Lakeland Walking Tales

I love a good yarn almost as much as I love a good fell walk. I live in a small hamlet in the beautiful Cumbrian Lake District. My kitchen window looks out over the fields to the Coniston fells with Dow Crag centre stage. Whenever I can, I get out hill walking to explore these wild peaks that were forged by volcanoes and glaciers hundreds of millons of years ago. What intrigues me nearly as much as their rocky crags and sweepings vistas is their rich history and mythology.

In this blog I describe memorable Lake District walks and recount the tales that surround them. This is not a conventional walking site, full of detailed directions about which stile to cross or at which cairn to fork left or right. There are plenty of those already. If you need one, may I recommend However, each post on here should furnish you with sufficient detail to sit down with an OS map and plot the route.

What I hope they will do is to inspire you to pull on your walking boots and explore these remarkable hills and dales. If you need no such encouragement, then perhaps they will, in some small way, enrich your experience by giving you fresh insights into the men and women, real or mythical, who trod these paths before you. If you lack the energy or inclination to haul yourself up to these demanding peaks, then I hope these stories will allow you to experience some classic hill walks from the comfort of your armchair.

Recent Posts

White Winter Hymnal

The Old Man & The Raven
After days wrapped in a Christmas cocoon of lethargy and overeating, I head up the Old Man to savour the snow-capped splendour of the Coniston fells.

Born To Be Wild

Millican Dalton and Castle Crag
A Borrowdale cave played home to a Professor of Adventure. On a walk up Castle Crag, I visit the cave & recount a Christmas story I’m sure he would have loved

Ill Bell Summit Summer’s Almost Gone

The Kentmere Round
The Kentmere Valley is a slice of heaven and the horseshoe of high fells that surround it make for a long but exhilarating adventure.

High Stile over Haystacks summit tarn In My Time Of Dying

Haystacks and Wainwright
On a walk over Haystacks, I recount how I swapped the music venues of Newcastle for the hills of Cumbria and found an unlikely new hero.

Pillar Rock A Walk on the Wild Side

The Mosedale Horseshoe
A real life crime drama; a challenging hike over savagely beautiful mountain terrain & a night at England’s remotest youth hostel

Scope End, Newlands All That Glitters

The Newlands Horseshoe
The wild scenery of the Newlands valley is spectacularly fine and surprisingly famous.

Air crash memorial Great Carrs Ghosts of Canadian Airmen

Wetherlam, Swirl How & Great Carrs via Steel Edge
An Andy Goldsworthy sheepfold and the wreck of a wartime bomber bookend a thought-provoking walk over the Coniston fells.

Langdale Pikes over The Great Slab Axis: Bold As Love

Bow Fell Via The Climbers’ Traverse
The summit of Bow Fell feels like the centre of the world and this ascent via the Climbers’ Terrace and the Great Slab is simply breathtaking

Hall's Fell Ridge, Blencathra Sympathy For The Devil

Blencathra Via Halls Fell Ridge
We climb Blencathra via Halls Fell Ridge to discover its Arthurian connection and why Wainwright rated this ascent the best in Lakeland

Morecambe Bay from Hampsfell This Is the Sea

Morecambe Bay, Hampsfell & Cartmel
The treacherous beauty of Morecambe Bay, The treasures of Hampsfell and the medieval heritage of Cartmel

Pike O Stickle Hard Rock

Langdale Pikes and Castlerigg
A stone circle at sunrise and a “steep ladder to heaven”, linked by an ancient axe industry. A cloud inversion completes a striking walk

Herdie on Harter Fell Redemption Song

Herdwicks and Harter Fell
A walk up the heather-clad flanks of Harter Fell & the story of how the  Herdwick sheep survived foot and mouth disease

The Boatman’s Call

Claife Heights and Sawrey
The ghostly tale of the Crier of Claife and the true legacy of Beatrix Potter haunt a walk on Windermere’s western banks

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Scafell Pike and Sca Fell
A homicidal jester, a notorious whisky smuggler and a spectacular walk to the top of England’s two highest peaks

Trial By Water 

Grisedale Pike and Force Crag Mine
Ospreys on Bassenthwaite, the last days of Force Crag mine, Long Meg and a cracking walk up Grisedale Pike

King of the Copper Mountains

Dow Crag via the South Rake
Skullduggery in Whitehaven, a copper mine begets a sausage and an exhilarating scramble on the Coniston Fells

Manchester, So Much To Answer For

High Street From Haweswater
A drowned village, the last English golden eagle and the “connoisseur’s route” to the highest ground east of Kirkstone

Grisedale Tarn The Stuff of Legend

Helvellyn via Grisedale Tarn
A lost celtic crown, a ghost army, a reckless romantic with a devoted dog and teddy with a tragic tale

%d bloggers like this: