Red Pike Walk
Overview Countrywalker Grading
Moderate to difficult walk to the peak of Red Pike. Excellent views of Buttermere, Crummock Water and surrounding valleys.
Moderate/ Difficult (height 755M, 2477ft).
Footpaths Time taken
Walking on rough track and loose surfaces. 5 - 6 hours (including breaks).
Starting/ End Positions Distance
Start from Buttermere car park (GR176170). 5 miles (8 Kilometres).


Map Guide: OS outdoor leisure 4, north western lake district (1:25,000).

Hint: If you have a trekking or walking stick then you will benefit from using it on this walk. Park at Buttermere, either near the church (GR176170) just off the road or use the car park just to the right of the Fish Hotel (GR174169). Start the walk by going down the track to the left of the hotel.

Follow the track around until you come to a gate (GR174168) that is signposted Scale bridge. This is the first gate, the other one takes you down to the lake of Buttermere. Follow the track down to Scale Bridge which is about 1/2 mile away (GR168165).

Go through the gate at the bridge and turn right. Follow the path at the side of the meadows for about 1/2 mile until Crummock Water becomes visible to your right. Walk past the two islands, over a small bridge near a lone tree and keep to the side of the water. Follow the path around until you are just about level with Scale Island (GR160174). Now the path becomes less clear, but you will start to head inland to the west. The path disappears in places and can become quite boggy in wet conditions. Follow the path for around 1/2 mile until you come to a gap in the wall ahead. Go through and you will see the Scale Force Bridge with Scale Force Waterfall behind it (GR151172).

It may be worth a quick rest here as the next stage involves a steep climb. While looking ahead at the waterfall note the path to your left up the steep rocky stepped path. This is the path you must now take. After a short distance the path starts to level out slightly and you will be walking just to the left of the beck which feeds the waterfall. The path here has crumbled in places so care must be taken when manoeuvring.

Follow the path for around another 1/2 mile, the path continuing to climb gradually, keeping the stream to your right. The path turns suddenly to the left (GR149165) and continues, but now becomes much steeper. Follow this path up and onto Lingcomb Edge (GR156157).

Continue the walk by turning right and following the path for another 1/2 mile up to the summit of Red Pike (755M, 2477ft) (GR161154) taking care again on the slippery slopes. You can see great views of Crummock Water and Buttermere from here when there is no mist or fog.

There are quite a few routes down from this summit but the one we take on this walk is down 'The Saddle', to the NE. From the summit either take the path directly to the North East, which is very steep, or better still head south for a few metres and then you will see a path gradually emerge to your left. Follow this path down for 1/2 mile to Bleaberry Tarn (GR165155). Warning: This path is very steep and slippery in places and you must descend slowly.

Once at the Tarn the path continues to the North East, following Sourmilk Gill initially and then turning to the East. More great views of Crummock Water, Whiteless Pike, Whiteless Breast, Buttermere, High Snockrigg and Honister Pass can be seen ahead (close up of Honister Pass). You can also see the village of Buttermere (and close-up) and the valley beyond to the north.

Follow the path down rocky steps to a gate just before entering Burntness Wood (GR173164) which is just over 1/2 mile from the Tarn. Head down the path through the wood to a gate at the bottom. Warning: This path is very slippery when wet and a lot of care must be taken to avoid falling.

Cross over two bridges here at the bottom near the lake and follow the track up and around to the left until it joins the track where you started. Retrace your steps to the car park.

An alternate route from Red Pike could be as follows: Follow the path South and then SE across to High Stile (806M, 2644ft) (GR168148) then onto High Crag (744M, 2440ft) (GR180140) and to Hay Stacks (597M, 1958ft) (GR193133). The rest of this alternate route is not covered on this walk.

Walk first completed: July 2000
Walk last updated: November 2001


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