High Rigg

ONE Wainwright circular walk: High Rigg

Walk Rating:⭐⭐

Time: Half-an-hour (even less if you run !)

Parking: Free parking outside the Diocesan Youth Centre / St John's in the Vale Church (Grid Ref: NY307225). Note that a sign asks you not to park there on a Sunday, to leave room for churchgoers.

High Rigg from Watson's Dodd

The summit of High Rigg is only 1171 feet in altitude and the short walk up-and-back from St John's in the Vale Church is one of the shortest of all Wainwright walks. However, the isolated position of the stepped ridge of High Rigg, set between higher peaks, means this short - if still fairly steep - walk is rewarded with views that are always worth taking in if you are in the area.

Sosgill Bridge to the east of High Rigg

The walk I describe here, from the church, is so obvious that it hardly requires directions. Longer routes can be chosen if wished, such as the traverse of the whole ridge from its southern end. Another possibility is to cross the packhorse Sosgill Bridge, to the east, and walk up to the church along the former corpse road.

Strava estimates the total distance, there and back, is 1300m

1. Start by taking the path up the little crag to the right of the Youth Centre.

Start to the right of the Youth Centre

2. Have a look at the carved stone at the top of the rise - showing directions to a fairly eclectic choice of mountain peaks across the globe.

The direction stone above the Youth Centre

3. Head through the gate in the wall that runs underneath the fell, then up a sometimes slippery path in the turf that slants up the hillside to the left. 

Head up the hillside on the path through the bracken

4. Take a breather at the top of the first climb and look out towards Blencathra. Then carry on upwards to the top of High Rigg.

Looking out towards Blencathra

5. The only possible confusion is to decide whether to go up to the hillock on your left (east), or the one to your right (west), when you reach the little col underneath the summit. The highest one, where the summit cairn is found, is the one to the west.

Looking across to the eastern top and Clough Head

6. There are views in all directions, towards Skiddaw and Blencathra to the north, to Clough Head and the ridge to Helvellyn to the east, and to Thirlmere and Bleaberry Fell to the south and west.

Looking towards Skiddaw
Towards Helvellyn and Thirlmere
Towards Bleaberry Fell and High Seat

7. When you have taken in all the views, unless you are continuing along the ridge, retrace your steps for the short walk back down to the church.

The Church at St John's in the Vale

Worth knowing: The existing church at the bottom of High Rigg only dates from 1845 but is built on the site of earlier churches going back to the sixteenth century. In the corner of the churchyard, under an old yew, a wooden sign marks the site of the "Holy Well of St John the Baptist".

St John's Holy Well

Inside the church, as well as various other memorial tablets, a stained glass window marks the death of a local recruit to the 'Imperial Yeomanry', killed in 1900 at Boshof, during the second Boer War.

Popular Posts