A Round of Deepdale.

Start. Patterdale.

Route. Patterdale - Glenamara Park - Thornhow End - Harrison Crag - Elmhow Crag - Blind Cove - The Cape - St Sunday Crag - Deepdale Hause - Cofa Pike - Fairfield - Rydal Head - Link Hause - Hart Crag - Blake Brow - Hartsop above How - Hoggill Brow - Gale Crag - Deepdale Park - Deepdale Bridge - Patterdale.

Notes. It seems quite a while since I attempted a horseshoe round, something close to home maybe. I scanned the map sheets, the ever popular and always busy rounds of Fairfield and Kentmere jumped out at me, nothing near home kindled my interest, not that there's anything wrong with Fairfield or Kentmere. When I'd decided to join the day trippers on Striding Edge Deepdale caught my eye. Hundreds of walkers pass this hidden valley every day, their sights set on the higher a few miles further along the valley road, but Deepdale is hemmed in by the higher. To the north St Sunday Crag rises to over 2,700ft, a formidable mountain in it's own right, to the south the three mile curving ridge of Hartsop above How, the highest ground just 1,903ft but the long ridge walk makes for a perfect end to the day, then closing the head of the valley mighty Fairfield with crag and scree plunging to the valley floor. Come tag along, tackle the steep climbs, the nail biting scrambles and enjoy the breath-taking views, we'll have earned them.

My day started in Patterdale wandering through Glenamara Park, not too far along this path the first climb of the day, steep and unforgiving, a real leg burner, the ascent to Thornhow End. Once on Thornhow End the path leveled off, stunning views over the valley of Grisedale were to accompany me on this section of my journey. Above Harrison Crag and Elmhow Crag I wandered, soon reaching the Blind Cove coll, the final pull to the summit started here. Steep but not as bad as it looked, I was soon crossing The Cape striding out for the summit of St Sunday Crag, a great place to sit, drink tea and contemplate the rest of the route, for it is all on view.

With a well trod ridge path to guide me I descended to Deepdale Hause before my next ascent of the day, a hands on scramble over my favourite summit in the whole of Lakeland, the rock crown of Cofa Pike. The adrenalin rush over, Cofa Pike deposited me on the always busy Fairfield, and it was, I didn't hang around. Across Rydal Head I wandered, drinking in the extensive views before descending to Link Hause, the ascent of Hart Crag followed before I turned north east. With views into the vast bowl of Link Cove and a green trod under foot I wandered to a cairn, this insignificant pile of rocks marked the start of a technical descent. Over shifting scree and tilting slabs I carefully picked my way down, once on level ground I had the three mile grassy ridge over Hartsop above How to enjoy, with springy turf under foot the walk out was a delight, many crags and rocky knolls guided me. Over Blake Brow and Black Crag I strolled, Hoggill Brow and Gale Crag and Blueberry Knott all ushered me along this wonderful curved ridge, after what seemed ages open fell gave way to mature oak, ash and rowan, which in turn gave way to flower meadows before I stepped onto the valley road at Deepdale Bridge, all that remained a pleasant road walk back to Patterdale.

view route map.


From Glenamara Park my first view of Ullswater.

Views across the mouth of Grisedale with the cliffs of Birkhouse Moor rising to the left.

Seen from the ascent of Thornhow End, Place Fell over Patterdale.

Ullswater as seen from Thornhow End.

Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd seen over Grisedale with sylvan Keldas to the right.

Super vistas over Ullswater with Gowbarrow taking centre stage, to the left Great Mell Fell with the Birk Fell slopes of Place Fell falling to the lake shore.

Looking over Grisedale marveling at the crags of the Helvellyn massif.

On The Cape with views to the blue hills of the Pennines.

Seen from St Sunday Crag the Striding Edge approach to Helvellyn.

Descending to Deepdale Hause looking to Fairfield, to the right Grisedale Tarn rests under the slopes of Seat Sandal.

About to scramble over Cofa Pike, pausing to view Great Gable, great seen from any direction.

St Sunday Crag from Cofa Pike.

Cofa Pike backed by St Sunday Crag.

What a view, Windermere Lake with Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea melting into the horizon, seen from Rydal Head.

Hart Crag as seen over Link Hause.

Hartsop Dodd and Coudale Moor seen over the shadowed cliffs of Hart Crag.

Wonderful views from the eastern edge of Hart Crag, the long curving ridge of Hartsop above How can clearly be seen to the right.

Coudale Moor over Dovedale with the dark ridge of High Street rising behind.

Above Cockley How drinking in views to Place Fell.

Angletarn Pikes across Patterdale.

A wonderful mountain vista, the head of Deepdale, from left to right, Dove Crag followed by the drop in to Link Hause, Fairfield rising behind the bulk of Greenhow End, Cofa Pike before another drop in, this time to Deepdale Hause.

Looking towards Deepdale Bridge with the now familiar Place Fell dominating the scene.

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