There's nothing quite like climbing a mountain by one of its ridges, especially one that's narrow, to have the ground falling away on either side, stirring that feeling of height. Now put a few rocky bits on the ridge to add a little bit more interest, and you get Robinson - the first of three Wainwrights on this cracking middle-distance walk.
Wainwright mentions four rock steps on Robinson: three on the end of High Snab Bank, and another higher up. "Three rock steps each
In dry conditions these shouldn't present too much difficulty for the passage of feet give good clues as to likely routes up. A different matter though in the wet, or even after rain when the rock is still wet, they become slick as though covered in ice! Then, the advice might be to ascend via Little Dale and avoid them altogether. Or if still feeling brave find the bypasses at each level. We'll describe them in the route instructions enough for you to find them as we used them due to the conditions and with Jessie the dog to look after it seemed the best idea. Of course, like all these things you have to make your own judgments at the time, even if that means backing off and abandoning the walk. "The landscape watched us arrive and the landscape will watch us leave"... The mountain will be there for another day.
The route also visits lofty Hindscarth and Dale Head, before dropping down beside the fantastic waterfalls of the infant Newlands Beck.
The Newlands Horseshoe usually takes in the six summits of Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth, and Robinson, but it's a long day with over
There is a small parking area beside Chapel Bridge in Little Town where an honesty box currently (June 2012) requires £3 per car.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Little Town to Robinson. From the parking area cross Chapel Bridge and walk along the road approx 100m (110 yards). Turn left into the lane signposted to Newlands Church. Follow the lane bearing right past the church and old school to the end of the public road at Low High Snab. Go through the gate, there's a "Public Path" sign here, past the cottages and onto the track beyond. Go through another gate and onto open fell. Follow the wall on your right, and when it ends in only a few metres, strike steeply uphill on the path through bracken and gorse, to gain the ridge of High Snab Bank. Bear left and meander along the ridge.
The first rock step encountered should not be problematic in the slightest.
The second has a bypass on the left. At the bottom of the step a narrow path traverses round a little and climbs up grass.
The third has a bypass on the right. Here a narrow path contours round and then climbs a good grassy rake up to the left.
On the ridge, bear right. The gradient eases here for a little until another rocky step is encountered. Here a good bypass traverses round on the left, after a short distance you can bear right and climb steep grass, or continue on the easy path which zigzags back onto the ridge line.
Follow, now above Robinson Crags, the well worn and eroded scattered paths.
Join the wide cairned path at the top of the last steep section. Bear right, with the summit in view, to find two small tarns - doggies will have earned a good drink. The summit is a curious formation comprising of two raised rock strips. A large cairn, sort of windshelter, sits on the highest.
From Robinson To Hindscarth. Continue over the summit area and turn left on a wide path heading approximately south. Follow this to join a fence line, do not cross but bear left and drop down to the col above Little Dale.
Climb a little way alongside the fence, forking left at a corner post to make a climbing traverse of the fell side almost directly headed for Hindscarth summit.
Joining the ridge bear left and continue to the summit cairn.
Hindscarth to Dale Head. About face and return along the ridge, heading SSE.
In 300m (330 yards) fork left on a narrow path bearing left again at the col to join the Hindscarth Edge path which now climbs. The first prominent knoll and cairn is a false summit.
Dale Head lays a little further on. Bear left to the tall, well built cairn.
Dale Head to Little Town. Carry on over the summit, bearing left slightly, on the path heading south-east. Initially rough, loose and steep, this path is on well engineered steps lower down. Take your time, don't rush. Dale Head Tarn soon comes into view. As you descend note the path that drops down on the other side of the stream flowing from the col down into the valley on your left. You will need to find this path. Continue down to Dale Head Tarn. Going round the tarn and continue ahead down more steps. Cross the stream and bear left uphill. Handrail the stream now to your left, don't climb the path to High Spy! The path starts within 50m (55 yards), just before a rocky outcrop.
Bear left of the outcrop and immediately start descending gradually. This path meanders a little, but never far from the stream. The waterfalls along here are superb especially after rain. Before the final major cascade the path splits, a higher path forks faintly ahead and our path, more clearly bears left and continues to follow the stream. There is nothing wrong with the higher path, other than it is sometimes hard to follow. However, you'll miss the best waterfall!
Below the final cascades the ground levels out and in places becomes boggy. Bear right a little remaining on the path, which eventually joins the a track. This is later metalled and makes for hard, if easy walking. Follow the track as it skirts above the field enclosures. Past a climbing club hut, so be aware there may be vehicles about, and eventually you'll find yourself above the car park at Little Town. There is a small path which as the track splits, drops down through the bracken to a stile. A small hole in the fence allows for dogs to get through. At the road turn left to return to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Robinson and Hindscarth from Little Town||50m (55 yards) away|
|Catbells and the Newlands valley||2.2km (1.3 miles) away|
|Catbells||2.2km (1.4 miles) away|
|Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy - A Half Newlands||2.2km (1.4 miles) away|
|Causey Pike and Scar Crag||2.3km (1.4 miles) away|
|Lodore Falls, Watendlath, Grange Fell, and the Bowder Stone circular||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|A Short Walk to The Bowder Stone||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|A Short Stroll to Lodore Falls||3.5km (2.2 miles) away|
|A Short Walk From Ashness Bridge to High Seat||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|A Shorter Coledale Round||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|To Force Crag Mine - a Coledale Low Round||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|The Coledale Horseshoe||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|Knott Rigg and Ard Crags||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Moss Force on Newlands Hause||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Force Crag Mine||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and the Great Wood||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell from Great Wood||4.5km (2.8 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