Walk                           :  Esk Pike (2,903 ft), Great End (2,984 ft), Allen Crags (2,572 ft) from Seathwaite via Grains Gill / Esk Hause

Date                           :  19th May  2018

Weather                    :  Glorious, Clear blue sky, bright sun @ 23°C


Distance                   :  12 miles round trip

Time Taken              :  2 hours 45 mins to summit (Esk Pike) and a total time of 9 hours out on the fells


Which part of Lakeland is this walk situated


Terrain Overview




The forecast for the weekend starting 18th May was extremely favourable. We had decided earlier to escape from all the Royal Wedding nonsense.

We had planned to do this walk about a month ago when we where in Ambleside for a week, but the weather had different ideas. This weekend

however was shaping up nicely so we travelled up on the Friday evening to a B&B in Ambleside  called The Quayside Club and I can highly

recommend it.


If any readers of this page would like to do all or parts of this walk, then allow plenty time to take in the most marvellous mountain scenery. The path

From Seathwaite Farm up Grains Gill is excellent and dominated by the awesome and intimidating sight of the North face of Great End. The major

junction that is Esk Hause allows you to take your pick of some of Lakeland`s more loftier heights (including Scafell Pike) via a number of

ingenious well marked paths



The walk starts from Seathwaite Farm along the beautiful Borrowdale Valley. This is take from about a mile away from the Farm itself due to

the verges close by being blocked off with boulders. As you can see this was the choice of hundreds today



We arrive at the farm and the public path skirts between two rows of buildings out to open pasture



Arriving at the first series of barred gates on the path to Stockley Bride. Ahead is the massive bulk of Seathwaite Fell



Further down the path and the view opens up to reveal the mouth of the valley. The path itself climbs gradually to quite a lofty height but the

gradient is favourable and tends to ease you into the climb



Taylorgill Force – whilst not immediately en route does merit a small detour from the path if time permits



Onwards with the walk and the cobblestone path leads on to Stockley Bridge



Stockley Bridge



Crossing Grains Gill



Over the bridge and through the gate and make an IMMEDIATE left turn to take the path that runs parallel to the wall



Starting off on the gradual climb up Grains Gill



All navigation worries are put aside now as the path follows unerringly to the top of the Gill. The stone stairway helps with the increasing gradient



Higher on up the path and a view of what will be our third fell of the day … Allen Crags



One of the several points along the route where the Gill cascades from a height



Higher still and the path gets steeper as we catch our first proper sight of Great End



The view back down the valley to Seathwaite and a distant Derwent Water



The intimidating aspect of the North face of Great End … yes Ste that’s going to be the second fell of the day – have you brought the ropes !!!

The couple taking a rest  in front of us kept over taking us then kind of hanging on to let us catch up …. We found out why a bit later



At the top of the Gill now and this is the major highway to all the main attractions. From here take a left and follow one of the several paths

That lead up to the pivotal junction of Esk Hause



Looking across right at the impressive sight of Great and Green Gable with the path to Sty Head tarn meandering westwards



We, however turn right up Ruddy Gill to start up on the cobbled path towards Esk Hause 



So .. the couple who kept “waiting” for us …


The lady fully kitted out, the gentleman wearing a flimsy pair of trainers ..


Them  : “Are you going to the Pike ?”

Me       : “Yes .. Esk Pike”

Them  : “Oh ! – which way to Scafell Pike and how much further ?”

Me       : “Give us your map and I`ll show you where you are now and which routes you have available”

Them  : “We don’t have one, we was sort of waiting for you”

Me       : “Oh right … Any Nav device ?”

Them : “No”


Seeing as they had come so far up from Sty Head I sort of pointed them round the Great End / Ill Crag route …

Them : “Oh !!!didn`t realize – is it hard up that way as Im not too keen on walking that far “

Me       : “See ya …. Good luck !!!”



Looking back down the climb to Esk Hause and a fleeting view of Sprinkling Tarn … our final destination of the day



At Esk Hause and a clear view of Esk Pike our first Fell of the day



From Esk Hause a view south towards Ill Crag one of the Scafell subsidiaries



Approaching the summit of Esk Pike – a boulder highway !!!



On top of Esk Pike and a view East towards the Langdale valley and the Langdale Pikes



From the top of Esk Pike a view of the summit cairn on Scafell Pike 



Great End, Great Gable and Green Gable



Looking North to SkiddawDerwent Water and Keswick



From the summit of Esk Pike a Team shot


Click here for a 360 degree view from the summit of Esk Pike … https://youtu.be/_Pq1h_PXjE8



It was at this point we had the pleasure of bumping into Briony – who actually recognised me from the web site and said she has used some

of my previous blogs as guides !!!!  - cant believe it – fame at last  ????   We spent some time chatting and discussing various routes etc then

she scooted off to Great End to knock off her 100th Wainwright



From the summit we retraced our steps back down to the Hause to pick up the path to Great End



Looking back from where we came and a view of Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags



Following the path to Great End



On reaching the top of the dip take the narrow path that rises over the top of Calf Cove which leads without any difficulty to the very flat summit



Lingmell and the Wasdale Valley from the summit of Great End




Great and Green Gable from the summit of Great End


Click here for a 360 degree view from the summit of Great End … https://youtu.be/HkxxBnismTw



Sue and Ste using the shelter cairn from the strong wind on the summit



Again – we retrace our path back down to Esk Hause and set off for Allen Crags



The scree path leading up to the summit on Allen Crags – very easy walking




Ste on the summit of Allen Crags



The view north towards Skiddaw in the distance



Looking East to the “pyramid like” Bowfell from the summit of Allen Crags




Heading back down to our final destination of the day … Sprinkling Tarn



Descending Ruddy Gill towards Sprinkling Tarn hidden behind the crop of rock outcrops



Surely one of the most idyllic spots in Lakeland .. it has to be … Sprinkling Tarn being dwarfed by Great Gable. We aren’t great fans of wild

camping but I could make an exception in this case !!! – a truly wonderful spot and one I would highly recommend a visit to. Unfortunately

our fantastic day in the Lakes would, after a lengthy hike back down Grains Gill to Seathwaite be coming to an end, and a very regrettable

journey home and back to reality. Until next time …….




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