Hartsop Round

Hartsop RoundUnlike some of the more popular Lakeland ridge walks, there is no definitive route for the Hartsop Round. Indeed the walk can be shortened or lengthened according to your mood and/or the weather. Whichever route you take, this is a fantastic walk in a quieter corner of the Lake District. The walk begins in the hamlet of Hartsop, at the foot of the Kirkstone Pass, a couple of miles from Patterdale village and the southern end of Ullswater. It sits at the entrance to Hayeswater valley, in the shadows of the High Street Range, an area the walk will explore. The distinctive conical-shaped Hartsop Dodd (right of photo) next to the Kirkstone Pass road overshadows the hamlet and is the initial climb of the walk.  The summit is quickly reached, from where there is an enjoyable walk along one of the six ridges leading to Stony Cove Pike. A rocky descent leads down to the col of Threshtwaite Mouth before an equally rocky, yet short ascent, to Thornthwaite Crag from where Windermere can be seen. This is one of the more popular eastern fells with its landmark tall pillar of stones, visible for miles around. From here onwards route options are available. The shortest way back to Hartsop is via Gray Crag (centre of photo). This is a fine descent with fabulous views and steep section back into Hayeswater Gill, close to the village. A more popular route is the ridge walk onto High Street, the high point of an eight-mile-long spine running north to south which stays consistently above 2000 feet. Beyond High Street a path leads north-east to High Raise and Kidsty Pike. From here there are dramatic views of Blea Water sheltering under the crags of  High Street’s eastern face. After retracing your steps around Rampsgill Head there is a gentle climb to the top of the unremarkable The Knott, with its steep scree slopes down to the shores of Hayeswater. Leaving the summit behind there is an option to descend to Hayeswater Gill and the village or carry on along the wall-side to the rounded dome of Rest Dodd. From here the route passes beneath Satura and Buck Crags before skirting Angle Tarn below the twin peaks of Angletarn Pikes.