A Trio of Lesser Heights.

Start. Braithwaite.

Route. Braithwaite - Braithwaite Lodge - Barrow - Barrow Door - Stonycroft Gill - High Moss - Outerside - Low Moss - Stile End - High Coledale - Braithwaite.

Notes. Here's one for all you list tickers out there, don't deny it I know there's lots of you trotting around the Lakeland fells, and lets be honest it beats train spotting hands down, so don't be embarrassed, be prepared to visit lots of places you wouldn't normally consider, I know I've done it. Barrow, Outerside and Stile End, a triptych of fells forming a lower inner ridge within the circuit of fells surrounding Coledale, steep climbs over heather clad slopes, stunning views, what more do you want. History oozes from the landscape, for this was the birth place of the Mines Royal Co, established by Elizabeth I in 1568 to extract copper, lead and any other valuable mineral that just happened to come out of the ground.

My day started in Braithwaite wandering through the village hunting for the drive to Braithwaite Lodge, once located I followed the plumb straight lane up hill, the lodge is a fine looking dwelling, the path guided me to the right of the building depositing me at the start of the long ridge ascending Barrow. I underestimated this climb, it was harder than I imagined, three false summits later and lots of stops to take pictures I crested the actual top to be gifted with stunning views. Once I'd had my fill I descended to Barrow Door, then continued descending to reach an old mine track above the banks of Stonycroft Gill, this ankle breaker of a path ushered me slowly up the hill, on reaching High Moss I ascended Outerside, the highest of this trio of lesser heights, the views into the vast bowl of the Coledale valley were quite staggering, I stood and drank them in before descending.

The descent was steep it deposited me on Low Moss the only stretch of boggy ground I had to cross this day, once across it was a short hop to the summit of Stile End and yet more staggering views. I headed down the north ridge to join a well trod path descending from Barrow Door, with the deep cut Barrow Gill for company I continued down hill a wide green track under foot, the track soon turned into a gravel lane then gave way to tarmac for the final descent into Braithwaite.

It was lunch time, a small sign outside the village store promised hot drinks, home made pies and sandwiches, there's usually a row of cycles propped up outside, and cyclists know all the good places to eat, so I went inside, I'd well recommend their Cornish Pasties, I sat outside eating mine, drinking hot tea, watching village life idly pass me by.

view route map.

home.

Approaching Braithwaite Lodge looking to Grisedale Pike.

From the farm buildings at Braithwaite Lodge views to Braithwaite with the wooded slopes of Braithwaite How rising behind.

Stunning views over Braithwaite Lodge, the white washed cottages of Braithwaite as far as Binsey, the most northern of Lakeland fells.

High and lofty, Grisedale Pike seen from the lower slopes of Barrow.

A little height gained and Derwent Water tilts into view.

A lone walker picks his way across the summit into wonderful views.

Dwarfs among giants, Outerside and Stile End seen over Barrow Door.

Same view slightly different angle, let the valley cut by Stonycroft Gill carry the eye to snow covered Sail and Crag Hill.

On the slopes of Barrow looking to Causey Pike.

Lit by winter sunlight Stile End.

Stonycroft Gill looking to Derwent Water and the rolling summits of the Dodds.

Echoes of an industrial past, this old mine track's guiding me to High Moss and the ascent of Outerside.

Under a light dusting of snow, seen over High Moss, Sail with Crag Hill to the right.

Ascending Outerside with views into the vast bowl at the head of Coledale for company.

The summit Outerside on a beautiful but bitter day, with staggering views to Bassenthwaite Lake.

On the summit of Outerside looking to Sail Pass, the coll between Scar Crags and Sail.

Low Moss Tarn capturing the mood of the winter sky, on view Causey Pike with Scar Crags to the right.

Climbing Stile End looking back to a heather clad Outerside.

Ascending Stile End with this view behind me, Outerside backed by Sail, Crag Hill or Eel Crag if you're a Wainwright disciple.

The stunning view from the summit of Stile End, the tiny community of Braithwaite backed by a cloud capped Skiddaw massif.

back to top

back to list