Sometimes the smaller hills can produce a remarkably satisfying walk way above expectations of their modest heights. Here is one such walk. High Rigg is dwarfed by the nearby Helvellyn range, and yet the views from its summit are stunning. One's eye is drawn, inevitably, north to an uninterrupted view of Blencathra and Skiddaw to the north west. Further west peeks Bassenthwaite Lake, and then to the western fells. South lies Thirlmere reservoir.
High Rigg lies between the Naddle Beck and St John's Beck splitting the head of the Thirlmere valley which was completely flooded in the 1890's to provide water to the growing city of Manchester. The original Leathes and Wythburn Waters obliterated forever, along with a hamlet at its northern end complete with public house. St John's follows the Coniston Fault line to Thelkeld, and the Naddle to Bassenthwaite.
The slopes of High Rigg are largely of grass and bracken with a little heather in places. The undulating top is prone to boggy patches.
Nearing the end of the walk you pass the tea-room of Low Bridge End Farm.
Parking is available at the United Utilities car park park at Legburthwaite.
If you need accommodation we have details of 29 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Exit the car park via the small pedestrian gate away from the entrance and ticket machine. Turn left to the main road, the A591. Turn right and cross the road bridge, then immediately turn right over the stile. The gate alongside was unlocked at the time of survey.
Follow the path alongside the beck and in 30m (33 yards) bear left to climb up through Scots pines, onto Wren Crag.
Follow the path over the small knoll and down the other side, go through the gap in the wall and climb on to the ridge of Long Band. Follow the path along the wide ridge. At the end of the ridge the path drops gently down before rising again to cross a fence at a small step stile.
Bear right following the wide path, then bear left before the top of the rise to visit the knoll above Yew Crag. The path drops off the knoll to the left and across boggy ground. Bear right to a wall and cross via the ladder stile.
Continue on the path alongside the wall to your right. The Wainwright High Rigg summit is the high point ahead, but this expanse of high ground with knolls abound is good for a bit of exploring with the high point to the left being Birkett's High Rigg.
100m after the stile bear left on a narrow path skirting the small knoll of Moss Crag. Bear left over soft ground and climb the grass slope to the top of the Birkett. Then bear right to the cairn onto Wainwright's summit with the cairn.
Continue over the summit, you may want to retrace a few steps and then bear left a few times to avoid a craggy gully immediately north of the summit cairn.
Continue on the wide path through the bracken.
It starts to descend and then splits. Both paths end up at the road near the Church of St John's in the Vale. The left hand fork is marginally easier being less steep. It also drops down to the left hand corner of the stand of trees where there is a wooden bench.
Turn right and follow the road past the church and buildings. As the road starts to drop down and bears left your path bears right through a gate. A public bridleway sign points the way
This track now follows alongside a wall on your left. Over the wall are still views to Blencathra, and the pastures of the vale.
At the enclosure wall go through the gate into the field. Cross the field, and again approaching a gate go through and cross the field to Sosgill Bridge. It is said to float over the fields, the beck is hidden well below the banks.
Do not cross the bridge but follow the path along the bank. At the fence bear right through a gate and then left to cross the field to Low Bridge End Farm - which has a tea room.
After the barn turn right, as signposted, through a gate and then left to follow the fence above the buildings.
Bear left through the gate into the field, drop down slightly to another gate at the far end of the field. Back on a track, follow it and as it approaches the beck and becomes a path climb above the beck on a narrow terrace through trees.
Returning to the stile and gate at the beginning of the walk, turn left along the main road A591, and again left on to the bridleway and back to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Great How||10m (11 yards) away|
|The Dodds and Clough Head, via Sticks Pass and St John's in the Vale||0.6km (0.4 miles) away|
|High Tove and Armboth Fell from Thirlmere||2.6km (1.6 miles) away|
|Helvellyn round from Thirlmere||2.7km (1.7 miles) away|
|A Short Walk From Ashness Bridge to High Seat||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|Castlerigg Stone Circle||4.9km (3.0 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and the Great Wood||4.9km (3.1 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell from Great Wood||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