Riggindale Ridge to High Street with Father John

Name of walk Riggindale Ridge to High Street with Father John
Date of walk 2014-08-22
Distance walked (miles) 6
Duration of walk 5 hours 20 minutes
Weather Blue skies.
Peaks on walk High Street, Mardale Ill Bell
Walked with Fr. John Inglis
Parking Mardale car park

Last August John and I were sat having lunch on Branstree looking over Haweswater to the Riggindale ridge route up to High Street. He said that he would like to try the route out and didn’t believe me when I said that it would take about three hours to reach the summit. Bad weather prevented a trip up last year, so this year we added this route to our ‘to do’ list. Friday turned out to be a good weather day and we met up opposite The Greyhound Hotel in Shap, before driving to Mardale together. The walk is about six miles long and would also include Mardale Ill Bell and Small Water.


We stopped on the side of Haweswater to take some photos of the Riggindale ridge.


It is a long undulating ridge route, but not exposed, so no danger of falling off.


Panorama of the Riggindale Round, which is up to High Street and down via Kidsty Pike. We are going in the opposite direction to Mardale Ill Bell. Harter Fell is on the far left. Riggindale is supposed to be a nesting site for a Golden Eagle, but I've never seen it.


Close up of The Rigg with Harter Fell behind it.


We park in the car park at Mardale Head and head around the lake and over the bridge.


Soon we take the short cut track up to the ridge. At the top of the track is the first view, through a gap in the wall, down the length of Haweswater.


Looking across we can see both Small Water on the left and Blea water on the right just peeking out.


John on the wide ridge The ridge is very easy to walk, it has a few rocky bits, but is a very gentle ascent.


View ahead. The distance is very deceptive as the view omits the undulations. Allow up to three hours to reach High Street.


Looking across Riggindale to Kidsty Pike on the right.


Blea Water.


View to Caspel Gate Tarn from Rough Crag.


John with Rough Crag and Haweswater behind him.


View back from the climb up Longstile.


Looking down at Blea Water. Mardale Ill Bell on the right, Harter Fell on the left.


John on the very last section of the ridge.


The final view back down the Riggindale ridge. We had seen no one for the whole of the ridge walk.


It is a short 100m walk to the summit of High Street. The summit is always very bleak. It had taken us two hours and forty three minutes to reach the summit.


There are excellent panoramic views today.


Close up of Striding Edge, Helvellyn and Catstycam.


Ahead of John is Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick, to his right is Windermere. We head for Mardale Ill Bell.


Mardale Ill Bell from our lunch spot. We found a large, flat rock to sit on, out of the cool breeze. John had once more provided the sandwiches, coffee and chocolate biscuit bars. I could easily get used to this treatment! I do hope Ged reads this post. We had great views across to Branstree and down the length of Haweswater.


Pink sheep!


Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick from the summit of Mardale Ill Bell.


Panorama view from Mardale Ill Bell across to the Riggindale ridge we had just walked up.


Mardale Ill Bell summit.


We headed for the Nan Bield Pass and the shelter at the confluence of the routes. Left down to Small Water, right down to Kentmere and straight on up for Harter Fell.


The path down into Kentmere


Nan Bield shelter with John beyond taking a photo of Kentmere.


Heading down towards Small Water, Haweswater beyond.


We passed some mountain bikers at this point. They had to carry their bikes up as it is far too rocky for riding.


Walking towards the outflow.


One of the three shelters on the side of Small Water built for the benefit of those caught out in bad weather when walking the Nan Bield Pass.


They are not very large but they do go some way back. A great place to shelter if you are fond of spiders!


Looking back to our route down.


Another mountain biker took our photo, after John volunteered to take one of him and his bike.


The way back to Haweswater.


We followed the stream down for most of the way.


Nearly back to the car park. The water level in Haweswater is quite low.


The walk took us five hours and twenty minutes for the six miles. We stopped at the Haweswater Hotel on the drive back, for yet more medicinal rehydration. We sat on the terrace in the sunshine.



The perfect end to a perfect walk! John has acquired an inability to go past a chip without becoming intimately acquainted with it. I save him from himself, and eat one or two.......or three......

Friday was John’s and my last walk together before he returns to his parish in darkest Surrey on Sunday night. I had to bell ring for two weddings today, and looked enviously out of the bell tower window at the blue skies and sunshine. No doubt he had a good walk, whilst consuming numerous chocolate bars and chips! Same time next year John? 😉