Situated south of Keswick in Borrowdale, Glaramara is the central fell on a 5.5km (3.4 miles) long ridge from near Rosthwaite running south west to Lower Esk Hause. To the east lies Langstrath, and the west is Grains Gill and Seathwaite. Along the ridge Wainwright determined three summits appropriate for his pictorial guides, Bessyboot, Glaramara, and Allen Crags. They make for a fine walk and good introduction to this complicated and rocky ground.
The northern end of the ridge splits, the main part dropping steeply to the road near Rosthwaite, and is known as Rosthwaite Fell with the little summit top called Bessyboot. The intriguingly named Tarn at Leaves sits in a hollow below the summit. It is a shallow tarn with reeds and sedges at its edges, and thought to be no more than
From the north west the summit of Glaramara is well protected by crags, its cairn may be attained by skirting around the eastern side over considerably easier ground. From Glaramara a clear path undulates south west, falling and climbing again five times, until the summit of Allen Crags just
The southern end of the ridge terminates at Lower Esk Hause on the through route between Langdale and Wasdale via Sty Head. Returning to Borrowdale can be accomplished by following either Styhead Gill or Grains Gill, to Seathwaite. Most walkers will already be well acquainted with Styhead Gill so this walk takes the opportunity of a quieter walk down beside the latter's precipitous edges.
We start this walk at the National Trust Seatoller car park. Alternatively you can park on the Seathwaite road and use the Allerdale Ramble path to avoid some of the road. There is also a bus service, the 77 Honister Rambler amongst others, but check the timetables as especially in winter the last bus can be early in the day.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Rosthwaite Fell - Bessyboot, Red Beck Top, Looking Steads (Glaramara), Glaramara, and Allen Crags; and includes 3 Wainwrights, 5 Birketts, 1 Dodd, 3 Hewitts, 4 Nuttalls, 1 Dewey, and 1 HuMP.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the car park at Seatoller, return to the road and turn left. A narrow pavement strip allows you to step off the road to let cars by but isn't really a good walkway. Continue past the road to Seathwaite, cross Strands Bridge, past Mountain View cottages, and in another 200m (220 yards), just around the corner, cross the road and go through the gate signposted public footpath into the field.
Bear right and walk on the track around the edge of the field to a gate at the far right corner. Go through another gate and keep along the left edge of the field, along a track, to bear left across a footbridge, and another gate. Noting the sign on the right, bear left following the yellow arrow markers steeply up the fellside. Go straight up the fellside keeping the wall on your right.
Reaching a cross path turn right along it. Heading into the Combe Gill valley, go through a succession of enclosures with various states of broken down walls. Go through the gate at the end of the last enclosure with another gate to the immediate right.
Continue ahead across the rock strewn fellside veering slightly left in a rising traverse. Cross Dry Gill with the sheep fold below you. Do not cross any more gills, but reaching a path beside a large rock outcrop bear left to climb steeply.
The path meanders nearer Rottenstone Gill, higher up it becomes faint just keep on upwards. Nearing the crest the path consolidates again and passes between a crag and the gill on a fine terraced path with views back down the narrow defile. Over the top of the brow keep to the left and Tarn at Leaves will appear.
Follow the path around the left hand side of the tarn, and climb the knott ahead with the visible cairn. This is the little summit of Bessyboot.
Return from the summit of Bessyboot back to Tarn at Leaves keeping on the right hand side of the tarn, continue ahead across a boggy strip to the obvious path ahead. A typical rough mountain path meanders among small knotts and hollows and climbs just to the left of Rosthwaite Cam - which you can visit although there is little sign of a path.
Keep heading generally SSW to cross Great Hollow which is an area of further small knotts with a liberal dose of marshy moss and grasses. A new fence is soon joined which provides a good navigation handrail.
The other side of Great Hollow the path is squeezed to a narrow terraced path beside the fence between a crag on the right and the upper reaches of Woof Gill to the left. Rounding the crag a small cairn on the grass is reached.
Keep left from the cairn, and continue on the path for approximately 600m (660 yards) mostly on grass. As the path fades, keep a lookout for a small beck coming down between knotts to the right - if you go too far around the corner you come to a huge south facing open combe of wet boggy ground with Glaramara obviously up to the right.
Managing to find a path up along the beck, keep on the left hand side as when the ground opens out again you skirt a small boggy area. Up to the right are the crags of Combe Head. Ahead is the rocky peak of Glaramara. Skirt the great boggy combe around the right hand side contouring below the crags and knotts to your right, head across the pathless slopes to the left edge of the boulders. As you near, breaches in the defences will be found so make use of them and progress to the northern cairn and windshelter found slightly rightwards. Successful in your pathless adventure, this is the summit of Glaramara.
From the summit cairn on Glaramara turn left to head SSW. A clear path can be seen heading over Looking Steads - a subsidiary top. Drop down from the summit outcrop and pass the small tarn. Carry on and climb the slopes to the obvious summit outcrop. Bear right, still on a reasonable but fainter path, then in approx 100m (110 yards) bear left to amalgamate with another rough path from Glaramara.
Allen Crags is, on a clear day, visible ahead. A number of depressions and climbs separate you from it. After a tough walk so far this can be slightly tedious but at least the clear rocky path is easy to follow. Some of the depressions have small tarns.
There is nowhere else to go but follow the only path to the summit cairn of Allen Crags which sits on a sloping outcrop of rock.
Continue on from the summit of Allen Crags, still heading SSW, down the rough and loose stony path. As you do the stones become increasingly stained red. At the cairn at the bottom turn right. Follow this deep red path to join with a path from Esk Hause up to the left, and with Ruddy Gill to your right. Just before the bottom of the shallow depression and before the ground climbs gently to Sprinkling Tarn, turn right and cross Ruddy Gill at the ford.
Follow a clear gravelled path the other side of the ford. The path bears right to fall alongside the gill, which has also turned right, now to the left. A number of sections of stone pitched path make for an easy descent, if a little hard on the knees.
Continue down to the wooden footbridge across the gill.
Cross the footbridge and continue descending now on the west bank. Ruddy Gill is now Grains Gill.
Pass through a gate into a field where you may find a few fluffy black Galloway cattle. Continue descending, and having gone through another gate turn right across Stockley Bridge back to the east bank.
Follow the track to Seathwaite. Leave the farm by the road, and follow it back to the Borrowdale road. Turn left, and Seatoller is just another 200m (220 yards) to go.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Eagle Crag, Sergeant's Crag and Ullscarf||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Castle Crag - Borrowdale||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Millican Dalton's Cave - Castle Crag, Borrowdale||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Dock Tarn, Great Crag, and Watendlath, from Rosthwaite||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Skinny Dipping in Blackmoss Pot||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Scafell Pike from Seathwaite via the Corridor Route||1.8km (1.1 miles) away|
|Base Brown, Green Gable, Great Gable and Seathwaite Fell||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Grey Knotts and Brandreth circular from Honister||2.1km (1.3 miles) away|
|A Short Walk to The Bowder Stone||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|Lodore Falls, Watendlath, Grange Fell, and the Bowder Stone circular||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011