Mountains of the British Isles > England >

Lake District, Far Eastern Fells | VR Tour

Explore the Far Eastern Fells of the English Lake District, a quieter region than the more popular honeypots, yet perhaps more accessible. Lower in height than the Southern and Northern Fells, there is remains a charm in the rugged landscape of steep sided fells, crags, and hidden pools.

It is an area rich in history. A roman road once stretch over the broad slopes of High Street, thus lending its name.

Float cursor over picture button below to view start location, allowing time for Google Map to update, then click to begin your virtual tour.
Resume Previous Tour

List of Peaks:





Kidsty Pike780mNuttall, Wainwright, BirkettMardale Head
Harter Fell778mNuttall, Simm, Hewitt, Wainwright, BirkettMardale Head
High Street828mNuttall, Marilyn, Simm, Hewitt, Wainwright, BirkettMardale Head
Mardale Ill Bell760mDeleted Nuttall, Wainwright, BirkettMardale Head
Rampsgill Head792mNuttall, Simm, Hewitt, Wainwright, BirkettMardale Head
Rough Crag628mNuttall, Simm, Hewitt, BirkettMardale Head
Thornthwaite Crag784mNuttall, Simm, Hewitt, Wainwright, BirkettMardale Head

The Riggindale Horseshoe:

The Riggindale Horseshoe consists of a tight crescent of peaks above the Riggindale valley, in the far eastern fells of the Lake District. It's waters drain into Riggindale Beck and on into Haweswater, a reservoir built between 1929 and 1935 to supply the city of Manchester with water. The start point for those hiking the horseshoe is the car park at Mardale Head, Mardale being the valley flooded to create the lake. Expand article

One bright May evening, after a business appointment at the HQ of a supermarket in Penrith, I exited the M6 motorway at Shap and drove down the narrow lanes to the north eastern end of Haweswater, following its southern shore to the car park at Mardale Head. Whilst others were departing the fells, I changed into walking clothes and headed upwards with just a few hours of day light remaining.

This was only my second outing with my new Richo Theta S 360 camera, I was eager to use it. On this occasion the camera was tripod mounted, a method I would later avoid in favour of a monopod spiked into the ground. First stop, second photo, the junction just beyond the carpark gate, then the foot bridge over Mardale Beck, and along the path to the forest edge at The Rigg, shunning the many paths that offered more direct path to Rough Crag, for I wished to walk up and along it's spine.

Rough Crag is a summit on a spur that leads up High Street's western flank. An easy ridge walk that offers plentiful views down upon Blea Water to the south and over to Kidsty Pike to the north. It was the only place on the route where I saw another person; a fell runner steadily climbing Rough Crag behind me then shooting past near the summit whilst I stopped to take photos. The light of golden hour drawing close, blue skys with a hint of cloud, it was going be a beautiful evening. A mental note, Blea Water looks ideal for a night's wild camp.

Then on to High Street, the main summit of the massive, and named after the Roman road that runs over the flat peak. The road ran between the forts at Brougham (Brocavum) near Penrith and at Ambleside (Galava), taking a route that avoided the boggy, forested valley floors. The summit is also known as Racecourse Hill due to the horse races and fairs held on the plateau in the 18th and 19th century. Today there is a Ordnance Survey triangulation pillar marking the high point.

High Street from the Straits of Riggindale
High Street from the Straits of Riggindale

Tracing the footsteps of the Roman Legions, I headed north along the Straits of Riggindale, then west to the flat summit of Rampsgill Head, unmarked and unremarkable as a Nuttell. Kidsty Pike offers a more airy feeling, its craggy summit rising steeply above Riggindale, and marked by a walker's cairn. A good place to linger, but not that evening. The golden orb of the sun was already low and would soon disappear behind Rampsgill Head. I did not fear becoming benighted, a torch lay in my pack and the paths were clearly defined. The next day I was due for an early morning meeting in Nantwich, leaving me with many more miles to cover that evening once back on tarmac. So I ran eastward down the gentle slope to Kidsty Howes, then quickly descended to the shore of Haweswater whilst the sky darkened and a crescent moon appeared. An easy path crossed Riggindale Beck, looped round the nose like headland of the Rigg, familiar territory, than back on a path I had walked a few hours previous to a near dark Mardale Head. Expand article