Grayrigg, Whinfell ridge and a walk through Borrowdale

Date walked: 21/05/2022

Time taken: 5.45 hours

Distance: 19km

Ascent: 862m

Another opportunity to have a day out in the hills presented itself and the weather looked like it would be okay so we couldn't say no, funny how we don't ignore the lure of the hills :lol:

Where should we go? Grayrigg was an enjoyable day out the last time we were there over two years ago, easy to get to from home and very quiet or the Howgills, mmmm easy decision, Grayrigg but this time we'd have a walk through Borrowdale on the return to the car instead of over the fells on the other side of the valley, something a bit different, not a full repeat :D

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

We parked up in the large view point layby on the A685 overlooking the M6,had a leisurely suiting and booting session and were off walking by 09:00.



The walk to the cairns on Grayrigg Pike summit was a slight variation of our last visit, we found that the path seemed to have become more obvious, more worn than last time (either that or we'd lost it two years ago) :lol: this time we approached the summit from the right instead of the left and found it a much better direction.






The weather was bright with a few breaks in the clouds, from the summit you get good views of the western Howgills, a bit hazy today but we were looking at all the tops we'd been on this side of the Howgills :D something that wasn't the case two years ago, we were only planning to explore them then.



From the cairns we headed for the trig point which is off to the west about 0.5km away, there's a slight descent then a lumpy ascent to get to the trig, there is more than one path heading in that direction from the cairns which could be confusing in the mist, we took the one heading SW then West this takes you to a gate in the wall, it's then a case of choose your path from there, there's three of them but they all lead to the trig combining their efforts about 100m from it :D


Our next port of call were the masts of the repeater station,




from the trig they can be seen but the way over is undulating so you do lose sight of them on the way over, there's a good path to follow but it disappears as you drop down to point 416, it can be seen on the rising ground beyond and once regained it takes you to one of those stone stiles in the wall difficult to spot until you're about a meter away :shock:

The path takes you to the track linking the two masts where it's followed until a path leads off it to the right heading for
Whinfell Beacon.

The climb up to the cairn is fairly steep, it's on a quad track so it's an easy ascent, on the summit there's a large cairn (the beacon) and a shelter cairn.



The weather was looking a bit threatening, we could see rain approaching from the west so we didn't hang about, we set off for Castle Fell.


About half way over the rain caught up with us so it was on with the jackets. Just before Castle Fell summit a very heavy shower came on making our stay by the cairn a short one, no photos this time so we beat a hasty retreat back to the path leading over to our next port of call Mabbin Crag

To get to Mabbin Crag summit the path leads from a stile in the wall at NY566018 through the plantation, this is very soggy to start with, we had to familiarise ourselves with the art of "bog hopping" as well as fighting with the trees to allow us through :shock: progress was slow but we managed to get the better of Mirkwood and after a steep final section above the fire break we were at the cairn :D

We saw this half way through Mirkwood in a clearing, Orc shelter?


Mabbin Crag cairn


Looking back to Castle Fell and Whinfell Beacon


From the cairn we headed north to gain the start of another break in the trees which went down hill to meet a tumble down section of wall then a short climb to gain the wide ridge leading to the top of Ashstead Fell.


We stopped here for a while then set off along the ridge to the final top, the cairn at NY558031.

looking back to the fire break from Ashstead Fell


We met a guy on the top, he was up there to watch a fell race that was taking place today, it was raining again so he shot off to watch the runners lower down.

As we got closer to the A6 and the start of our return walk down Borrowdale we could see all the fell runners on their way up, we just managed to finish our descent off Ashstead Fell before the main leaders of the race started their ascent, we could see runners on mass coming down the Breasthigh Road all heading in our direction so we couldn't have timed it any better, any higher up and we'd have got in their way :shock: it was the Lower Borrowdale Skyline Fell Race, more or less the walk we'd done two years ago only they were taking less than two hours to do the distance :shock: it's a different kind of fitness, very impressive.

We managed to avoid the runners by keeping to the fellside above the track at NY554036 and plonked ourselves on the track travelling through Borrowdale at around NY555037 keeping out of their way, we started the long walk back to the car.

