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A high-level approach to the summit plateau of the eastern giant, High Street, then a steady descent via Mardale Ill Bell and the old packhorse route that crosses Nan Bield Pass.

Route Information

Time/Effort 2 out of 5
Navigation 3 out of 5
Technicality 3 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 603
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Outdoor Leisure 5

Route Essentials

Duration: 5 - 6 hours

Miles: 6

Route Details

The great East face of High Street forms a formidable barrier which separates the far Eastern and Shap Fells from the main bulk of the Lakeland Fells. The only way up it for walkers is to make use of one of the truncated spurs, which reach eastwards towards Haweswater. The best of these is the craggy crest of the Long Stile. A wonderful narrow arête; it lifts you easily from the moody shores of Haweswater and the flooded village of Mardale direct to the lofty summit plateau of High Street with its wide ranging views and its handy wall for a sheltered lunch stop.

The descent via Mardale Ill Bell opens up new scenery with a superb view down the length of Kentmere then leads you via the old packhorse route past the dark waters of Small Water that in the warmer months is dappled by the rises of trout who make its cool depths home.

1. From the car park head North West to gain the rocky path on the North West side of

2. Follow the path North East to the grassy col by the woodland on The Rigg.

3. At the col turn left and climb the crest of Long Stile West onto High Street - the summit trig point is a 100m South along the wall.

4. From the summit head South then South East to Mardale Ill Bell.

5. Descend South East then South for 600m then turn sharp left and descend steeply East to the narrow rocky col of Nan Bield Pass.

6. From the col join the bridleway and follow North then East down past Small Water and finally North East to the Haweswater car park.

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