This walk includes three of the 214 Wainwright fells, with the option of a fourth. These fells are easily accessible, offer stunning views, are visited by relatively few people, and you may spot a few deer.

There are some very steep grassy slopes on this walks so allow ample time and take care.

Route Description

1. Exit the car park onto the bridleway signed Hayeswater, keeping right after a cattle grid. The valley of Pasture Bottom on the right offers a glimpse of the ridges to follow. Cross Hayeswater Gill and continue to a second gateway, which has an adjacent kissing gate. Leave the track to the right and begin ascending the ridge of Gray Crag, going around the outside of a wall corner and then parallel to a low tumbled wall on the left. Scramble up the steep grassy slope ahead then join a path coming up from Hayeswater on the other side of the ridge. A view of Hayeswater appears to the left. Continue ascending the ridge to the cairn marking the 2,290-foot summit of Gray Rigg. Continue ahead. Shortly before reaching a second wall in a dip, fork right and descend to the col of Threshthwaite Mouth. Alternatively, you could continue ahead to bag another Wainwright, Thornthwaite Crag, and then descend to Threshthwaite Mouth. This would add half a mile of distance, plus 270 feet of ascent and descent. The 2,572-foot Thornthwaite Crag is a “must do” for Wainwright baggers but the descent path is steep, stony, narrow and often slippery.

2. Scramble up the rocky slope on the other side of Threshthwaite Mouth following the line of a crumbled wall to a cairn on the summit of Caudale Moor, known as Stony Cove Pike. The name Caudale derives from Old Norse for ‘the cold valley’; aptly named in view of its north facing slope. At 2,503 feet, this is the highest point of the walk. Looking back, it’s easy to identify the summits of Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke. Bear right and follow a wall along the ridge descending to the 2,027-foot summit cairn of Hartsop Dodd.

3. Caudale quarry can be seen below on the left. In the seventeenth century, the quarry’s large workforce lived in Hartsop, which was then bigger than Patterdale. Caudale green slate was said to be superior to any in the north of England. Right up until the quarry closed in 1935, there was no access road and most of the slate was taken down to Kirkstone Foot by the hazardous method of sledging. Some would be carried by pack-horses, but it required a team of ten horses to move just one ton of slate, the amount each man was expected to quarry in a day. The slate was taken to Ullswater by horse, ferried to Pooley Bridge in 8-ton boats, conveyed to the Solway and shipped to various parts of the UK, especially Ireland. It’s easy to see how the cost of transport exceeded that of the quarrying and the making of slates. Descend the steep twisty grooved path down to Hartsop (Low Hartsop as it used to be known) and return to the car park.


Distance: 5.5 miles ( 9km); ascent 2,300 feet (700m);

Time: 4 hours

Start: Hartsop car park (donation requested);

Grid reference NY 409 130,

Postcode CA11 0NZ

Terrain: Fell paths and open fell, very steep in parts

Map: OS Explorer OL5