Fairfield Horseshoe

  • Views of the entire Lake District
  • Good ridge walking
  • Includes 8 Wainwrights

If there are any of the major Lake District major summits which I did not catch a glimpse of on my recent round of the Fairfield Horseshoe I would be surprised. As I was striding up and down the long arms of Fairfield I felt the entire Lake District was mapped out in front of me. It was fantastic to be able to walk for reasonable periods of time and be able to look at the scenery without any fear of stumbling on a rock or walking off the mountain!

I went ‘out’ on the Great Rigg west ridge from Rydal and the views to the west up Easedale and beyond were excellent. As I approached the summit of Fairfield the Helvellyn ridge presented itself in all its glory whilst on the return it was great to pick out individual summits in the Far Eastern area (never easy as they tend to look a little similar). The ridges do have some rocky outcrops but it is generally good walking country – only the backside of Fairfield has cliffs and dangers.

Recommend: Follow the east ridge down all the way, do not be tempted to come off early to cut the corner to Rydal

Download GPX file

Fairfield Horseshoe map


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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL7 Lake District South East. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 365062. Parking in Rydal is an issue. If you can get in on the little road to Rydal Mount that is best. Otherwise it depends how brave you are feeling
Height to Climb: 875ms (2,870 feet)
Terrain: Obvious tracks round the horseshoe, the final path through Rydal Hall being a great ending to the walk
Eating & Drinking: For once I advocate a tea shop - walking through the grounds of Rydal Hall there is a wonderfully situated tea shop, just 2 or 3 minutes from Rydal. The Badger Bar in the Glen Rothay hotel offers a good pint for the desperate
Similar Walks Nearby: Ridges over Grasmere village
Loughrigg Fell, a beauty in minature
Crinkle Crags & Bowfell
Places to Stay: Rooms at the Apple Pie, AmblesideBroadoaks Country House


Ambleside BackpackersCuckoo’s Nest Cottage, Ambleside