The Lion and the Lamb.

Start. Grasmnere (A591).

Route. Grasmere (A591) - Pye Lane - Butharlyp Howe - Easedale Road - Easedale - High Raven Crag - Helm Crag - Bracken Hause - Greenburn - Helmside - Ghyll Foot - Low Mill Bridge - Tongue Gill - Travelers Rest (A591) - Grasmere.

Notes. This hill the Lion and the Lamb is probably the most recognised hill in the Lake District, not by the fell walking fraternity but by every day tourists whom screech to a halt just north of Grasmere to marvel at it’s summit architecture. Two distinct rocks mark the southern summit, best viewed from the edge of Grasmere, one the Lion the other the Lamb, but that's not all, when viewed from Mill Side an uncanny image of an Old Woman Playing an Organ meets the eye, from Dunmail Raise the same rock resembles a Howitzer. I’m sure there's others but from a hill walkers angle nothing looks the same from the summit, so I prefer to call this most recognised of hills simply Helm Crag.

Our walk starts in a lay-by north of Grasmere on the edge of the A591, from here you get a perfect view of the Lion and the Lamb. South we walked to access Pye Lane, Pye Lane in turn guided us to a gate allowing access to Butharlyp Howe, a wooded hill rising to a mere 320ft, we ignored the hill our climb will follow soon enough. The woodland walk that followed was a delight, the path ejected us onto Easedale Road where we turned right. With tarmac under foot we strolled towards the steep slopes and crags of Helm Crag, at a cluster of houses the tarmac vanished to be replaced by a stoney track, our ascent started here.

Between dry stone walls at first, through woodland, then out on the open fell, fairly steep at first before zigzags helped ease the gradient. We climbed between Jackdaw Crag and White Crag to be welcomed by a grassy shelf, we stopped to drink in the views before the final pull to the summit. Time passed slowly on the summit, we seemed to spend ages amongst the rock architecture, drinking coffee and scrambling over the various rock promontories, it felt good to have hands on rock and air under our feet. All good things come to an end, when the top started filling with walkers we left.

A short descent deposited us on Bracken Hause, the coll linking Helm Crag to Gibson Knott, we turned right joining a narrow trod descending into Greenburn. This path also zigzagged, it was a delight to descend, depositing us at a footbridge over Green Burn, we crossed to access Helmside and a tarmac lane. Our descent continued to Low Mill Bridge, after crossing said bridge we joined a foot-path on the right. Unsure of our footing we forded the fast flowing waters of Tongue Gill via a set of stepping stones, safe in sheep pastures the path guided us along the edge of the field a dry stone wall for company, passed a small barn to a gate allowing access to the A591 directly across from the Travelers Rest, all the remained a short road walk to the song of traffic and accompanying views to The Lion and the Lamb.

view route map.


Looking towards Little Castle Howe and Great Castle Howe from the outskirts of Grasmere.

Sunlight on Helm Crag (Lion and the Lamb) on view from Pye Lane.

Viewing Great Castle Howe from Easedale Road.

Taking a breather above Jackdaw Crag viewing Sourmilk Gill and the shadowed cliffs of Tarn Crag.

Loughrigg Fell rising above the alluring Vale of Grasmere.

Breathtaking views from the ascent of The Lion and the Lamb, Far Easedale and the cliffs of Pike of Carrs and Moment Crag.

Every step taken gains us a little more height, behind us a stunning unfolding panorama.

Above High Raven Crag gazing over the Vale of Grasmere to the steep grass carpeted slopes of Seat Sandal.

Rearing up out of Greenhead Gill, Heron Pike.

Sue soaks in views over South Cumbria....


....scaling the Lion, the Lamb is to the left, "don't step back".

The actual summit of Helm Crag, The Old Woman Playing an Organ or a Howitzer, from up here it's the only summit in Wainwright's Pictorial Guides the man himself never reached....

....this walker following in the great mans footsteps, thought about it then bottled it.

Sunlight paints the valley floor.

Adventures for another day, nestled in a horseshoe of high mountains a polished gem Easedale Tarn, standing proud on the horizon Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.

Viewing the Coniston massif from Helm Crag.

Steel Fell seen across Greenburn from below Bracken Hause.

Green Burn above Helmside.

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