Route: Hayeswater

Area: Eastern Lake District

Date of walk: 28th May 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.1 miles

Ascent: 900 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells

Hayeswater is one of the remotest lakes in the district, and sits in a corrie at an altitude of 1,400 feet below the mountain ridge of High Street. The lake is natural, having been formed by glacial activity and, although it once served as a reservoir for Penrith, it has now been restored to its original state

Today’s walk to the lake started from the attractive village of Hartsop. The small car park beyond the edge of the village was full today, so we parked in a nearby field, where the owner charges £5. We walked back through the village and joined a track beside Hayeswater Gill. The gill would be our constant companion until we reached our destination. After a steady uphill climb we arrived at the foot of Hayeswater. We decided to walk to the head of the lake, following a narrow path above the lake shore. At this point a decision has to be made – to return via the same path or to make a circuit of the lake. There’s no path across the head of Hayeswater and the terrain is very soggy in parts. We managed to keep our boots dry as we forded a couple of streams and avoided the worst of the wet areas. Having made it to the other side, we picked up a faint path which brought us back round to the foot of the lake. We continued downstream with Hayeswater Gill on our left and crossed it via a footbridge shown on the OS map

This brought us back to our original ascent path, which we followed for a short distance before crossing the beck again just before the Filter House, which was built in 1926 in order to cleanse the water supplied by Hayeswater. We descended beside the gill, with views of the eastern fells ahead, before rejoining the ascent path when we reached valley level. It just remained to walk back through Hartsop to the end of an enjoyable 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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