15 of the Best Wainwright Fells

March 14, 2023

The best Wainwright fells stand alone and proud. As a result they tend to have their own personality, albeit steeped in Lake District clothing, and are not diminished by ridges and higher neighbours. This is a list of my 15 favourites, ones I happily return to time after time.

Many of the Lake District fells (Wainwrights) are linked to others, many little more than a short climb from a long ridge. I do enjoy the ridges but also there is a real satisfaction in climbing isolated fells.

I have split the 15 best Wainwright fells in to 3 categories

  1. Smaller fells, easy to access for all.
  2. Classic mountains that stand alone.
  3. Those less well known that should be visited.

1. The Smaller Ones

Loughrigg Fell

Looking south over Grasmere

A small, rugged fell at the head of Grasmere. I love the hidden hollows, rocky knolls and multitude of grassy paths all converging at the perched trig point.

More details of the Climb

Hallin Fell

Descending to Howtown

Set on the crook of Ullswater, the uninterrupted views along the length of the lake and the short, straightforward climb should make this a popular spot. Fortunately it rarely is.

More details of the Climb

Lion and the Lamb

Summit area full of interest

A child’s classic easily climbed from Grasmere. The rocky summit, from where the name originated, will test any climber, even the great man himself failed to get to its top.

More details of the Climb

Rannerdale Knotts

Overlooking Crummock Water

A perfect fell in miniature tucked away amongst giants near Buttermere. It is at its best in early summer when the bluebells are out and the evenings long and warm.

More details of the Climb


Summit of Catbells

Catbells is popular and can get too busy to appreciate its finer points. However avoid the obvious times and this is a splendid fell, the graceful outline overlooking Derwentwater offers some of the best Lakeland views.

More details of the Climb

2. The Classic Ones


Above Threlkeld

My favourite mountain and a great viewpoint across the entire Northern Fells. The contrast between the steep and craggy southern slopes and the rolling fells to the north offer many climbing choices.

More details of the Climb

Place Fell

Place Fell from Patterdale

A popular fell overlooking Patterdale at the head of Ullswater. The views are superb, often supplemented with some roe deer, with the large upper slopes full of hollows and crags.

More details of the Climb

Great Gable

Great Gable from Esk Hause

A true Lake District giant. Central to the area, genuinely isolated with 360 degree views, Great Gable stands proud. Mind you it is a hard climb from any direction, but worthwhile.

More details of the Climb


Summit of Glaramara

This is a mountain to take time over, particularly the two wide arms/ridges to the north. The summit itself is a fine spot with good views down Borrowdale towards Skiddaw. Oh yes, and I like the name!

More details of the Climb


Inonimate Tarn

Wainwright’s own favourite mountain and it is a good choice. The summit area is rocky, tarns dot the landscape and the views down the Buttermere valley are some of the very best.

More details of the Climb

3. The Less Well Known Ones

Sheffield Pike

Sheffield Pike(to the left) from Glenridding

Sheffield Pike is a hidden gem set above Glenridding. It is actually in two parts, the eastern has fine views of Ullswater whilst the longer western ridge offers an unusual perspective of Helvellyn.

More details of the Climb

Lingmoor Fell, Langdale

Ridge of Lingmoor Fell

Isolated from the more dramatic and famous Langdale fells, Lingmoor Fell overlooks the Dungeon Ghyll hotels. The ridge leading to the summit is rough and in place a little scrambly but safe.

More details of the Climb

Harter Fell

Summit of Harter Fell

Harter Fell is a rarely climbed Wainwright due to its situation midway between the Duddon Valley and Eskdale. However this is what makes it so impressive, unusual views across the south west of the region.

More details of the Climb


Summit Ridge looking south

Isolated from its Buttermere neighbours Lingmoor Fell is a steep climb from the wonderful Kirkstile Inn. The views over Buttermere with the graceful Fleetwith Pike beyond are excellent.

More details of the Climb

Black Combe

South on the slopes of Black Combe

Perched gracefully in the far, south western corner of the Lake District, Black Combe is an impressive mountain. The eye is drawn to the sea at all times which makes it unique to the area.

More details of the Climb

Enjoy your walking


  • Stephen higgins says:

    Yes ullock pike over longside edge carlside and skiddaw is a classic

  • Roger Taylor says:

    Try ullock pike. Lovely view over bassenthwaite and on a clear day you can see more hills than you can shake a stick at. Gable and bowfell are the best though.

  • David Hodgetts says:

    The photo of Sheffield Pike largely shows Glenridding Dodd. The summit of Sheffield Pike is the higher mountain at the left end of the picture.

  • Tim Doggart says:

    Wonderful selection! (Although Black Combe is not strictly in the 214 Wainwrights – it’s an Outlying Fell. But who can deny its delights?) I finished the 214 a few years ago and am now working my way through the Dales 30. Thanks for the site! 🙂

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