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Best Walks from Glenridding and Patterdale

By Dave Roberts   

on November 5, 2018    4.67/5 (3)

Best Walks from Glenridding and Patterdale

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Location Map

Glenridding and Patterdale are two small villages close to each other at the southern end of Ullswater in the Lake District. Glenridding is Cumbric in origin, with it’s name loosely meaning Bracken Glen. *Redïn, meaning ‘ferns, bracken’ (or rhedyn in Welsh), and *glinn, ‘valley’ or glen. Patterdale is simply Saint Patrick’s Dale.

What’s In Glenridding and Patterdale? 

Glenridding caters for all kinds of watersports, and is famous for the Ullswater steamers. Not too far away is Aira Force waterfall, as well as Glencoyne Bay, where you’ll find the ‘Daffodils’ that inspired William Wordsworth to write his famous poem.

How Can I Get To Glenridding and Patterdale?

For trains your nearest stop would be Penrith, which runs from all major cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. National Express Coaches also serve Penrith. Travelling by road you’ll need to take junction 40 off the M6 and follow Glendridding along the shore of Ullswater. The 508 bus serves Glenridding from Penrith all year round. During the summer, the 508 can get to Glenridding from Windermere via the Kirkstone Pass. Don’t forget the Ullswater Steamers which are probably the best way to travel between the villages on Ullswater with boats between Pooley Bridge, Howtown, Glenridding and Aira Force.

What Pubs and eateries are there in Glenridding and Patterdale?

Patterdale is rather small in comparison to it’s neighbour Glenridding, which is where you’re most likely to find a pub and/or eatery, among them friends of the site the Glenridding hotel.

Best Walks from Glenridding and Patterdale

Helvellyn via Striding Edge

Height Gained – 850 metres,  Distance – 6.5 km, Time –3 hours.

Anyone who loves the high mountains will surely have the scramble up Helvellyn via Striding Edge on their tick list. Setting off from Glenridding (though possible from Patterdale) this is one of the most popular scrambles in the Lake District, and for good reason. While it may not be quite as exposed as Crib Goch, it still deserves respect. Another similarity to Crib Goch is that it’s popular, and attracts more than it’s fair share of people who shouldn’t attempt it – which unfortunately adds to the local MRT’s workload.

Helvellyn via Swirral Edge

Height Gained – 890 metres ,  Distance – 6 km, Time –2.5 hours

Not only does Helvellyn boast Striding Edge but also another quality scramble in Swirral Edge. While not as popular as it’s neighbour, it’s still a worthy route and is often walked in conjunction with Striding Edge to form a satisfying horseshoe.

Helvellyn via the Pony Path

Height Gained – 870 metres,  Distance – 8 km, Time –3 hours.

The walk up the Pony Path is one of the easier routes up Helvellyn, via Keppel Cove avoiding the more technical Striding and Swirral Edges. This is the recommended route up Helvellyn from Glenridding / Patterdale for those who don’t want to scramble and a foul weather alternative route when it’s too wet or windy to attempt the more exposed ridge walks.

Scramble up Helvellyn via Striding Edge

Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike and Seat Sandal Walk from Glenridding

Height Gained – 1550 metres ,  Distance – 22.5 km, Time –8 hours or longer

Another route up Helvellyn from Glenridding is via Stick’s Pass, which is longer than the Pony Path but similar in difficulty. This walk includes the summits of Raise and Whiteside on the ascent and descends over Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon pike to Grisedale Tarn. There’s the option of tagging on the awkward summit of Seat Sandal onto the route before a descent down the dramatic Grisedale. Those looking for even more mountains in the day can finish off with St Sunday Crag – for one of the biggest days out on Helvellyn.

The Deepdale Horseshoe from Patterdale

Height Gained – 970 metres ,  Distance – 15.5 km, Time – 5 – 6 hours

While Helvellyn is often the star, nearby Fairfield isn’t without it’s charm. Often ascended via the popular Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside, a much rougher approach is via the Deepdale Horseshoe from Patterdale. It’s slightly harder than it’s southern cousin, owing to being a path less trodden as well as the ascent over St Sunday Crag and then Cofa Pike to the summit of Fairfield.

Patterdale and Place Fell Walk

Height Gained – 500 metres ,  Distance – 6.5 km, Time –3 hours or so

Despite being surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the Lake District, it’s some of the more lowlier summits that seem to dominate the views. Place Fell towers over Patterdale, despite being only 657m in height. Those climbing to the summit will enjoy stupendous views towards Helvellyn, High Street and Ullswater.

High Street and Angletarn Pikes From Patterdale

Height Gained – 825 metres ,  Distance – 9 km, Time –2-3 hours

While Helvellyn may be the mountain most visitors associate with the area, you can also ascend High Street from Patterdale. The route via Angletarn Pikes provides much more interest than the more direct route via Hayeswater, which is nevertheless the recommended return route.

Glencoyne and Sheffield Pike

Height Gained – 600 metres ,  Distance – 7.8 km, Time –3 hours

While Place Fell dominates the view across Ullswater to the east, Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd rise directly above Glenridding to the west. Another shorter walk that can be extended over Stybarrow Dodd or as an alternative approach to Sticks Pass for a walk up Helvellyn.

Easier Walking Routes from Glenridding and Patterdale

Ullswater Way Easy Walk

Height Gained – 200 metres ,  Distance – 6 km, Time – 2 hours

Finally – an easy walk along the shores of Ullswater from Patterdale. While this walk is only a 6km loop, you can extend the walk as far as Howtown and you can return to the start by catching the Ullswater Steamers. This is part of the Ullswater Way footpath that extends for around 30km all around Ullswater and makes an ideal way to explore the area.

Easy Walk around Brothers Water

Height Gained – 55 metres ,  Distance – 4 km, Time – an hour or so

Those looking for a more intimate body of water can visit the diminutive Brothers Water just up the road at Hartsop. You can walk here directly from Patterdale with a good footpath you can follow from Rooking to Hartsop. It used to be called Broad Water, but was renamed after two brothers perished in the lake while ice skating on New Year’s Day 1812.

Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell

Height Gained – 390 metres ,  Distance – 6.5 km, Time – 3 hours

Our final walk is a bit further out than the others, classifying more as an Ullswater walk than one from Glenridding. However, anyone visiting the area will find a visit to Aira Force waterfall a worthy excursion and if you’re based in Glenridding then you can catch the Ullswater Steamer direct from Glenridding to Aira Force.

Local Information and Recommended Maps and Guidebooks

Recommended Maps


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Dave Roberts

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