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A Riggindale Round

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A Riggindale Round
Author: , Published: 11 Oct 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 A Riggindale Round Walking Guidestar1 A Riggindale Round Walking Guidestar1 A Riggindale Round Walking Guidestar1 A Riggindale Round Walking Guidestar1 A Riggindale Round Walking Guide
Cumbria, Far Eastern Fells
Walk Type: Mountains
A Riggindale Round
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot A Riggindale Round Walking Guide boot A Riggindale Round Walking Guide boot A Riggindale Round Walking Guide boot A Riggindale Round Walking Guide
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A Strenuous walk round a remote Lake District valley with big views and the chance of seeing England's only native Golden Eagle. Although I have not graded this as the hardest 5 out of 5 rating it is rough and steep in some places and care should be taken. It is ideally best saved for a clear day as the views from High Street and High Raise are unsurpassed.

The start to this walk is quite remote at the far end of Haweswater in the far east of the Lake District. If you leave the M6 at junction 38 (signposted to Shap) you can then follow signs through the narrow country lanes to Bampton from which there are further signs to Haweswater. Follow the lake side road to the very far end where there is a free car park or roadside parking if it is full.

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Walk Sections

Start to Long Stile Ridge
Start to Long Stile Ridge

Start point: 54.4898 lat, -2.8188 long
End point: 54.495 lat, -2.8166 long

From the car park follow the obvious footpath around the head of the lake and along the opposite shore. The path is fairly level but can be a bit rocky in places. As you come to the small conifer plantation at the end of the finger of land that protrudes out into the lake and Riggindale starts to open out then there is a junction in the path. You are going up along the ridge you have just walked beneath so turn left here.

Long Stile Ridge to High Street summit
Long Stile Ridge to High Street summit

Start point: 54.495 lat, -2.8166 long
End point: 54.4914 lat, -2.8648 long

This section of the walk is now steeply uphill, the path is obvious but rocky. It switches from one side of the ridge to the other; first looking down on the tarn of Blea Water and then on the opposite side over Riggindale. This is where England's only resident Golden Eagle lives and if you are lucky you may spot it. The ridge steepens as you reach the final part up onto the surprisingly flat top of High Street, the highest of Wainwright's Far Eastern Fells. The top is marked by a trig point and incredible views over the Lake District from Blencathra in the north to the Coniston Fells in the south.

High Street summit to High Raise summit
High Street summit to High Raise summit

Start point: 54.4914 lat, -2.8648 long
End point: 54.5132 lat, -2.8543 long

After taking the views you should now follow the drystone wall that crosses the summit plateau towards the north. The path drops down and crosses the Straits of Riggindale before climbing back up and heads for the summit of High Raise. The top of this fell is marked by a cairn and a windshelter, very handy if the weather gets a bit blowy - you can sit in the shelter eating your sandwiches, this time looking at the view over the Eden Valley and towards the Pennines.

High Raise summit to Kidsty Pike summit
High Raise summit to Kidsty Pike summit

Start point: 54.5132 lat, -2.8543 long
End point: 54.5056 lat, -2.8545 long

Now start walking back the way you have just come and soon the path splits, take the left fork towards the pronounced peak of Kidsty Pike. This section is fairly level and the path grassy. The summit of Kidsty Pike is dramatically situated with a pronounced drop down to the floor of Riggindale almost a thousand feet below.

Kidsty Pike summit to Riggindale
Kidsty Pike summit to Riggindale

Start point: 54.5056 lat, -2.8545 long
End point: 54.498 lat, -2.8229 long

The way back is now mostly down hill, gently at first along the ridge back towards the left hand shore of the lake but getting progressively steeper as you go on. Eventually you come back towards the lake by the side of some picturesque waterfalls. At a kissing gate turn sharp right and contour alongside the lake. As you get towards the middle of the mouth of Riggindale there is a chance for a detour to the RSPB viewing hide with a last chance to try and spot the eagle.

Riggindale to Finish
Riggindale to Finish

Start point: 54.498 lat, -2.8229 long
End point: 54.4896 lat, -2.8188 long

From the track to the RSPB hide the path goes slightly uphill where it rejoins the outwards path at the base of the Long Stile ridge. You can now retrace your steps along the route back to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author Colpeakbagger and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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