All the Walking Routes up High Street
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All the Walking Routes up High Street Details
The mountain of High Street in Wainwright’s Far Eastern Fells is an intriguing hill, with many approaches to the summit. At 827m in height, it my not be the highest mountain, but it does form a wide expanse of high ground and plenty of space to get away from the masses if you choose. With approaches from Glenridding, Troutbeck, Kentmere, Mardale Head and from the north, there’s plenty of options for this hill.
Why is it called High Street – High Street is named after the Roman Road that crosses the plateau, joining two forts in Penrith and Ambleside. The slopes of High Street and the summit plateau are reasonably gentle in places, and made for the easiest route between these two strategic locations. If you’ve looked carefully at the map, then you’ll notice that the summit is also called Racecourse Hill. It’s gained that name, as you’d expect, as horse races and summer fairs were held on the summit in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Height Gained – 600 metres, Distance – 6.5 km, Time –2.5 hours.
You can ascend High Street from the Kirkstone Pass via the Wainwright summits of St Raven’s Edge, Stony Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag in this undulating route. It has the advantage of starting off quite high, but you’ll have to pay back most of that gain wen you descend to the col at Threshthwaite Mouth. You can also modify the approach by starting from from Cauldale Bridge or Hartsop, by following the path via Rough Edge to Cauldale moor.
Height Gained – 800 metres, Distance –10 km, Time –3.5 hours.
The approach from Troutbeck is a lengthy route, that follows the High Street bridleway to the summit. It starts off virtually flat for the first 6km before packing in virtually all the ascent over the next 2km before flattening out on the summit plateau. We’d favour using this in descent in combination with the next route – which has a bit more interest.
Height Gained – 980 metres, Distance – 12.5 km, Time –3.5 hours.
This route from Troutbeck is a variation the previous walk, and both together make an interesting circular walk. It ascends the undulating ridge along the summits of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick and makes for a proper mountain outing and adds plenty of interest. This route can also be ascended from Kentmere.
Height Gained – 750 metres, Distance – 8.6 km, Time –3 hours.
Kentmere is a quiet and picturesque valley to the north of Staveley and has some of the longer and more scenic approaches to High Street. While you can complete the Kentmere Round, along the ridges of Ill Bell and Kentmere Pike, you can also ascend the mountain more directly via the Nan Bield Pass. This is a good track, good enough for mountain bikes and so reasonably easy underfoot. Of course, the climb over Mardale Ill Bell is a bit rougher!
Height Gained – 620 metres, Distance – 4.8 km, Time –2.5 hours.
This route from Mardale Head ascends via the tarn of Small Water to the pass at Nan Bield before a rough pull up to Mardale Ill Bell and then the summit.
Height Gained – 600 metres, Distance – 4 km, Time –2 hours.
This is a direct route from Haweswater (Mardale Head) via the Nuttall of Rough Crag and up the Long Stile ridge. This is a route that takes in the roughest face of the mountain and a reasonably short outing, even if combined with a descent to Nan Bield Pass or via Kidsty Pike.
Height Gained – 722 metres, Distance – 7 km, Time –2.5 hours.
A quiet route that’s almost pathless up the ridge to Kidsty Pike and on to the summit. Views across the crags to Rough Crag are the highlight, and it’s best combined with the route up Long Stile or Nan Bield Pass.
High Street from Hartsop
Height Gained – 700 metres, Distance – 5.7 km, Time –2.5 hours.
A popular route up High Street from Hartsop via Hayeswater Gill and directly up via The Knott to join the route from Patterdale and Angle Tarns, or via Gray Crag and up to Thornthwaite Crag. Alternatively, there’s a path up Pasture Bottom or Hartsop Dodd that provides a further off-path option.
Height Gained – 820 metres, Distance – 9.5 km, Time –3.5 hours.
The ascent from Patterdale is another popular ascent, with this route also feasible to start from Hartsop and makes a natural circular walk with the previous route. The route takes you up via Angle Tarns and the Rest Dodd ridge, with optional extra summits on the way.
High Street from the North – Via the High Street from Pooley Bridge
Height Gained – 882 metres, Distance – 15.6 km, Time –5 hours.
This is the epic approach from the north – which can be started from various points from either side of the ridge. Long for a day walk, with logistical problems, but still an option for those who like their walks extra long or as a backpacking trip Approaches – Martindale from Ullswater offers a number of routes and is the most practical route for the day walker looking for a circular route.
A longer approach can be started from either from Pooley Bridge on Ullswater, or from Askham or Helton from east. This involves ascending towards Askham Fell and joining the High Street from there. You can also set off from the north from Tirril (or even Penrith) and follow as much of the High Street as possible.
The hamlet of Bampton also offers a number of approaches from the East to join the High Street at Loadpot Hill or further south at Wether Hill. If you look at the map, you’ll realise that these northern approaches could easily warrant an entire article in their own right!
Follow the following links for more walks in the Lake District and Wainwright’s Far Eastern Fells.