Dale Head

Dale Head

Route: Dale Head and Hindscarth

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 16th May 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 7.7 miles

Ascent: 2,400 feet

Weather: Sunny with a cool breeze

On a beautiful morning in lakeland we parked at the small car park by Chapel Bridge just beyond Little Town. We turned left at Newlands Church to follow the track towards the head of the valley. Before long we could see our target, Dale Head, at the head of Newlands Valley. After passing through Low Snab farm we crossed a wooden footbridge over Newlands Beck and followed the path past the old climbing hut

The ascent route which we’d chosen is one we first walked 5 years ago (click here). It’s an unfrequented route along a faint path which we’d read about in Alfred Wainwright’s guides and one which he describes as a ‘mountaineering must’. Instead of ascending to Dalehead Tarn via the usual route, we left the main path at Near Tongue Gill to follow the wonderful path which passes the old copper mine. The route ingeniously finds a way above the steep cliffs of Dalehead Crags without any sense of exposure, and it’s perfectly safe

We arrived at a col just below the summit of Dale Head, and paused to chat to a passing fellow walker – up to this point we’d had the place to ourselves, another reason for recommending this route

After admiring the superb view from the shapely summit cairn on Dale Head we followed the ridge known as Hindscarth Edge, from where there are views in all directions, including most of lakeland’s finest fells. From the summit of Hindscarth we set off on the long descent, which has a few steep rocky sections, particularly on Scope End. There are no dangers, but some ungainly manouevres are needed

We arrived back at the start reflecting on how lucky we’d been today to enjoy such incredible scenery on such a lovely day – it had been a really great walk

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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