Red Screes

A week last Sunday I fancied getting out to stretch my legs so headed up to the Lake District. At this time of the year the daylight hours are short so I wanted a route that would get me back to the car before darkness descended. I decided to drive up to Ambleside and walk up Scandale and then climb up Red Screes. It’s a route I’d done before and although not the most popular way up the mountain – most people seem to take the steep climb up from the Kirkstone Pass – I’d enjoyed the walk up the quiet valley. This time another solitary rambler was following the same route and we kept passing each other. We eventually walked together and chatted for a while, until I had to stop to top up my blood sugar.

I arrived around 8:30 and parked up in the main car park and booted up. There were quite a few other people also getting ready to head off onto the fells, either walking or cycling. I walked through the town centre and was soon setting off up the lane that led up Scandale Pass.

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Looking across the valley
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Carrying on up the “lonning” (the Cumbrian term for “lane”
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Looking across the valley – Rydal Water just about visible
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The picturesque Sweden Bridge – the subject of many photographs!
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Carrying on along the valley. The other solitary walker a short distance ahead.
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The lonely valley!
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Through the gate – not too far to the top of the pass now
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Looking back down the valley as I approached the top of the pass. From there there was a steep climb up to the summit of Red Screes. There was a path that followed along the side of a dry stone wall but after a while we (I’d teamed up with the other walker by now) strayed off and found our own way up the hill side.
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Looking down towards Patterdale and Brothers’ Water
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Getting close to the summit. The temperature had dropped and there were several patches of snow.
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The small un-named tarn at the summit had frozen over
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The summit with its trig point and shelter dead ahead. Time to stop, grab a bite to eat and a hot coffee from my flask while I admired the views
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Looking across to Dovedale and the Fairfield horseshoe
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The view over Middle Dod down to Patterdale
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Looking across the Kirkstone Pass to Hartsop Dod (I think!)
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Across to Ill Bell and the west side of the Kentmere fells

It was time to start making my way back to Ambleside down the long whale-back ridge of Red Screes. There were great views all the way as I descended.

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Zooming in on the Kirkstone Inn and the car park
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Ill Bell again – I can’t resist taking snaps of this mountain!
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A good view along Windermere opened up. The photo is rubbish, though as I shooting into the sun
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Looking across to Rydal Water and Grasmere
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Yet another shot across to the Kentmere fells – Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke
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Looking across the “Struggle” to Wansfell
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A herd of Belted Galloways and Highland Cattle
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Windemere and Ambleside ahead – still shooting into the sun!
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Descending down the last stretch of the fell

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Through that gate is the steep road down from the Kirkstone Pass to Ambleside, known as “The Struggle”.
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Looking across to Wansfell from The Struggle
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Coming into Ambleside
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I made my way down to the town centre and had a mooch around the shops picking up a few items in the sales before returning to my car.

Passing Bridge House on the way to the car park – it’s obligatory to take a photo!

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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