Steel Fell and Helm Crag are two iconic fells overlooking Grasmere that
guard either end of this walk. Having climbed Steel Fell, the next 5.0km (3.1 miles)
of undulating ridge doesn't drop below
Whilst navigating this walk on a fine day is reasonably straight forward, in mist and poor visibility it would be a very different proposition. The ridges between Steel Fell and Calf Crag, and then to Helm Crag are at times wide and the path not always clearly defined. Both are boggy, with many small knolls to skirt, and accurate map and compass work would be required.
The start point is Grasmere village where there are a number of pay and display car parks dotted throughout.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the centre of Grasmere take the lane towards Allan Bank, just after the cattle grid bear right onto the new permissive path, go through the kissing gate to come out on Easedale Road. This bypasses the narrow and twisty section of Easedale Road.
Cross Goody Bridge, and just afterwards turn right signposted to Thorny How. Continue to the end of the road and turn left.
At Ghyll Foot Farm cross the stone bridge and bear left along the private road to Helmside. There is a public footpath sign hiding on the wall beside the telegraph pole.
Follow the road to the cottages at the end and bear left to go through the gate with the small footpath marker. This is a National Trust area called Greenburn.
Bear right and climb along side the wall to your right. The path goes through a number of sheep pastures. There is a gate or two, otherwise there are just open gaps in the wall.
The path is largely grass slopes, a little steep in places otherwise there are no difficulties.
Bear left at the first cairn which is adorned with bits of old metal fence post, to the summit cairn of Steel Fell just 70m (77 yards) on.
Continue over the summit and descend alongside the fence to your right. When the fence bears off right, you bear left and continue down towards the tarns. The ground is very boggy, and probably so even in dry conditions. Here the path is indistinct, keep left and with Calf Crag in sight it is simply a case of finding the best route through the bog.
Climb to the rocky summit of Calf Crag.
Turn left from the summit cairn and drop down mainly grass through rocky crags. Turn right to cross an area of peat hags above Pike of Carrs. Continue on the path. Keep left. Beware of being drawn to the right down the fell side, remain on the ridge as best as possible.
There are many small knolls on the ridge, the main path, such as it is, skirts some of them. A faint path can be found going over the tops.
Gibson Knott appears at the point when you've probably had enough of little rocky knolls! It is reasonably distinct complete with a small cairn on a rocky platform.
Continue past the cairn, and drop down to the col with Helm Crag. Continue ahead and climb the zigzag path. At the top bear left to the Howitzer. The true summit is the top of the rock, a good climb up.
Continue along the summit ridge to the Lion and Lamb 300m (330 yards) further along.
From the Lion and Lamb, continue south east, bear right on the path through High Raven Crag. At the bottom on the small plateau bear right at the post, as the grass path straight ahead ends above crags.
Follow the signs and obvious landscaping to control erosion. Bear left to continue on the path. At the wall turn right and descend with the wall on your left. Steep stone steps drop down remarkably quickly and easily.
At the bottom by a wall bear right, and then left into the lane.
At the junction of paths turn left signposted Grasmere. Bear right through the gate and drop down to the road. Turn left. Follow Easedale Road back to Grasmere village.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Helm Crag||60m (66 yards) away|
|Easedale Tarn||94m (103 yards) away|
|A circuit of Grasmere||114m (125 yards) away|
|Alcock Tarn||114m (125 yards) away|
|Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar||114m (125 yards) away|
|Silver How||158m (174 yards) away|
|Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn, and Tarn Crag||202m (222 yards) away|
|Grasmere and Rydal Water||221m (243 yards) away|
|Allan Bank Woodland Walk||430m (473 yards) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from White Moss||1.5km (0.9 miles) away|
|Red Bank from White Moss near Ambleside||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Seat Sandal||1.7km (1.0 miles) away|
|An Elterwater Stroll||2.9km (1.8 miles) away|
|Waterfalls and the Cathedral Cavern, from Elterwater||2.9km (1.8 miles) away|
|Nab Scar and Alcock Tarn||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Rydal||3.2km (2.0 miles) away|
|Grisedale Tarn||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|A Journey from Dungeon Ghyll over the Fells to Ambleside||4.4km (2.8 miles) away|
|Cumbria Way - Dungeon Ghyll to Keswick||4.4km (2.8 miles) away|
|High Raise, Sergeant Man, and Blea Rigg from Langdale||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|The Langdale Pikes: Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Harrison Stickle||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|The Fairfield Horseshoe||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|An Ambleside Waterfalls Wander - Stockghyll Force and Blue Hill Wood||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Loughrigg Tarn||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Wansfell, and Wansfell Pike||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Stockghyll Force - Ambleside||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|High Sweden Bridge Circular||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Red Screes and Middle Dodd from Ambleside||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Wansfell Pike, Troutbeck, and Skelghyll Wood||5.0km (3.1 miles) away|
|Lily Tarn above Ambleside||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