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Coledale round - lake district

9.7 mile trail near United Kingdom
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 9.7 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  Coledale round - lake district is about 9.7 miles long and located near United Kingdom. The trail is great for walking and normally... more »

This was a biggy for us, and unusually it was Stiv who had set his little heart on this venture.

We set off on a pretty dull and unseasonably cold Saturday morning. The trip didnt get off to the best of starts to be honest. Neil was late and Stiv described his demeanor as feeling "...a bit heavy..". I discovered this translated to hungover very soon!

So the journey up Mount Doom (Grisedale round began)
This trip takes in some pretty high Cumbrian fells. Including:
Grisedale Pike(2593 feet), Hopegill Head (2525 feet), Eel Crag (2749 feet), Sail Fell (2536 feet), Outerside (1863 feet) , Stile End

This version of the Coledale Round takes gets the worst out of the way first - Grisedale Pike. The ascent is steep!!!! But the views are amazing of the Borrowdale valley. Although there are several "whinging waypoints" on this route as Stiv can testify. Statements that can confirm you have reached a whinging checkpoint are:

"..Isn't that a beautiful view Stiv", reply: "...shove the view!"
"..Wow look how high that fell is over there..", reply "...shove the fell"
(I have replaced the original word with shove for the purposes of getting this trip approved.

Once on the summit, the next step is to head across to Hobcarton Crag and up to Hopegill Head. Now at this point I must confess we were on a bit of a high especially after Stiv overcoming his earlier feelings of "..being a bit heavy". 
So we looked at Hopegill Head and mentioned in a severely cavalier manner:
"...It would be rude not to walk up that little fella  there, it looks tiny compared to what we have just done.."

Let this be a lesson to any walker of mountains, when you think a fell or mountain or hill for that matter looks small. I urge to stop. Bite your lip and keep such cavalier comments to yourself. Because there is no such thing!!!

Hopegill head ascent was punishing and as had Grisedale been. There were several whinging checkpoints en route. I also restrained myself from commenting on how impressive the view was as Stiv had clearly come to the end of the road of being impressed by the views. Instead he felt it more appropriate to do his Braveheart impression and bark "FREEDOM" over the Hobcarton valley. We beat a retreat as the height of Hopegill head and the strength of the wind wase giving me cause for concern. I had afterall not packed any spare underpants

So we moved onto what we thought was the ascent to Sail fell. In typical office worker fashion we had not read the small print or in fact the large print and went way off course. As the route at this point was quite flat we were quite happy not to check the map!

Our smugness soon faded when we realised to get back on track we would have quite a steep walk up Sail - or so we thought. Now Stiv had cleary moved on from feeling heavy but he was starting to have a sense of humour failure regarding going up one mountain to come down and go up again. This was the fell that would bubble up all those emotions he was having.

Not one to keep his feelings to himself many many many whinging checkpoints occurred going up what we now know as Eel Fell. The summit was very impressive and I tried a new angle to describe the summit views. It involved a fine description about the now obsolete trig points. A slip of the tongue later regarding removing the trig points as they are now obsolete erupted into an argument that would only be settled by having a sandwich and a coffee!

Its a this point we started out descent down Eel which is quite steep and has a few rocky patches. This lead us to Sail Fell. On the descent we bumped into a fella walker who had clearly just checked into a whinging checkpoint as he took to complaining about the new path on Sail fell. Stiv was in his element finding a fellow soul mate to moan with.

At the base of sail fell we turn left to head into the valley that has Barrow fell and outerside. Stiv was on his chin strap now and had a complete sense of humour failing when he realised he was going up another fell (Outerside). Mercifully Outerside isnt too big and therefore not many whinging checkpoints.

A nice flat walk along the top took us to Stile End. This is deceptive descent and quite steep the knees taking a bit of a pounding. But there was no stopping Stiv as he knew the end was in sight where he could get back to bed and put up the do not disturb sign!

Now it is worth noting here that according to the classic route you should take in another fell called Barrow. For the record  I was up for that but Stiv used his fell Veto! There was no reaching him to take in Barrow fell at this point so the flat path was follwed!

And so we walked into Braithwaite and followed the road passed the coledale inn and to the car park. None of us any money so no celebratory pints at the end of this walk.

All in all a great walk that takes into account several high mountains in the North western area of Cumbria

So many funny stories from this walk they could fill a book. Including Stiv protecting Izzy (His beautiful dog) who was in season from the other frisky dogs. The Irish lady starting the walk as we were finishing - She was a tad grumpy about the height of the walk and was gunning for her husband who very astutely took off up the fell before she could get hold of him!


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  • Cark park/Laybay
  • Several high fells in one walk
  • Spectacular views
  • Not suitable for young kids
  • Not suitable for Buggies or prams
  • Dog friendly
  • Don't have 5 pints of Fosters the night before
  • Take warm clothing, it gets very cold and windy on the top of the peaks
  • Take plenty of water, esp if you have ignored the tip about the 5 pints
  • Some scrambling up Grisedale Pike and on the descent from Eel Crag
  • Coledale Inn at the end of the walk has nice bar meals and drinks (Remember money!)
  • Lots of photography opportunities
... more »

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