View of Brotherswater close to the camp site

Walk 3: Sykeside to High Street (2718ft/828m)

This walk is best suited to the averagely fit walker and older children. The ascent/descent is straightforward.

From the campsite shop head uphill and bear left at the fork. Go through the gate beside the cattle grid and follow the permissive path to the left of the wall. Walk along the shore of Brotherswater where you may see many varieties of water fowl such as ducks, grebes, goosander, mersangers and herons.

Cross the road via the kissing gate, go up the grass verge opposite and then through the gate. Follow the track towards Hartsop village crossing over the ford and then the footbridge over Pasture Beck. On reaching the lane, turn right past the pretty galleried cottages. Continue to the car park at the end of the lane and go through the gate onto a tarmac track.

Proceed along the track with the steep grassy fell called Gray Crag in front of you and disused lead mine workings at its foot. To your right the valley of Pasture Bottom lies with Threshthwaite Cove at its far end (one of the routes back) and rugged Ravens Crag and Hartsop Dodd to its right. Cross the bridge over Hayeswater Gill and follow the uphill track as it becomes stonier and steeper as it heads to Hayeswater.

On reaching Hayeswater, pause to look at your austere surroundings. Hayeswater lies in a glacier corrie left from the Ice Age and is a kilometre in length. On the right of the reservoir there are glacial moraines - large hummocky mounds which are clumps of debris formed at the end of the Ice Age. In front of you , descending steeply into the reservoir, lies The Knott (739m, 2423ft) with High Street bearing off to the right. This is where you are now heading.

Cross the footbridge over Hayeswater outflow and climb the steep zig zagging path in front of you. As a path joins in from the left bear right to follow the path skirting around the Knott (you can make a short diversion to the summit). Follow the rough stony path around the Knott to reach the grassy path of the Straits of Riggindale. Lakeland's only pair of Golden Eagles regularly rest on a ridge overlooking Riggindale. Look down to Haweswater on your left and Hayeswater to your right.

When you arrive at a gap in the wall to your right, choose your path to continue - either a grassy one to the left of the wall which leads to the trig point on the summit of High Street or a wide path through the gap which slopes gently uphill to the right of the trig point. Romans transported loads of stone for their forts and roads north to south through the mountains along High Street. Centuries later local people staged horse races here giving it its other name of Racecourse Hill. It's a narrow but level plateau with extensive views of the Scafells, the Coniston range, the Duddon Valley, Morecambe Bay and the Langdales.

From the summit you can retrace your steps to Hayeswater or, if the visibility is good, continue along the path to Thornthwaite Beacon (783m/2569ft). Leave the beacon beyond the wall and walk diagonally across the grassy top. Drop steeply down through rocks and scree to Threshthwaite Mouth. Take the rough rocky path bearing right down into the valley of Pasture Bottom. Return to the campsite via Hartsop Village and Brotherswater shoreline.

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