Often ignored for Helvellyn the Dovedale Round is an excellent walk up a long grassy ridge. Returning via a shorter ridge and the banks of Brothers Water. Dove Crag itself is part of the Fairfield Horseshoe.
Lying between the Helvellyn range and Kirkstone Pass lies a complex range of long ridges, deep valleys and high fells. These ridges are left alone by many walkers aiming for the better known fells nearby and as a result they are all the more enjoyable. The paths are in much better condition and the opportunity for quiet exploration is much easier. Only on Dove Crag and Hart Crag, where the route meets the Fairfield Horseshoe do fellow walkers converge. However with the views as good as they are this does not seem to matter.
On a recent late autumn visit the cloud was low over the southern and western half of the Lake District but fortunately cleared as I parked up at Brothers Water. The undulating three mile ridge over Hartsop above High was a delight. The ridge finally arrives at Hart Crag. The clouds were still sitting to the south and west providing a blanket from which only the higher peaks poked through. Great Gable being particularly impressive. It providing one of the best Lakeland views I have ever seen. I just wish I was a better, more patient photographer. The cloud was creeping dramatically over the ridge as I headed for rocky Little Hart Crag. The perfect little ridge of High Hartsop Dodd is a lovely conclusion to the high lands before the path plunges down to Brothers Water. A perfect day on the hills to enjoy a beautiful circuit.
Take the Hartsop above How ridge on the ascent leaving the dramatic views from High Hartsop Dodd to the end of the day.
From Hart Crag follow the wall south to Dove Crag. Then leave the wall and head south east till you meet an east running boundary. Follow this round to the south and then at a small tarn head east on to High Hartsopp Dodd.
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