Outline of Route
Little Town - High Snab Bank - Robinson - Hindscarth - Dale Head - High Spy - Maiden Moor - Little Town (Grid ref. NY 232194)
Total Distance 8.7 miles, Total Ascent 3300 feet, Equivalent Distance 15.2 miles
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Details of Route
Photo of Robinson and Hindscarth.
Four hundred yards out of Little Town, at Chapel Bridge just before crossing Newlands Beck, there is free parking space available for about ten cars. From here cross the bridge and turn left through a gate along a road signposted "Newlands Church". Continue straight on past the church, and, passing High Snab to your right, through a gate. Further on, going over a stile by a gate access to the fells is achieved. At the end of the wall on the right a clearly visible footpath goes steeply straight up the slope to the crest of High Snab Bank photo. From here the view back along Newlands to Derwentwater with Blencathra in the background is excellent. photo. Walk along the crest and down into a little col before continuing the ascent. There are three rocky scrambles on the next section of the ascent photo enlarged photo, which may raise the pulse rate of the average fellwalker slightly, but they are of no great difficulty and little apparent danger. My preference for climbing these obstacles, rather than descending them, and the steep ascent to this bank, are the main reasons for my chosing this walk's anticlockwise direction. Continue up the path, with the awesome Robinson Crags over the edge on the right, to the long flattish summit. From the northern end look back down High Snab Bank to Newlands and beyond photo 1 photo 2. The view towards Grasmoor is impressive photo.
Go south from Robinson's summit, where there's a good view of Crummock Water photo, then bear left, where there's a magnificent view to the southwest photo, then go down to Littledale Edge, a height loss of about 500 feet, and up to the southern end of Hindscarth's summit ridge where the view of the High Stile ridge photo is excellent. The southwestern skyline is excellent here, from the High Stile ridge, via Steeple in profile, Pillar, Kirkfell and Gable. The two/three distant peaks between Kirkfell and Pillar are Whin Rigg, the summit of Yewbarrow and Stirrup Crag photo. Make the detour north to the summit of Hindscarth, for fine views of Newlands, to the north photo, and the Coledale fells to the northwest photo. It is worth going down to the northern cairn for a great northern panorama photo. Return along the summit ridge then cut the corner to the left onto Hindscarth Edge. This is quite narrow, about ten yards in places, and provides excellent views down into Honister pass, 1500 feet and more below. Follow this ridge up to Dale Head. This felltop has an utterly breathtaking view of Newlands photo with Miners Crag to the right photo, almost enough to make this fellwalker forget about the rest of the panorama photo.
The current path to Dalehead Tarn is now well worn. It keeps to the escarpment to start with and turns sharply right just before plunging over the cliff. From here you get your first sight of Dalehead Tarn, not to be confused with others such as Launchy Tarn which you will see first. A man-made rock staircase leads down to the left of the tarn. I recommend that routes you find, eg in Wainwright's Guide, that suggest you pass to the right of the tarn, be treated now with circumspection: it looks wet and weedy over there. Once over the beck, ascend High Spy along the clearly marked path. You come upon the chunkily built, summit cairn all of a sudden, with no advance warning that you're almost at the top. Wander over to the edge to see the steep crags sweeping down into Newlands. Continue along the ridge towards Maiden Moor, but do make the slight detour to the top of Blea Crag for your first stunning view of Derwentwater, and the Grange fells and beyond photo and alternatively photo. Further north and on the left is Bull Crag, from which you get your last bird's eye view of Newlands. From here the path goes northeast, where you get more fine views of Derwentwater photo, and on down to Hause Gate, the depression between Maiden Moor and Catbells. Turn left here and follow the path down to Little Town photo and Chapel Bridge. Those who might wish to walk a little bit further will do well to continue north over Cat Bells, from which there are fine views photo. After descending the north ridge to Hawes End turn left and follow the farm track past Skelgill to Little Town.
Rev. 02 September 2014