Walk up Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere
One of the classic walks from Buttermere, including Wainwright’s favourite hill – Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike.
|9.63 km||709 m||3.5-4 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Start and Finish: Gatesgarth Farm at the southern end of Buttermere.
Keep an eye out for our complete guide to Buttermere – coming soon!
Minor scrambles between Scarth Gap and Haystacks summit.
The Honister Rambler bus service No.77 operates from April to October in both directions from Keswick, stopping in the village, on a circular route taking in Portinscale, Catbells, Grange, Seatoller, Honister Slate Mine, Buttermere, Lorton and Whinlatter Forest – but runs in both directions. You’ll need to check the Stagecoach site for information to see if the buses are currently running as there are no timetables available online.Traveline for UK Public Transport
Parking and Post Code for Sat Nav (where applicable): CA13 9XA. From Buttermere village, continue south on the B5289 to far the edge of Buttermere lake and follow the road to Gatesgarth Farm.
Gatesgarth Farm Pay and Display Car Park (£4 for the day).
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Walk up Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere Route Map and GPX Download
Summits and Places on this Route
Walk up Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere Details
The deep green moorland between Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike isn’t like anything else found in the Lake District. The jagged exposed rocks, isolated tarns, hidden hollows and high mountains looming in the distance means that you can easily forget that you are actually walking at almost 600 metres. The views from Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike stretch across Buttermere and Crummock Water, with Loweswater just peeking in the distance. The route begins with a steady climb to Scarth Gap and then up a steep, rocky path to Haystacks summit. After passing Innominate Tarn and dropping down towards Dubs Quarry, the faint footpath climbs across moorland to Fleetwith Pike and returns alongside Warnscale Beck.
Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere Route Description
1. From Gatesgarth Farm car park, cross the road and head towards the farm. Go through the right hand wooden gate and then through the second gate to join a wide gravel track.
2. Follow the track through two wooden gates to reach a junction.
3. Continue straight ahead, climbing alongside the treeline. At the next junction, turn left. The well-defined stone path steadily climbs, with great views of Haystacks ahead.
4. Ignore the right-hand fork and continue along Scarth Gap Pass, with wonderful views back across Buttermere.
5. As the path approaches Scarth Gap, it becomes more uneven and criss-crosses streams and rockfall before levelling out and reaching a large cairn and a junction. Take the left path, just behind the cairn and begin the climb to Haystacks.
6. The stone steps quickly become loose rocks and there are also a few minor scrambles.
7. The path eventually levels out and offers brilliant views over Buttermere and Crummock Water.
8. Using the low-lying cairns to help you find the way, follow the path as it climbs towards the summit, which is marked with an old metal post.
9. From the summit, bear right and join the narrow path which runs next to the unnamed water.
10. The path disappears for a metre or two and then joins a well-defined stone footpath heading south-east. Continue straight ahead, following the stone path to a junction marked with a low cairn.
11. Bear right and follow the faint path in-between the rocks before joining a very clear footpath which runs along the north side of Innominate Tarn before weaving around the edge of the crags.
12. Cross Black Beck at the edge of Blackbeck Tarn and continue on the stone track as it bears left uphill.
13. The path reaches a grassy junction, with a line of stones marking the edge of the footpath.
14. Turn right and keep right at the next fork to descend to Warnscale Beck.
15. Cross the beck and turn right at the junction, following the path to Dubs hut.
16. Take the left hand track and, keeping Dubs hut on your right, follow the path through the loose slate.
17. At the junction, ignore the more defined path on the left and instead continue straight ahead on the faint grassy path. After a few metres the path becomes clearer and approaches two large mounds of slate. Follow the path as it bears right, keeping the slate mounds to your left.
18. The path widens for a metre or two and then reaches a fork. Take the left fork and follow the narrow, rocky footpath across the moorland towards Fleetwith Pike.
19. The summit cairn eventually appears directly ahead. Peeking just the other side of the cairns are Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater in the distance.
20. From the summit, retrace your steps across the moorland to Dubs hut. Continue down towards Warnscale Beck and turn right at the junction. The stone path soon merges with another path and bears right around the hillside.
21. Buttermere comes into view and the track, made up of loose rocks, climbs down the valley.
22. The path levels out and bears right, eventually reaching the road.
23. Turn left to return to the car parking area.