The Coledale Horseshoe

Submitted by Timwoods on 11 October 2010
OS Explorer Map: OL4 - The English Lakes: NW area
(11 votes)
A circular, full-day low hills and fells (below 600m) walk in national park Lake District (England) starting at Braithwaite, Cumbria, about 14km (roughly 9 miles) long and unsuitable for families with children, prams/pushchairs, wheelchairs.
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Tucked up in the northwest corner of the Lakes, this great walk takes in the horseshoe of peaks sitting around Coledale Beck - Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Crag Hill, Sail and Outerside. Buses to Braithwaite from Keswick; for an alternative (linear) route, you could take the bus to Buttermere instead and approach the horseshoe via Whiteless Pike.
Start: Braithwaite, OS Grid: NY232236
Elevation Profile (x: waypoint number, y: metres)
Gain (+/- 10%): 1233m (4045ft)
Total (+/- 10%): 2467m (8095ft)
Loss (+/- 10%): 1234m (4050ft)
Max. Elevation: 830m (2723ft)

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OS Grid: NY232236
The footpath from Braithwaite to Grisedale Pike starts in the village, climbing steadily up the long north-eastern shoulder of the hill.
About 3 km (roughly 2 miles) from 1 OS Grid: NY204227
Keep on past Sleet How towards the summit.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 2 OS Grid: NY198225
The summit of Grisedale Pike (791m) is an excellent vantage point from which to survey the northern fells.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 3 OS Grid: NY187219
Continue past Hobcarton Crag to Hopegill Head.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 4 OS Grid: NY189212
Drop into Coledale Hause via Sand Hill. It's then a scrambly climb up past Eel Crag onto Crag Hill.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 5 OS Grid: NY191203
This is the highest point of the day at 839m.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 6 OS Grid: NY200204
Keep heading around the glacially-carved horseshoe to Sail.
About 2 km (roughly 1 miles) from 7 OS Grid: NY211214
The descent passes two small hummocks, including Outerside. It's also possible to visit nearby Barrow on route to Braithwaite.
About 1 km (roughly 1 miles) from 8 OS Grid: NY221217
The path runs between Barrow and Stile End as it weaves back to the village.
About 2 km (roughly 2 miles) from 9 OS Grid: NY233235
Finish in Braithwaite, which has three pubs to choose from. The Coledale Inn is the popular walkers' choice.
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