The Deepdale Horseshoe.

Start. Patterdale.

Route. Patterdale - Glenamara Park - Thornhow End - Black Crag - Birks - Gavel Moss - St Sunday Crag - Deepdale Hause - Cofa Pike - Fairfield - Rydal Head - Scrubby Crag - Link Hause - Hart Crag - Blake Brow - Hartsop above How - Hoggill Brow - Gale Crag - Deepdale Park - Deepdale Bridge - Patterdale.

Notes. I was standing at the bar enjoying a post walk drink surrounded by like minded people eulogising over their latest adventure, when I mentioned The Deepdale Horseshoe all I get was strange looks, nobody had heard of it, suddenly it's as if you've grown a red nose and big feet, people swiftly distanced themselves from the clown at the bar, but the bar man in the White Lion knew what I was talking about, keep it a secret he whispers before pouring me another drink. The clown at the bar has just had one of the best hill days to be had, why not join him those big floppy boots won't get in the way.

I parked at Patterdale, you could park at Deepdale Bridge if you wish but Patterdale has a couple of watering holes and an excellent shop selling everything you need for a grand day out in the hills. After stocking up with food the path to the right of the public toilets guided me into birch woods, I crossed a stile to join a good path leading through Glenamara Park, this fine trod ushered me between fine mature beech, ash and oak, after fording Hag Beck I reached the foot of the ridge climbing Thornhowe End. I ascended, a good path under foot, steep, but steep gets you up quickly, soon I was drinking in views from Thornhowe End, a grassy knoll above a rock buttress.

A stile aided my crossing of the intake wall, the path continued on a grassy shelf overlooking Grisedale, not for me I left it after the stile, ascending a faint green path up the nose of Birks, this wonderful grassy trod walked by few ushered me above Black Crag, then over the summit of Birks before depositing me on the edge of Gavel Moss, in front of me the final steep pull onto St Sunday Crag. With a stoney path to guide me I climbed to the rocky heights of this fine mountain, spent some time soaking up the views then continued following the ridge line. Over Deepdale Hause I strolled before the road block of Cofa Pike. There is a way across this petrified pillar of rock, it's quite safe, I picked my way over, slow hands on in places, once over it was a short hop into the Lakeland mist and the boulder strewn summit plateau of Fairfield.

I didn't hang around it was like pea soup up there, east above Rydal Head I wandered, cairns like phantoms appearing then disappearing in the swirling mist, on Link Hause I briefly escaped the cloud cover before being swallowed up again on the ascent of Hart Crag, somewhere on the traverse the cloud lifted enabling me to spot a cairn marking the descent onto the Hartsop above How ridge. After descending I found a comfortable perch with good views, sat down and had lunch. Refreshed I set out on a stunning two and a half mile ridge walk to Deepdale Bridge, this long but rewarding walk out passed over Blake Brow, Hartsop above How and Hoggill Brow, patches of boggy ground were easily by-passed, after Gale Crag and Bleaberry Knott I entered Deepdale Park, a wonderful carpet of bluebells greeted me, I continued down hill traversing sheep pastures before stepping onto the main valley road at Deepdale Bridge. A short stroll along the valley bottom followed, passed the parked car straight to the bar of the White Lion Inn.

view route map.


The White Lion one of Patterdale's two watering holes.

Ascending Thornhow End with a liberal covering of Bluebells for company.

Looking to Bleaberry Crag across Grisedale with High Spying How and Striding Edge under cloud.

The scene over Ullswater from Thornhow End.

Arnison Crag rises from Glenamara Park with the High Street range grey across the skyline.

View taken just before leaving the main trod, the green pastures of Grisedale with the Helvellyn range under cloud.

The summit Birks looking to St Sunday Crag.

Near the summit of St Sunday Crag heading towards Seat Sandal with the rock scenery of Dollywaggon Pike to the right.

Cloud rolls over the Deepdale face of Fairfield.

View taken to the head of Grisedale where Seat Sandal dips it's toes in Grisedale Tarn and Fairfield rises to the left with Dollywaggon Pike to the right.

From the slopes of St Sunday Crag the wonderful rock architecture of the Helvellyn massif, Dollywaggon Pike, kissed by cloud Nethermost Pike, at the moment free of cloud Helvellyn it's self.

Cofa Pike and the faint outline of St Sunday Crag, seen from the short hop onto Fairfield's stoney summit.

On Link Hause looking to Great Rigg and Heron Pike.

On Hart Crag, a quick glance along the Hartsop above How ridge before the cloud descends again.

In the distance Ill Bell with the bulk of Caudale Moor to the left.

Romping along a wide grassy saddle looking to Hartsop above How, it's southern slopes plunging into Dovedale.

The view across Dovedale taking in Little Hart Crag with Red Screes on the far horizon.

A slice of the picturesque, the formidable cliffs of Greenhow End with Fairfield under cloud.

Looking towards Arnison Crag with Place Fell rising out of shot to the right.

Gavel Pike rising from Deepdale.

Passing through the coppice woodland of Deepdale Park.

Deepdale Beck a typical Lakeland stream.

back to top

back to list