YHA hopping in The Lake District - YHA Borrowdale to YHA Grasmere

This is a walk from the Borrowdale Valley over to Easdale Valley but it's also a ridge walk with great views over Far Easedale Gill and the surrounding landscape. Helm Crag is also known as The Lion and The Lamb due to it's profile when seen from the A591. Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way, there are three Wainwrights, one lake and one pub.

Technical sheet
No. 23485845
A Borrowdale walk posted on 01/07/22 by El Sud. Update : 04/07/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h40[?]
Distance Distance : 13.75km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 615m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 633m
Highest point Highest point : 611m
Lowest point Lowest point : 83m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Borrowdale
Starting point Starting point : N 54.517993° / W 3.152597°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.462315° / W 3.024633°
Download : -

Description

(D) From YHA Borrowdale, join the footpath next to the River Derwent and turn left, heading North-East as far as the bridge over to Peat Howe.

(1) Go over the bridge and bear left across the field to Rosthwaite village. Go North-East through the houses to reach the road (B-5289).

(2) Turn left then right to cross the bridge over The Crook. Turn right along the lane that runs parallel to the stream that becomes Stonethwaite Beck following the signs for the Cumbria Way.

(3) Go past Stonethwaite Bridge (a campsite can be seen on the other side of the stream) and past Galleny Force.

(4) Ignore a path leading off to the right (that goes up Langstrath Beck) keeping Eagle Crag ahead of you. Our route stays on the left of Greenup Gill, climbing steadily, leaving Eagle Crag to the right. The path moves away from the stream to tackle a steeper climb up Lining Crag.

(5) From Lining Crag, carry on over the top to Greenup Edge.

(6) Ignore a path bearing left to Middle How but keep straight on down Flour Gill (Esat-South-East) and round the Birks to reach a dry-stone wall. Here the path divides and in bad weather it is advisable to take the downward path that runs along the valley of Far Easedale Gill. However, the more interesting route lies to the left along the edge of Brownrigg Moss to reach Calf Crag (Wainwright fell at 537m above sea level).

(7) From the cairn, keep heading West along the Carrs, past Pike of Carrs and along the top of Moment Crag. The path continues along the ridge to reach Gibson Knott (Wainwright fell at 422m above sea level). Drop down slightly from the cairn to scramble back up to the top of Helm Crag (Wainwright fell at 405m above sea level),

(8) From Helm Crag head downhill (South-East) towards White Crag and follow the zig-zag path down to the Lancrigg country house hotel. A path through the woods goes past a poet's corner and the hotel has a Poet's Bar for refreshments.

(9) From the hotel gardens, go out onto the road, turning left to walk alongside Easedale Beck.

(10) Go past the footbridge and path that leads off right towards Sourmilk Gill. After the bridge over the beck take the footpath that runs alongside the road (avoiding traffic) but return to the road before reaching the Glenthorne Quaker Centre & Guest House. A short walk under the trees will bring you to the entrance to YHA Grasmere Butharlyp Howe. (A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 106m - YHA Borrowdale
1 : km 0.22 - alt. 98m - Bridge
2 : km 0.89 - alt. 90m - Bridge over The Crook
3 : km 2.24 - alt. 109m - Stonethwaite Bridge
4 : km 3.48 - alt. 136m - Galleny Force
5 : km 5.66 - alt. 512m - Lining Crag
6 : km 6.38 - alt. 611m - Greenup Edge
7 : km 8.24 - alt. 522m - Calf Crag
8 : km 11.23 - alt. 380m - Helm Crag
9 : km 12.49 - alt. 102m - The Lancrigg country house hotel
10 : km 13.19 - alt. 84m - Footbridge
A : km 13.75 - alt. 91m - YHA Grasmere

Useful Information

  • Make sure your boots are comfortable and sturdy.
  • Always take wet weather gear as the weather can change quickly in The Lakes. If the weather is bad or the visibility is reduced due to low clouds you might consider changing the latter part of the route by going straight down Far Easedale Gill straight into Grasmere.
  • This route goes along some of the Cumbria Way and practically all of it is part of Wainwright's A Coast to Coast.
  • After you've showered and sorted out your kit, had your tea, and put your wet stuff in the drying room, pop down to the village to have a look at Grasmere Lake and maybe check out Wordsworth's grave next to the church. Another recommendation is to have a drink in Tweedies Bar which has a good selection of local beers and sometimes live music.

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels".

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

During the walk or to do/see around

This is a moderate walk from the Borrowdale Valley over to Easdale Valley but it's also a ridge walk with great views over Far Easedale Gill and the surrounding landscape. Helm Crag is also known as The Lion and The Lamb due to it's profile when seen from the A591. Take care of yourself and look out for wildlife along the way. Just enjoy the journey and make the most of the moment.

Other walks in the area

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
YHA hopping in The Lake District - YHA Borrowdale to YHA Black Sail
distance 14.58km Vertical gain +1224m Vertical drop -1034m Durée 7h40 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way, there are 4 Wainwrights and 5 tarns.

Walker
distance 12.19km Vertical gain +322m Vertical drop -325m Durée 4h25 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

Combining the delights of Borrowdale with the rural charm of Watendlath, this Lake District walk offers some wonderful views and relatively easy walking. Route finding is generally easy although there is a steady ascent from Lodore up to Watendlath.

Walker
Scafell Pike from Borrowdale
distance 15.06km Vertical gain +890m Vertical drop -889m Durée 6h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

The classic and well trodden ascent of Scafell Pike from Seathwaite in Borrowdale. Ascending via Grains Gill to Great End and then Esk Hause and Broad Crag. The descent is via the 'Corridor Route' to Styhead Tarn and then back to Seathwaite.

Walker
distance 7.82km Vertical gain +734m Vertical drop -726m Durée 4h20 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

An energetic Lake District Horseshoe walk that takes in four summits as you keep to the high ground surrounding Gillercomb. The walk could also be extended to take in Great Gable if time and energy permit!

Walker
distance 12.69km Vertical gain +941m Vertical drop -941m Durée 6h20 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

This Lake District walk includes an unpathed section of route and is for experienced walkers only and navigation skills are essential. The walk includes Great End approached from the Corridor Route before following easier ground to the summit of Glaramara. The descent from the latter summit requires careful navigation for a trouble-free descent back down to Seathwaite.

Walker
distance 8.67km Vertical gain +784m Vertical drop -784m Durée 4h45 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.

Walker
distance 9.63km Vertical gain +407m Vertical drop -404m Durée 3h55 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

A short and fairly easy, circular walk up the ever popular Cat Bells. Starting from parking on the roadside just outside the village of Grange, this walk ascends Cat Bells from the South and descends north to join paths through the parkland and woods above and beside Derwent Water.

Walker
Around High Spy, Maiden Moor and Cat Bells. A circular walk
distance 16.91km Vertical gain +584m Vertical drop -583m Durée 6h30 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

This is a circular walk around High Spy, Maiden Moor and Cat Bells. The scenery is good and the walk is made interesting by the old mine workings, both on the way up and also at Goldscope Mine. The return leg, through the woods above Derwent Water, is a nice contrast to the first half of the walk.
It is a useful walk when the tops are in mist and walking the ridge would give you no views or when the tops are covered in snow and you don't have ice axe and crampons to hand.

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