A Glenridding Round
FOUR Wainwright circular walk: Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike, Catstycam, Birkhouse Moor
Walk Rating:⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
Time: 5 - 6 hours
Parking: at Glenridding (£8 for the whole day) or take public transport.
|The four fells from above Brown Cove|
Glenridding is thronged in summer, and understandably so, because it provides such a good base from which to explore Eastern Lakeland. The obvious high level walk to do from here is the classic ascent of Helvellyn via Striding Edge, described in another post. However, I have suggested a route which provides a different itinerary, linking together the four 'Wainwrights' that stand to the west of Glenridding, standing apart from the main peaks of the Helvellyn ridge.
The route could easily be divided into two separate walks, walking to or from the Greenside Mine area along the Glenridding valley. However, as one walk it provides striking views of the valley and its surrounding fells from many different angles throughout your day.
|Strava estimates a walking distance of 15km and around 1200m of total ascent|
1. From the central car parks, find the public footpath that heads towards Glenridding Dodd, starting out to the right of a children's play area.
|Take the path to the right of the play area|
|Horses are often found in the field|
3. Walk past Row Head Cottage and through the gate onto the track above.
|Go through the gate, then left onto the track|
|Turn right up the grass straight after the cattle grid|
|Looking back to Glenridding Dodd as you climb ...|
|... and the view to Birkhouse Moor and Catstycam|
11. When you reach the top of Heron Pike, the ground then evens out for a gentler, but less picturesque, walk onwards to the summit of Sheffield Pike itself. You will pass small tarns which, if the sun is shining, stand out against the surrounding grass.
|Walk onwards to the summit of Sheffield Pike|
|Look out for the reflections in the small tarns|
|The inscribed stone on the top of Sheffield Pike|
|The spoil heaps on the col of Nick Head in the distance|
|Head down, above the site of the former Greenside Mine|
14. When you reach the path above the beck below, don't turn right up the valley but instead turn left, back towards the old mine buildings. If you want to leave Catstycam for another day, continuing this way, past the Helvellyn Youth Hostel and along the old Greenside Road, allows a quick return to Glenridding. To continue with the full route, look for the bridge over the Glenridding Beck that lies upstream from the mine workings. Cross over, through the unusually positioned gate on top of the footbridge.
|Looking across to the summit of Helvellyn|
|Looking across Keppel Cove to Raise, with Skiddaw behind|
|Looking east towards Ullswater in the summer|
|A panoramic view over the path down to Red Tarn|
24. As you descend on the wide trail, your onward route, the eastward path across the grass beyond Red Tarn, will be easy to spot. Look out for walkers on the skyline of Striding Edge, to your right.
|Head north-east, to the left side of this long wall|
27. As you walk across the top of Birkhouse Moor, walkers are now directed away from the wall to prevent further erosion, and should stay on a higher path. There will be good views back towards Catstycam and Helvellyn to your left.
|Descending to Glenridding|
|A 1910 plan of the Greenside Mine from Wikipedia|