A Walk up Red Screes

I managed to find a day to get out for a walk and decided to drive up to the Ambleside and walk up Red Screes. It’s a distinctive fell and its whale-back can be seen from across the south Lakes. I had intended to do this walk a few months ago but changed my mind when I parked up in Ambleside and did the Fairfield Horseshoe instead. This time I stuck with my plan on what was forecast to be a fine Autumn day.

Leaving Ambleside I took the path along Scandale and then climbed to the summit of Red Screes from the top of the pass, descending back down to Ambleside along the ridge. An easy ascent up the valley followed by a steep climb and then a gentle descent.

Leaving the car park I passed the bridge house

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It was bright and sunny as I started to climb out of the town, with great views over to Rydal Water and the fells

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Up through the woods

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I reached High Sweden Bridge

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It’s an old packhorse bridge dating from the 1700’s.

I carried on up the valley. This route over the top of Scandale Pass links Ambleside with Patterdale.

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I passed a herd of highland cattle who barely gave me a glance

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Carrying on along the valley;

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Reaching the top of the pass the sky had clouded over

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Now I had had a steep climb up to the summit of Red Screes

Looking down towards Patterdale and Brothers Water

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and over towards the Fairfield Horseshoe and Helvellyn

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I finally reached the summit

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It was cold and windy and the wind shelter was occupied by someone wild camping. But I managed to find a sheltered spot to grab a bite to eat and take in the views.

Looking towards Yoke, Ill Bell and Frostwick and the Kentmere Horseshoe in the east

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over to Fairfield, Saint Sunday Crag and Helvellyn

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It was raining further west over the Coniston Fells, Langdale and the Scafells

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Time to start descending along the long ridge back to Ambleside. There’s Windermere in the distance

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Looking eastwards over the Kirkstone Pass and the Kirkstone Inn towards the Kentmere Fells

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It was raining heavily now over the fells to the west and north

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But it didn’t drift over as far east as Red Screes. Very typical of the Lakes where the weather can change from one valley to the next.

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There’s Ambleside ahead

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Looking north

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Getting closer to Ambleside

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Wansfell straight ahead

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Nearing the end of the walk

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the final half a mile or so was down the “Struggle”, the steep road from Ambleside up to the Kirkstone Pass

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Coming back into Ambleside I passed the old houses at How Head

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and crossed the river

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Time for a brew!

Red Screes walk

15 thoughts on “A Walk up Red Screes

  1. The variety of landscapes in this hike is incredible, from rich green forest to bare hills, and rocky outcroppings. How long did this hike take and how many km did you cover?

    • About 8 miles Susanne. Took me about 5 hours including a short stop on the summit.
      You’re right about the variety. That’s why I love our pocket sized Lake District 😉

    • It was a good walk. With excellent views. Relatively gentle too! It’s possible to make the walk a Horseshoe (and more strenuous) by taking in Low and High Pikes.

  2. You are blessed with good legs and a beautiful place to use them 🙂
    I love such mountains. The weather photos are very descriptive for the quick weather change.
    How many hours did it take you? When I see the mountains, I get an impression of a multi-day hike.

    • Thanks Hanna. The walk took me about 5 hours including a short stop on the summit. I can reach the Lake District in about an hour and a half and it’s quite a compact area. Most of the fells can be climbed in a few hours or combined into a full day walk. And it’s possible to spend a few days out in the wild doing some “wild camping”. But that’s not for me these days.
      As for my legs being good, I manage at the moment but age is catching up and my knees can give me a bit of a problem when descending 😦

      • Thanks a lot for your thorough answer. What a thrill to have Lake District within that short distance. I assume that you use walking poles? The longest day trip I have walked in the mountains was 9 hours. I used my breaks on stretching exercises 🙂
        I’ve never used walking poles but I think that was a mistake. Research shows walking poles can relieve with 25 to 30 percent.
        Perhaps you can strengthen your muscles at your knees with specific exercises –
        Enjoying your walks!!

      • Yes, I’ve been using poles for a while now. They certainly help with the descents (and the steeper ascents too!)
        I need to look into suitable exercises to strengthen the old knees too, I think

  3. I’ve climbed Red Screes a fair few times, but never from Ambleside (I always cheat and start from the Kirkstone Pass. I was looking at Scandale on my map quite a bit this summer and thinking I needed to explore, but never found time. I’ll get there eventually!

    • Well I’m not sure rhat starting from the Kirkstone Pass is a cheat. It might be a shorter route but it must be much steeper. But the Scandale route is a pleasure. And not so busy, I guess, so good for peace and contemplation

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