The Centre of Lakeland.

Start. Stickle Barn.

Route. Stickle Ghyll car park - Stickle Ghyll - Stickle Tarn - Sergeant Man - High Raise - Thunacar Knott - Harrison Combe - Dungeon Ghyll - Pike Howe - Stickle Ghyll car park.

Notes. I think it was old Wainwright who christened High Raise the centre of Lakeland, he noted many valleys omit from it's summit, describing them as “spokes of a wheel”. In the geological mists of time the Lake District was one bloody big hill, High Raise being the top. To cut a long story short, rain water carved deep gills, glaciers transformed them into the valleys we see today, sort of. Don your boots, throw your bag on your back, come on a journey with me, a journey to the centre of the Lake District.

My day started in the National Trust car park at Stickle Barn, my route the well trod path up Stickle Ghyll. Ascending the gill I had the place to myself, not another walker in sight, the steep path guided me to Stickle Tarn. Built around the 1820s to service the Langdale gunpowder industry, blasting powder was needed by the local slate quarries, Langdale was the perfect place for production. Along the eastern edge of the tarn I walked turning right at a path junction guarded by soft ground and large stepping stones, this path skirted the vast bowl of boggy ground north of Stickle Tarn depositing me on the ridge above Easedale. With stunning views over the Vale of Grasmere for company I continued my ascent, soon I found myself standing drinking in wonderful views from the rocky summit crown of Sergeant Man, to the north the vast flat plateau of High Raise. After crossing a narrow stretch of boggy ground a good path ushered me over the High Raise plateau, the summit's marked by a trig point and wind shelter, after making good use of the latter I turned my back on the summit.

An easy descent to the south followed, a good path under foot, my sights set firmly on the summit of Thunacar Knott. After bagging the summit I picked my way between the many boggy hollows and rocky outcrops guarding the various summits of the Langdale Pikes. Once above the vast gorge carved out of Langdale rock by Dungeon Ghyll I started my descent. The start of this path's not for the faint hearted, cutting across the steep slopes of Harrison Stickle with precipitous drops into the beck bottom far bellow, one misplaced step and it could be the last Lakeland fell you'll descend, at least in this lifetime. Once on safer ground I enjoyed stunning views over Great Langdale, the path skirted Pike Howe, descending to a dry stone wall and stile, I crossed said stile to gain access to rough pastures behind Stickle Barn.

view route map.


Looking to Tarn Crag from the footpath ascending Stickle Ghyll.

Stickle Ghyll.

The boulder strewn approach to Stickle Tarn.

Pike Howe, hopefully I'll be descending that ridge later.

Viewing Sergeant Man and Codale Head from the outflow of Stickle Tarn, across the skyline my ascent route.

Pavey Ark across Stickle Tarn.

The rock architecture of Harrison Stickle in delectable reflection.

Looking to the rock scenery of Langdale, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark with the Jack's Rake ascent route clearly visible.

Pike of Blisco over Stickle Tarn.

Easedale Tarn with views over the Vale of Grasmere.

Viewing Seat Sandal and Fairfield with St Sunday Crag dark in the gap behind.

Shining levels and wonderful reflections.

Approaching Sergeant Man.

Great Gable as seen from the summit of Sergeant Man.

Looking to the long grassy ridge of Thunacar Knott with the dome of Pike of Stickle on the right, with Harrison Stickle far left.

Across the vast summit plateau of High Raise.

Seen from High Raise, Rosthwaite Fell backed by Fleetwith Pike and the Buttermere Fells.

Looking down on Sergeant's Crag and Eagle Crag from the summit of High Raise.

Harrison Stickle seen from Thunacar Knott.

Lingmoor Fell as seen over the deep cut ravine of Dungeon Ghyll.

Walkers on the ridge above Mark Gate with Pike of Blisco dominating the scene.

Pike Howe with views down Great Langdale.

From Pike Howe views to Stickle Ghyll and the rock walls of Pavey Ark.

A mass of boulders and confusion, the abyss of Dungeon Ghyll.

A final view down Great Langdale.

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