Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Buttermere to Stonethwaite~

"High Stile to Grey Knotts"

9th June 2018

Red Pike

Red Pike from High Stile

Buttermere Buttermere Parking

Today's walk started from the parking area just up the road from Buttermere (village) at 0645hrs. On the way, I paused to take a photo of the lake and High Stile (left). The plan is to walk back to the tent at Stonethwaite and catch a bus back to collect the car...

Buttermere Reflections

North-Western Fells

The route for this ascent of High Stile takes us along the shoreline of Buttermere for a short while before rising through the woods to find a way to Burtness Cove.

Horse Close

Ascent from Horse Close

Where Burtness Wood ends and Horse Close is upon us, we take the fence path straight up the fellside.

Rannerdale Knotts

Rannerdale Knotts

The view is very rewarding, with Buttermere in front of Rannerdale Knotts; Crummock Water and Mellbreak to the left. It's very warm!

To Burtness Cove

Every crag on view here belongs to High Crag, High Stile's immediate neighbour.

Molly the Collie

Molly The Collie



The map reveals Grey Crag on the eastern side of High Stile and I suppose our un-planned and difficult ascent route proves to be just to the north side of this feature, all a bit scrambly over loose rock and boluder fields.

Comb Crags

Comb Crags

Ascent Route

There's nothing easy in the way ahead and I don't think we'll do this route again, however it's all new.

Perched Boulder

Perched Boulder

Molly on High Stile

Molly on top of High Stile

There appears to be a choice of summit cairns up here, take your pick. The weather is developing and I'm not carrying waterproofs 'cuz I knew better!

Red Pike Grey Crag

Red Pike (left) is usuall first peak on the High Stile Ridge and our ascent route is somewhere in the photo on the right, the rocky feature being Grey Crag above Burtness Comb.

High Crag Summit

Molly at the top of High Crag

Molly is full of admiration for the fence post and wishes she could stand up there.

To Haystacks

The descent here is very steep and has only got a little easier in recent times with the provision of a pitched path for part of the route. In the middle ground is a prominence known as "Seat".

Gamlin End

Gamlin End



The head of the pass between Buttermere, left as we look and Ennerdale (right) is known as Scarth Gap. Two American visitors asked me if they were at Scarth Gap and if so, is that Haystacks up there? "Yup...just follow everyone else".

Haystacks Summit Tarn
Summit Tarn
Molly on top of Haystacks

A man was directing a "drone" up here. Such action really annoys me, I feel it is an intrusion on my right to privacy, more so when I'm in search of peace and quiet, and it surely confuses the birds. I know it is not allowed within 50m of people and would need permission to fly over private ground.

Innominate Tarn

Innominate Tarn comes in to view and is soon passed on the way to Blackbeck Tarn.

Blackbeck Tarn

Blackbeck Tarn

As the intensity of the heat has reduced with the additional cloud cover, I decided we could walk on to Brandreth - this was not in the original plan. Soon we came across a lamb who clearly took a liking to Molly, maybe mistaking her for her mum? Molly has been taught by me to avoid sheep and here her instincts and teachings were competing.

Molly & The Lamb

Brandreth Summit

Molly on top of Brandreth

In the mist and slight dampness. I can't easily get excited about Brandreth, not an exciting and inviting fell with little to look forward to, unless you a fan of fences.

To Grey Knotts

Along a magnificent upland fence.

Grey Knotts Summit

Grey Knotts Summit

Quite gloomy now on our last summit of the day. Time to start heading downhill and back to the tent.

Honister Pass

Honister Pass

Walkers can avoid most, but not all, of the tarmac on the way down to Seatoller and Borrowdale.


Easy walking down through the woods and ahead to the YHA building before taking Peat Howe Bridge to cross the river and find our way to the tent at Chapel House Farm in Stonethwaite.

Chapel House Farm Campsite

Walkers: Molly and Me.

Time taken: 8hrs over a distance of about 12 miles.

Route: Buttermere village, the lake, Horse Close, up the slopes to Burtness Cove. Tricky, steep ascent of the eastern side of High Stile, High Crag, Gamlin End, Haystacks, Blackbeck Tarn, Brandreth, Grey Knotts, Honister Pass, Peat Howe Bridge, Chapel House Farm Campsite.

Weather and conditions: Sunny and warm, declining to humid and overcast. Heavy rain shortly after we got back to the tent.

Bus: The 77A Honister Rambler bus arrived on time at 15:56hrs and took us safely back to Buttermere.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2018 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....