Seathwaite Fell

Overview

This walk is a circular walk from Seatoller, or Seathwaite Farm, passing over Seathwaite Fell and returning to Seatoller/Seathwaite Farm over Glaramara, with alternative valley return routes via Sty Head, Grains Gill or Langstrath.  The beauty of this walk is that you can vary it in a number of ways.  As described the circuit via Glaramara is about 8 ½miles and involves around 950m of ascent.

What this walk means to me

I never expected to like Seathwaite Fell as much as I did, having set out on the walk purely to tick it off the list of Wainwrights.  But it was a nice day, the ascent involved an easy scramble and the fell was deserted, but with great views to its neighbours – Great Gable, Great End, Glaramara.  I descended from the summit and in front of me lay Sprinkling Tarn, living up to its name in the June sunlight, the effect slightly spoiled by a couple of wild campers still there at midday.  An easy walk over Allen Crags brought me to the tarns where I saw my old friend Pike o’Stickle rising above the tarn waters.  I didn’t do the whole of the ridge as intended, but descended from Glaramara well satisfied with my day.  Seathwaite Fell was to be the first of a long line of largely unloved fells, which I felt a special attachment to.

The Route

From the bus stop at Seatoller (a), cross the road and follow the lane to Seathwaite Farm (b)

Along the road to Seathwaite Farm

Along the road to Seathwaite Farm

Continue through the farm, and onto a rougher path heading from Stockley Bridge (c).  Cross over the bridge, initially following the path that will eventually join Styhead Gill (one of the possible return routes). Cross some minor streams as you pass under the crags of Seathwaite Fell, then bear left to head for the face of the fell, close to where you may find a small weather station.

Seathwaite Fell from Stockley Bridge

Seathwaite Fell from Stockley Bridge

This is Aaron Crags (d) and your route lies up the slanting grassy rake in the centre of the photo below.

The way up onto Seathwaite Fell

The way up onto Seathwaite Fell

Once up the crags, simply head south over the top of the fell (e) with Great End rising up ahead of you.

Looking south to Great End

Looking south to Great End

Look to your right and you will get a good view of Great Gable and its neighbour Green Gable.  To your left is the Glaramara ridge – the return home.

Looking across to Great Gable

Looking across to Great Gable

As you descend from the summit of Seathwaite Fell you will come across Sprinkling Tarn (f).  You probably won’t have it to yourself, but it’s still a good lunch spot.  The other side of the tarn is the main path (g) between Styhead and Esk Hause.  If you’ve had enough you could turn right and follow this path down to Sty Head (i) and return along Styhead Gill (j).  Or indeed climb Great Gable and return over the ridge to Base Brown.  But today our route is left, first past the top of Ruddy Gill (h), which becomes another return route via Grains Gill (k), then up to Esk Hause and a left turn for Allen Crags (l).  Another alternative is to carry on down from Esk Hause, descending about 100m in height for the route via Langstrath (m).

...and up onto Allen Crags

...and up onto Allen Crags

Now from Allen Crags (n), follow the path as it undulates past tarns (o) and over outcrops, some of which are technically classed as mountains (Nuttalls) in their own right (there are 9 on this ridge alone).

Tarns on the traverse to Glaramara

Tarns on the traverse to Glaramara

Reaching the summit of Glaramara (p), perch on the rocks and look around you at the rocky splendour.  Now you have three choices – straight on over to Rosthwaite Fell (q), descending directly to the valley along Hind Gill (s), or our route descending more gradually over Thornythwaite Fell (r).  This brings you out on the road near the Glaramara Centre (t) and a simply walk to the left along the road brings you back to the start at Seatoller.

Note: the alternative return route via Styhead Gill will bring you back to Stockley Bridge (c) where you simply reverse the first part of the walk back to Seathwaite Farm or Seatoller.  The alternative route via Ruddy Gill (h) and Grains Gill (k) takes you straight back to the farm, also via Stockley Bridge.  The alternative route via Langstrath (m) will bring you out at Stonethwaite, where you will have to walk back along the road to the car – or simply catch the bus from Stonethwaite.

 

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