ONE Wainwright circular walk: Fleetwith Pike
Time: 2 hours
Parking: Honister Pass (payment required)
Fleetwith Pike is the prominent ridged fell at the end of Buttermere, rising up steeply from the Honister Pass. With an excellent view back down over the lake, it's a good one to climb when you've just got a few hours to spare and want to stretch your legs a little.
Wainwright recommends the climb up to the summit along the north-west ridge from Gatesgarth but, for an easy walk, start at the Slate Mine at the top of Honister Pass.
1. Walk a short distance along the quarry road behind the visitor centre and you'll see a signpost for the footpath to Great Gable and Haystacks. The path climbs an old tramway - and some of the old sleepers can be seen on the climb - up to a pile of stones which mark the foundations of the old Drum House.
2. Leave the main path and head right (northwards) across the grass to the quarry road. Carry on upwards around to the right of the spoil heaps. The Wainwright guide shows a 'perched boulder' but it's not vital to find it. You can find your way easily enough on paths up to the top of Honister Crag. It's worth taking a small detour off the path to your right to look down into the Pass below.
|A rainbow to frame the view|
3. Follow the path to the left of the small tarn in the picture above and head westwards along the top of the crags until you reach the summit cairn. Enjoy the fine views (especially if you have less cloud than we had on a wet August weekend) !
4. When you're ready to move on, for a different return take a more south-easterly (although sometimes a little boggy) path from the summit back towards Dubs Quarry. You can then return along the main quarry road. Nearer the bottom, look out for the buses taking tourists to the side of Honister Crag to climb the Via Ferrata and Infinity Bridge.
|The main quarry road (top left in picture)|
Worth knowing: if you're looking for some paving stones, you can fill your boot from the Slate Mine spoil-heap for a fraction of what you'll pay in a garden centre!