Rising above Steel Fell mighty Fairfield, seen from the approach of Calf Crag.

The summit cairn, Calf Crag.

Seen from the summit of Calf Crag, Greenup Edge over Brownrigg Moss.

Viewes down Far Easedale with the summits of Gibson Knott and Helm Crag in shadow.

On the summit of Gibson Knott drinking in views to Steel Fell and the Helvellyn massif.

The rocky summit of Helm Crag, seen from my brew stop above Bracken Hause.

Looking back to Steel Fell with the pass of Dunmail in sunlight backed by the Helvellyn massif.

Resting in the palm of the mountains rocky hand little Easedale Tarn, in shadow the Langdale Pikes.

The summit Helm Crag.

Rising from Grasmere, Loughrigg Fell.

Views across the rock strewn summit of Helm Crag, the pass of Dunmail Raise sandwiched between the steep slopes of Steel Fell and Seat Sandal.

Above High Raven Crag enjoying wonderful views across the Vale of Grasmere.

Helm Crag as seen from Easedale Road.

A fitting end to a day of high, wide and handsome views, a stroll through the cool of Butharlyp Wood.

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