Hart & Dove Crags

This walk comprised one of the last sections of Patterdale I had not 'revisited' recently, and I'm glad to say that it brought back many pleasant memories of earlier excursions in the area!  The main objectives of the outing were i) Hart Crag (via Harstop above How) and ii) the Priest's Hole in neighbouring Dove Crag, to be taken in by way of a descent back to 'base' via Dovedale. 

Accordingly, the ascent began from Cowbridge car park near Brothers Water, straight up the steepish initial section that takes you onto the main ridge leading to Hartsop above How.  This stretch fortunately includes two fine 'viewing platforms', from which the attractions of south Patterdale can be admired to advantage, breath drawn, etc.

The ridge attained, it was then an evermore scenic stroll to Hartsop above How summit, with increasingly fine views forward of Dove and Hart Crags, Fairfield's magnificent rocky north-eastern face, and the southern flank of St Sunday Crag, as well as back towards the mouth of Deepdale and the rest of south Patterdale.

The final steep ascent of Hart Crag accomplished, it was down and over to the southern flank of Dove Crag summit, and, the somewhat indistinct and precipitous route to the Priest's Hole duly located, to lunch at the 'Cave Restaurant' (one that has views to truly die for!).

Then down the very steep (but, fortunately, mostly well-paved) upper section of Dovedale, and then back along the gently contouring path that runs down gradually along the northern flank of Hartsop above How to the entrance of Dovedale at historic Hartsop Hall.  A final, gentle stroll back along the western shore of Brothers Water, with more very fine scenery, rounded off the day   A great round indeed, one which I will try not to leave so long before revisiting again!

(Highest point: Hart Crag 2697 ft/ 822 m. Distance: 6.1 miles/ 9.8 km. Ascent: 2451 ft./ 747 m.)

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