Fairfield Horseshoe from Ambleside

1 comment
Submitted by Timwoods on 24 December 2010
OS Explorer Maps: OL7 - The English Lakes: SE areaOL5 - The English Lakes: NE area
 
(36 votes)
A circular, half-day mountain (above 600m) walk in national park Lake District (England) starting at Ambleside town centre, Cumbria, about 18km (roughly 11 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Find Public Transport to Ambleside town centre, Cumbria
Any regular Lakeland walker can tell you that this is one not to miss. A much-loved classic and deservedly so, the walk around the stunning Fairfield Horshoe from Ambleside should be on everyone's to-do list, even if they have already done it! It's a high-level circuit around the tops of the Fairfield group. Height is gained early, meaning it's an unforgettable day among the clouds - hopefully not too many though, as the view down to Windermere is unbeatable!
Start: Ambleside town centre, OS Grid: NY376045
OS Explorer Maps
OL7 - The English Lakes: SE area buy with 10% off)
OL5 - The English Lakes: NE area buy with 10% off)
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 1055m (3463ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 2102m (6896ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 1046m (3433ft)
Max. Elevation: 850m (2788ft)

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Waypoints
OS Grid: NY376044
From Ambleside, follow the road up to Rydal (there is also a bus service). In Rydal, there are signposts to the Fairfield Horseshoe. The first section is the steep climb, onto Heron Pike. From here, much of the walk is in land owned by the National Trust.
About 4 km (roughly 3 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NY355079
Once you start climbing, you will soon be rewarded with great views down towards Windermere.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NY354097
Follow the clear path along the ridge - it's well trodden and easy to find. This is right in the heart of the Lakes - easy to see why people love coming here.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 3 OS Grid: NY359115
Follow the ridge round to Fairfield, the highest point of the walk at 873m. You will need the next map - OL5 - for this bit, but on a clear day, the path round the top of Rydal Head is obvious enough.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 4 OS Grid: NY369111
Route finding is easy - just stick to the high ground! From Dove Crag, the path follows a long shoulder down into Ambleside.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 5 OS Grid: NY374088
Descend along the ridge past High Pike and Low Pike, before the path wiggles its way into Ambleside.
About 3 km (roughly 2 miles) from 6 OS Grid: NY375061
Take the final few paces into Ambleside and start thinking about that pint at the end....
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 7 OS Grid: NY376040
Back to Ambleside, which has everything the hungry/thirsty/sleepy walker could need, and then some. It's heaving in summertime, so be warned!
1 comment ...join the discussion!
GaryShipp  commented on 27 August 2007
Amazing views
The views on this walk are just stunning - take your camera and a thermos!
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