It's a very pleasant walk, the further along you go the steeper the fellsides become, its very picturesque, it showered again when we'd just sat down to have lunch :roll: but we were in such nice surroundings we hardly noticed it.

Borrowdale views





It's a nice valley










About halfway along around Low Borrowdale Farm the finishing post of the fell race was sited, it went from very a quiet walk along the river side to a hive of activity, loads of people and officials congratulating the finishers there were a lot of cars and campervans we hoped we'd get back to the road before they all decided to leave, it would have been difficult trying to walk along a narrow track/road being followed by that lot :lol:

We made it, we were passed by a couple early leavers so we were lucky, Back at the road it was a short walk back to the layby, even that was full of cars so we'd made the right choice to set off from home early :D

A good day out, I'd recommend this day in the hills to anybody who appreciates solitude and wild places, we'll do it again, in reverse next time I think.


Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Wet Sleddale Outliers

Date walked: 07/05/2022
Distance: 17.5km
Ascent: 572m
Views: 239

Great Knoutberry Hill and Wold Fell

Hewitts: Great Knoutberry Hill
Date walked: 16/04/2022
Distance: 15.2km
Ascent: 590m
Comments: 2
Views: 377

Whernside Tarns again

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Hewitts: Whernside
Date walked: 10/04/2022
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 600m
Views: 28

A pathfinding foray into the Shap fells above Wet Sleddale

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Date walked: 30/01/2022
Distance: 6.75km
Ascent: 248m
Views: 57

A day of three short walks

Attachment(s) Date walked: 29/01/2022
Distance: 14.5km
Ascent: 554m
Views: 311

Finding the quiet side of Whernside.

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Whernside
Date walked: 15/01/2022
Distance: 18km
Ascent: 605m
Comments: 4
Views: 723

Somewhere a bit different, Calf Top.

Attachment(s) Hewitts: Calf Top
Date walked: 21/12/2021
Distance: 19.5km
Ascent: 701m
Comments: 3
Views: 619

Three nice tops to finish off with.

Attachment(s) Date walked: 21/11/2021
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 897m
Comments: 7
Views: 711

Kendal Double, contenders for the easiest fells in Lakeland

Date walked: 20/11/2021
Distance: 7.5km
Ascent: 203m
Views: 276


User avatar
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Occupation: Employed
Interests: Mountaineering, Photography, History, Historic Buildings and sites, all of Scotland
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Helwith Bridge Inn
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Isle of Harris
Gear: Paramo Windproof
Member: National Trust
Camera: Olympus/sony compact
Ideal day out: A good long walk taking in several summits,varied terrain and brilliant views.
Ambition: Compleat the Munros
Walk wishlist

Munros: 213
Corbetts: 19
Grahams: 12
Donalds: 7
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 150
Sub 2000: 2
Islands: 24

Filter reports



Trips: 7
Distance: 108.95 km
Ascent: 4031m
Hewitts: 3


Trips: 17
Distance: 230.4 km
Ascent: 12544m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 2
Hewitts: 2


Trips: 14
Distance: 190.45 km
Ascent: 11745m
Munros: 4
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 1


Trips: 19
Distance: 283.5 km
Ascent: 19806m
Munros: 14
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 12
Wainwrights 20


Trips: 23
Distance: 361.05 km
Ascent: 24526m
Munros: 26
Hewitts: 20
Wainwrights 35


Trips: 25
Distance: 347.5 km
Ascent: 25223m
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 5
Hewitts: 18
Wainwrights 43


Trips: 21
Distance: 448.7 km
Ascent: 27019m
Munros: 42
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 9
Wainwrights 26


Trips: 31
Distance: 468.95 km
Ascent: 32049m
Munros: 42
Corbetts: 2
Donalds: 4
Hewitts: 12
Wainwrights 25


Trips: 28
Distance: 395 km
Ascent: 27479m
Munros: 44
Corbetts: 1
Donalds: 3
Hewitts: 15
Wainwrights 26


Trips: 7
Distance: 72.7 km
Ascent: 3243m
Munros: 13
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 6
Wainwrights 10

Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Last visited: May 27, 2022
Total posts: 597 | Search posts