St Sunday Crag and Grisedale Tarn

Hiding behind the eastern village of Patterdale, a long ridge climbs south west from the parkland of Glenamara. The first summit top is the simple rounded grass top of Birks, which as it happens on this walk we'll bypass on an airy terraced path with fantastic views. Another 1¾km south west is the summit of St Sunday Crag. Its rocky north west face nearly 1.0km (0.6 miles) long is a haven for climbers with many dramatic gullies and ridges including the infamous Pinnacle Ridge. To the east it throws out a ridge across the shallow saddle of The Cape to Gavel Pike. Gavel is an old word for gable which, unsurprisingly, is its appearance from the east across Deepdale. Continuing south west again from the summit of St Sunday Crag, the ridge narrows to Deepdale Hause before a steep climb over Cofa Pike to Fairfield.

In the depths of Deepdale Hause, at the narrowest part of the ridge, a path takes its leave to descend steeply westwards for a short way and then continues south west to Grisedale Tarn. High mountain tarns often deserve their legends and stories, this one is no exception. Legend has it that the crown of King Dunmail, whose body lays under the large cairn in the middle of the dual carriageway over Dunmail Raise, was thrown into the 100ft deep waters of the tarn so it could not be taken by the Romans. For us it is a fantastic place to sit. Following the outflow, Grisedale Beck, through its valley and back to Patterdale is just over another 6.0km (3.7 miles). On the way the path passes Ruthwaite Lodge and, a little earlier, above the Brothers' Parting Stone where John and William Wordsworth last saw each other on 20th September 1800. John's ship later sank in the English Channel with the loss of 300 lives.

Parking is severely limited in Patterdale and fills quickly at weekends and holiday times due to this also being the start point of a classic round of the Helvellyn ridges. It is largely limited to the overflow car park of the Patterdale Hotel where a charge is made. Bus services from Penrith call at the village.