Red Screes overlooks the top of Kirkstone Pass presenting to the inn on the opposite side of the road its steep eastern face riven by crags and tongues of red hue scree. A way through seems unlikely, but there is a path winding amongst the crags, climbing steep rough rocky steps, that makes its way to the trig point at the summit.
Kirkstone Pass is named somewhat literally after a large stone that has a church like profile on the Patterdale side of the pass. Kirk is an old Norse word for church.
The geology of Red Screes is quite complicated. However we've noticed these red stained rocks are often associated with intrusions, where magma is pushed up through weaknesses in the bedrock, that when eroded by glaciation and weather often form these fragile screes. You'll notice the same thing at Red Pike, and at Mickledore between Scafell and Scafell Pike.
There is a large car park at the top of the pass, opposite the inn. The 508 bus service between Windermere and Carlisle goes over the pass.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Continue up through the car park and exit via the pedestrian gate at the end. Immediately turn left to cross the rough sometimes wet ground and ford the beck. A stone pitched path materialises amongst the clutter of rocks. Follow it initially bearing slightly left. The climbing soon starts. Threading between boulders and grey crags, scramble the rocky steps head on - there are plenty of foot and hand holds. The path turns right and continues its climb.
After a short easy, almost level section the path turns sharp left below sloping slabs, pointed to by a small public footpath indicator. In the dry the slabs are grippy but it'll be a different matter when they are wet. Continuing left round to the base of a short ridge from where you get good views of the namesake red screes over to the left.
Bear right and upwards, climbing steeply up more red rock. A shallow gully, Kilnshaw Chimney, collects water from the fellside above making it muddy and slippery in places. On the dry rock at its edges there's a nice bit of scrambling. At the top of the chimney there's a small cairn - remember this for the return.
Most of the climbing is done, the last bit is more gentle and mostly grass. Continue along the path directly to the summit windshelter and trig point at the summit of Red Screes.
Return the same way.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn||4.1km (2.5 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Rydal||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|The Fairfield Horseshoe||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|Red Screes and Middle Dodd from Ambleside||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|High Sweden Bridge Circular||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Stockghyll Force - Ambleside||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Lily Tarn above Ambleside||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Wansfell, and Wansfell Pike||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|An Ambleside Waterfalls Wander - Stockghyll Force and Blue Hill Wood||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Tarn||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Wansfell Pike, Troutbeck, and Skelghyll Wood||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Rest Dodd and The Nab||5.0km (3.1 miles) away|
|Brock Crags and Angletarn Pikes circular walk from Hartsop||5.0km (3.1 miles) away|
|Pasture Beck Round, from Hartsop||5.0km (3.1 miles) away|
|Around Hayeswater Reservoir||5.0km (3.1 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