High Rigg

Wainwright refers to the main part of this walk as ‘a splendid little expedition admirably suited to old and rickety fellwalkers long past their best’. While none of us on this outing currently fits this description, especially young Sooty (my latest dog), it is consoling to know that when we do, there will still be at least one fine walk we can undertake!
The ascent was from the path near Smaithwaite Bridge (on the Grasmere-Keswick road), branching off to the left shortly after its start in order to ascend the ‘nose’ of Wren Crag, and from there to and along the undulating ridge to the summit. The ‘knock and lochan’ terrain here (as well as the general height and extent of the area) is very reminiscent of Loughrigg Fell. Despite the rather cloudy and windy weather conditions, there were fine views for much of the way back towards the northern end of Thirlmere and over St John’s in the Vale towards the crags below Clough Head, Calfhow Pike and Great and Watson’s Dodds, as well as towards Blencathra and Skiddaw.
The return journey started by descending from the summit to St John’s Church (the seats in the graveyard making a handy lunch spot), and from there back along the eastern base of the fell beside St John’s Beck and past Low Bridgend Farm (with its tea-room) to the start. A walk of just the right proportions for the conditions, in the excellent company of Jim Mercer!
[Note: for further information, see the relevant section in Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide Book Three,’The Central Fells’ and/or Ch. 13 of ‘The Central Fells’ in Mark Richards’ Fellranger Series (Cicerone).]
(Highest point (High Rigg): 1165ft/355m. Distance: 4.98miles/8.01km. Ascent: 1273ft./388m.)

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