Walking the full High Street Ridge from Troutbeck to Pooley Bridge
There are only two continuously high ridges that link the north and south of the Lake District. The first travels over Helvellyn but further east the longest stretch of high level walking is from Troutbeck (near Windermere) to Pooley Bridge at the northern end of Ullswater.
The east of the Lake District is dominated by broad grassy ridges. Two of these stretch for miles to the east and west of Ullswater. The ridge from Kirkstone Pass to Threlkeld (the westerly one) high level is interrupted by the drop to Grisedale Tarn. However walking the High Street Ridge from Troutbeck to Pooley Bridge has no such interruptions. It is a continuous high ridge of easy walking. The miles pass quickly and easily, in fact is clear to understand why the Romans chose this route as their main route to the north. Sensible lads.
I headed off with Sadie and Michelle on a lovely, warm September day. The walk starts with an easy stroll alongside Troutbeck Tongue. However a steep climb lies ahead, the only one of the day, which leads on the Kentmere Horseshoe just to the north of Froswick. From here the wide ridge undulates gently for over 10 miles towards Pooley Bridge. The joy of the walk are the continuously excellent views and easy walking. We were fortunate to see the village of Mardale emerge from Haweswater (after a very dry summer) and with the lower sun the views over Ullswater were superb.
There are a number of little detours from the main ridge that are worth doing. Some tick Wainwrights, others improve the view by moving to the sides of the wide ridge. We visited Thornthwaite Crag and followed the ridge over Ullswater north of Arthur’s Pike. Alternatives include taking in Kidsty Pike over Haweswater and The Kontt to the west.
This all depends on the weather! The ridge and its myriad of small paths leading off the ridge can cause difficulty in the cloud. A compass is vital. Particular difficulties arise when leaving the Kentmere Horseshoe and finding the path on to High Street. In addition do not miss the path to Rampsgill Head after High Street. There are so many paths on the approach to Pooley Bridge it does not matter which one you take. All will get there!
We were pleased to finally make it to the top of High Street and we couldn’t have asked for better weather – it was well worth the wait. The views were glorious and once the initial climb was done, it was easy going leaving us lots of time to enjoy the walking and the scenery It’s a full day out but well worth it.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of new posts by email.