Hart Crag walk, Patterdale

Hart Crag

Route: Hartsop above How and Hart Crag

Area: Eastern Lake District 

Date of walk: 6th August 2020

Walkers: Andrew, Gilly and James

Distance: 6.8 miles

Ascent: 2,300 feet

Weather: Sunny intervals, but gradually clouding over 

We parked at Cow Bridge beyond Patterdale, and from here the climb started immediately, with a steep ascent through Low Wood. This eventually brought us onto the ridge leading to Hartsop above How, and once above the tree line there were some lovely views back over Patterdale and Hartsop. The route to the summit of Hartsop above How is never in doubt, it’s just a question of following the line of the ridge over Bleaberry Knott, Gale Crag and Hoggill Brow. After admiring the views from the top we carried on along the ridge to climb up to Hart Crag

The path was steep and loose below the summit, and as we gained height the clouds came down and visibility was poor – a real shame. There was no point lingering at the summit of Hart Crag as the views were non-existent, and so without ado we joined a path which is part of the popular Fairfield Horseshoe route. We followed this for a short distance, and then had to make a decision. The original plan had been to include three more fells in the round, namely Dove Crag, Little Hart Crag and High Hartsop Dodd. However the visibility was poor and so, midway between Hart Crag and Dove Crag, we decided to descend back into the valley (to see an earlier walk covering the full round, click here)

The descent proved to be long and very steep at times, though much improved by rock steps. It was a relief to finally arrive back at valley level near Hartsop Hall, one of the oldest properties in the Lake District dating back to the 16th century. From here it was an easy stroll back to the start beside the shore of Brothers Water

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