Blea Rigg to Silver How.

Start. Grasmere.

Route. Grasmere - Easedale Road - Easedale - Sourmilk Gill - Easedale Tarn - Eagle Crag - Blea Rigg - Great Castle How - Little Castle How - Swinescar Hause - Lang How - Brigstone Moss - Silver How - Red Bank Road - Grasmere.

Notes. A broad backed Lakeland ridge gifting the lucky walker with fine views of the central fells and valleys, old Wainwright described this walk as having “rare distinction and beautiful views.” Follow in my footfall saving Silver How until the very end and the views get even better the further along the ridge you walk. For you compulsive list tickers there's three summits all worth visiting, if not just wander past them laughing at fellow walkers with burning lungs and aching legs ticking off tops in their little books.

Since Victorian times walkers have been directing their steps to a large tarn nestled in the hills west of Grasmere, the track that guided me in was originally laid to accommodate their fell trekking ponies, now thousands of walkers and non walkers annually make the pilgrimage, it's early morning, mid-week so I'm hoping the route will be quiet. Easedale Road guided me to a small cops where I stepped onto the path signed Easedale Tarn. With a good path under foot and the waters of Easedale Beck to guide me I wandered on, soon I found myself ascending next to the roaring cataracts of Sourmilk Gill, the gill was then my companion all the way to Easedale Tarn, a diamond in a mountain hollow, it's easy to see why the place is so popular.

After the obligatory photo shoot I continued along the edge of the tarn, ascending a steep path at the head of the valley, this deposited me in a high valley, lonely and empty, not many of the pilgrims reach this unfrequented corner of Lakeland. With only the sound of tumbling water and the cold mountain wind for company I continued my ascent, popping out of a rocky gully onto a broad grassy ridge, the promised land. I turned south east to start the long ridge walk back. Over, through and around boggy ground, under and over, often flanking rocky knolls, passed many sparkling tarns, gems capturing the morning sun and reflecting the sky. The path guided me, meandering it's merry way towards a distant shimmering Windermere Lake. What seemed like ages passed before I reached the deep cleft summit of Silver How, after descending into the cleft a pitch path carried me down the hill, on reaching a dry stone wall I turned left, with the wall to guide me I continued my descent soon stepping onto the tarmac of Red Bank Road to start the short walk back into Grasmere at the end of a delightful day.

view route map.


Easedale Road at the start of today's little outing.

Helm Crag lit by the morning sun.

Viewing the many cataracts of Sourmilk Gill.

Helm Crag backed by a cloud capped Fairfield, seen from near Easedale Tarn.

Easedale Tarn looking to Blea Rigg and Eagle Crag.

Dappled sunlight on the Easedale slopes of Tarn Crag.

Easedale Tarn viewed from the west, with the giants of Dollywaggon Pike, Seat Sandal and Fairfield dominating the horizon.

Above Eagle Crag with a breath-taking view over South Lakeland.

Views to the west, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark dip their toes into the waters of Stickle Tarn.

From Blea Rigg a litany of Lakeland favourites are on view, across the horizon the Helvellyn massif including Fairfield and Seat Sandal, the high ground in the middle distance being the Helm Crag Ridge and Steel Fell, in the foreground Greathead Crag with the slopes of Tarn Crag disappearing out of shot to the left.

Drinking in views to the west, dominating the horizon Coniston Old Man and it's lieutenants, Wetherlam, Great Carrs and Swirl How, dark in the foreground Lingmoor Fell leading to little Side Pike.

This is a mouth-watering view in anybody's book, drool at the misty valleys and distant horizons of South Lakeland, you can just make out the waters of Morecambe Bay.

Looking to little Side Pike backed by Pike of Blisco and the Coniston massif.

Wansfell Pike and Rydal Water seen from somewhere along this wonderful ridge.

Fairfield seen from near the summit of Great Castle How.

Views over Brigstone Moss to Silver How and Lake Windermere.

Views taken into Great Langdale, closing the head of the valley, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell with the Langdale Pikes standing sentinel like to the right.

Looking to the rock architecture of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.

Across Great Langdale, Lingmoor Fell, Side Pike and Pike of Blisco.

Nearing Silver How looking back to the Langdale Pikes with Lang How dark to the right.

As seen from the summit of Silver How, Wainwright's crouching lions.

Wetherlam and Swirl How seen over Lingmoor Fell.

The summit of Silver How gifts the lucky walker with classic vistas like this, Grasmere and Rydal Water.

Almost on the valley floor, a final shot, Grisedale Hause the pass between Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

back to top

back to list