Coledale Round

  • Graceful and steep sided
  • Views over 3 valleys and lakes
  • Dominates the Northern Lakes skyline

The most enjoyable section of the Coledale Round are the walks to and views from the outlying summits. Whiteside from Hopegill Head is a classic narrow ridge with outstanding views up Buttermere, Whiteside has similar attributes and even the more bulky Grasmoor is sufficiently steep sided to offer a real feeling of being perched up in the skies. I would heartily recommend the extra miles these excursions entail. The Coledale Round reveals all from Keswick with a splendid view of the two distinctive summits of Grisedale Pike and Causey Pike; both seemingly protecting the bowels of this heavywieght circuit.

I usually head up Grisedale Pike first, it is a bit of a sweat and relentless as all its secrets are laid bare from the start but once on its small summit the remainder of the circuit (with the exception of the pull up to Grasmoor) gives the impression of a down hill ride. My last visit started in mist and rain but soon the clouds rolled away and from Hopegill Head the walk became an increasing joy – Buttermere peaked out from the rolling clouds whilst the return over Crag Hill revealed some lovely views over Newlands and Borrowdale.

I prefer pulling back off Causey Pike to the col under Outerside and Barrow which gives a fantastic run down the pretty valley to the the outskirts of Braithwaite. This is a big day, 13 miles which include the outliers of Whiteside and Grasmoor but the steep sides of the ridge offer some of the best views in the Lakes and real feel of a mountaineering expedition. Shame about the rotten effort at erosion control on Scar Crags, what are they thinking of?

The photos were taken on a stormy but ultimately lovely day with Sadie and Michelle. 

Recommend: If taking no other detours definitely walk the ridge to Whiteside

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Coledale Round map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 230236. Parking is available in the side roads in Braithwaite. Then walk up the Whinlatter Pass road for a couple of hundred yards before the track leads steeply up stairs on to Grisedale Pike
Height to Climb: 1130ms (3,706 feet)
Terrain: Aside from the rotten attempt at improving the path off Scar Crags the paths are fine on the round and certainly easy to follow.
Eating & Drinking: The Coledale Inn & Royal Oak at Braithwaite are excellent Lakeland pubs, two of a diminishing number as many try and enter the 'restaurant scene' with the customery rise in prices and loss of character. The pub at Swinside is also good
Similar Walks Nearby: Skiddaw via Ullock Pike
The Newlands Round
Climbing Blencathra from Threlkeld
Places to Stay: Coledale Inn, BraithwaiteSwinside Lodge Hotel


Croft House Cottages, nr KeswickBeckstones Farm Guest House