Netherbeck Horseshoe including Middle Fell, Steeple and Red Pike

This Lake District walk is strenuous including seven summits in what can be a tiring day. Good navigational skills are essential when visibility is poor. The rewards for the hard work are numerous and you will enjoy many wonderful lakeland panaoramas completing the walk.

Technical sheet
No. 293081
A Wasdale walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 18/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 8h10[?]
Distance Distance : 17.37km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1349m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1347m
Highest point Highest point : 829m
Lowest point Lowest point : 66m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Wasdale
Starting point Starting point : N 54.450429° / W 3.285381°
Download : -


(D)From the car park (grid ref. NY167068), head Southwest along the Wasdale Road passing over Netherbeck Bridge. Continue along the road, with some excellent retrospective views to the Scafells, until you reach a road junction (grid ref. NY151053). Turn right here and follow the road until just short of Greendale. Take the wide grassy footpath on your right that leads eventually up to Greendale Tarn. Gaining height you eventually reach a point where the path forks as the gorge begins to narrow. Here go right and start the ascent of Middle Fell.

(1)The onward path, rather feint in places, leads you onto the broad summit ridge with a large cairn providing evidence of the highest spot. The view from here is excellent and apart from Steeple the remaining walk can be seen very clearly. Leave Middle Fell's summit in a northerly direction and drop down to a rather uninteresting section of the route. Crossing a wide hause the next objective, Seatallan, is on your left. The ground on this section can be wet underfoot but is relatively short-lived as you gain drier land as you climb onto the eastern flank of Seatallan.

(2)Reaching a cairn on Seatallan's shoulder, bear left and complete the ascent of this relatively un-walked hill. The summit has both a trig point and a cairn - it's your decision which signifies the highest point. We now retrace our steps descending to the Pots of Ashness and then following a feint path that leads to Gowder Crag. The best way of tackling this obstruction is to bear right and make your way uphill choosing the best line of approach. You then reach a bank of scree and there is no option but to head upwards until you reach grass. Reaching a cairn the path continues to Haycock's summit cairn.

(3)You are now entering busier walking territory and the next objective is Scoat Fell. The way is obvious with a wall shadowing the path. Just before reaching a cairn on the rise up to Scoat Fell's summit turn left and head for Steeple. Return to the main ridge and continue to Scoat Fell's summit cairn. Continue to head southeast towards Red Pike following a path that turns right a short way down the descent to Pillar. There is a path that avoids Red Pike's summit but it is worth heading for the summit cairn with its fine position on the rim of Mosedale.

(4)The descent from Red Pike crosses easier ground and you soon reach a col at Dore Head. Ahead lies Stirrup Crag, which is the last obstacle to completing the walk. The route is easy to follow and there are some sections that require simple scrambling but eventually you will reach the top and be able to stride out for Yewbarrow's summit cairn. The descent is initially straightforward but then needs care. The path reaches a dip just before the rocks of Bell Rib. Here you need to drop to the right entering a stony gully. The way down is initially not pleasant but does reach easier ground to become a good path across the fellside. Reaching a wall, cross the stile and descend to the small car park probably feeling rather tired!(A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Start: Overbeck bridge car park
1 : km 5.09 - alt. km 5.09 - Middle Fell
2 : km 7.35 - alt. km 7.35 - Seatallan
3 : km 9.89 - alt. km 9.89 - Haycock
4 : km 12.83 - alt. km 12.83 - Red Pike
D/A : km 17.37 - alt. km 17.37 - Finish: Overbeck bridge car park

Useful Information

This is a demanding circuit of seven 'tops' in the Western Fells of the Lake District. Generally the route follows clear paths certainly once Steeple has been reached. However the first half of the walk sees relatively few walkers and some navigational skills may be required in periods of poor visibility.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 21.1km Vertical gain +1791m Vertical drop -1791m Durée 10h20 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Cumbria

Day 4 of a circular route walking through the Lake District.

distance 19.44km Vertical gain +1120m Vertical drop -1337m Durée 8h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Cumbria

Day 3 of a circular route walking through the Lake District.

distance 15.96km Vertical gain +1176m Vertical drop -1187m Durée 7h20 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Cumbria

Day 5 of a circular route walking through the Lake District.

distance 4.75km Vertical gain +656m Vertical drop -0m Durée 2h55 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Eskdale - Cumbria

A Lake District walk to a summit often only visited in passing. The route starts in Eskdale and takes a direct approach to the top.

distance 10.66km Vertical gain +666m Vertical drop -668m Durée 4h40 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Eskdale - Cumbria

Harter Fell occupies a relatively isolated position overlooking the Eskdale valley and this Lake District walk offers some wonderful views towards Scafell and Scafell Pike. The route also includes a visit to pretty Low Birker Tarn, which sees relatively few visitors.

distance 18.94km Vertical gain +1187m Vertical drop -1220m Durée 8h15 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Eskdale - Cumbria

This challenging Lake District walk includes Scafell and Scafell Pike in a single circuit using the long approach from the Esk Valley. There are some sections of the route that require care and experience in map reading is essential.

distance 7.96km Vertical gain +200m Vertical drop -239m Durée 2h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Eskdale - Cumbria

This linear walk in the Western Lake District offers some wonderful views and should be completed at a leisurely pace. The route uses the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway to the return to the start.

distance 8.67km Vertical gain +784m Vertical drop -784m Durée 4h20 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

To the west of the Cumbrian Mountains, both Great and Green Gable summits offer a pleasant hike.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.