Seat Sandal through Grisedale.

Start. Patterdale.

Route. Patterdale - Glenamara Park - Thornhow - Grisedale - Ruthwaite Lodge - Grisedale Tarn - Hause Gap - Seat Sandal - Grisedale Tarn - Ruthwaite Lodge - Grisedale Bridge - Patterdale.

Notes. I left my options open today, unsure of where I'd end up, the only plan was to set off through Grisedale, the Grisedale cutting deep into the Helvellyn massif, on reaching Grisedale Tarn it would make my mind up. From this crossroads high in the hills I would have ample choice, maybe Dollywaggon Pike followed by the long walk to Helvellyn, the airy heights of St Sunday Crag leading to Birks and/or Arnison Crag, or the ever popular Fairfield. In the event I opted for the little visited Seat Sandal, had a wander around it's vast grassy summit, soaked up the views before returning to Patterdale.

Following a well trod path I left Patterdale entering Glenamara Park behind the Patterdale Hotel. Ignoring the routes to Arnison Crag and St Sunday Crag I descended into Grisedale, turning left I begun the long walk to Grisedale Tarn. The mountain scenery I was walking through, and into, made the walk in an absolute joy in itself. After fording Grisedale Beck I made the short ascent to Ruthwaite Lodge, now on the other side of the valley I passed under the precipitous cliffs of Spout Crag, Falcon Crag and Tarn Crag before rounding the corner for my first view of Grisedale Tarn.

After a quick brew I forded Grisedale Beck again to reach the steep slopes of Seat Sandal, ascending from Hause Gap this easy hands on scramble got me to the summit quickly. After an extensive wander around I descended to the north guided by the remains of a dry stone wall, along the edge of the tarn I strolled to re-trace my steps to Ruthwaite Lodge, after the short descent from the lodge a path to the left lead along the northern edge of the valley, this I followed for the next two miles before descending to the valley floor. All that remained was to follow the tarmac lane to Grisedale Bridge from where it was a short walk along the edge of the main valley road to Patterdale.

view route map.


Sunlight on Glenridding Dodd seen from the walk through Glenamara Park.

From the path through Glenamara Park views down Ullswater.

In the shadow of Thornhow Crag looking to Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike.

Seen from the approach to Elmhow, Dollywaggon and Nethermost Pikes, with sunlight catching the slopes of Grisedale Brow.

Place Fell stands in the distance seen from Ruthwaite Lodge.

Ruthwaite Lodge with views to Fairfield.

Seat Sandal rising from the frozen waters of Grisedale Tarn.

Dollywaggon Pike in sunlight and shade.

Seen from Hause Gap the steep climb up Fairfield Brow.

A stunning view between the cliffs of Dollywaggon Pike and St Sunday Crag, with Ullswater just visible in the distance.

Seen from above Gavel Crag, Fairfield leading to St Sunday Crag.

Sunlight catches the snow capped summit of St Sunday Crag.

Near the summit of Seat Sandal with views to the Coniston massif, Coniston Water and nearer to home beautiful Grasmere.

Under snow the Langdale skyline with little Easedale Tarn nestling in a boggy hollow under the cliffs of Blea Rigg.

The summit Seat Sandal.

Looking to Heron Pike backed by Windermere Lake with Morecambe Bay just visible on a blue/grey horizon.

The high skyline is Skiddaw seen over Thirlmere, with the slopes of the Helvellyn massif dropping in from the right.

From the northern shore of Grisedale Tarn views back to Hause Gap, my approach path clearly visible on the far bank, my ascent was up the small snow field at the base of the small cliff in the centre of the picture.

Grisedale lit by the midday sun, in shadow Gowbarrow Fell with the pointed top of Bleaberry Knott rising from Ullswater.

Another view down Grisedale, the weather's certainly improved since this morning.

Winter conditions on the high fells, Cofa Pike leading to Fairfield.

Place Fell seen over Broomhill Plantation.

Beyond Broomhill Plantation painted by the early afternoon sun Place Fell, with the cliffs of Thornhow Crag dropping in from the right.

A snapshot of the picturesque, rugged landscape at the head of Grisedale, Seat Sandal being the hill standing alone in the gap.

A final shot as I descend to the valley floor, from left to right, St Sunday Crag, Dollywaggon Pike and Nethermost Pike.

back to top

back to list