logo Walking Britain
Home About Holidays FAQ Email MENU ☰

High Street & Kidsty Pike from Mardale Head

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Far Eastern Fells

Wainwrights - High Street, Kidsty Pike

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.5 miles / 12.2 km    Ascent - 2700 feet / 818 metres

Time - 6 hours 30 minutes    Grade - moderate

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL5Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL5Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 90Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 90Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - High Street & Kidsty Pike
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

This, in my humble opinion, is one of the best walks in the Lake District as it has just about all the features of the National Park contained in a simple yet challenging route. The description and photos below are based on a winter visit and include notes on sections that might be challenging with snow on the ground.

The start is the car park at Mardale Head (Grid ref. NY 468107). From here continue to the end of the road and go through the gate and take the first path on the right that leads across Mardale Beck to gain the far shore of Haweswater Reservoir where you turn right again heading towards the Rigg.

As the path climbs away from the shore of the reservoir look out for a steep path going half left. Take this and climb up to the wall that runs the length of the Rough Crag ridge. On reaching the wall turn left and follow the clear path to the summit of Rough Crag. The route is full of interest with typical Lake District views full of detail in all directions.

Descending from Rough Crag the path passes a small tarn with Long Stile ahead. This is an interesting climb with the option of a few scrambles for those who so desire. The ascent goes quickly and you are soon onto the summit of High Street. To reach the summit bear half left and the trig point will be found near the wall.

Continue by following the wall north. You descend to the Straits of Riggindale from where there is an excellent view the length of Riggindale, which is famous as being the home of the only paid of nesting Golden Eagles in England and Wales. As the path begins to climb again take the right fork. This leads without further problem to the rocky summit of Kidsty Pike.

Descend off the summit in an easterly direction to descend over the rocky outcrop of Kidsty Howes. From here the path continues in a bee-line to Bowderthwaite Bridge (Grid ref. NY 468118). Continue ahead on the clear path that climbs over the ridge to rejoin your outward path which is followed back to the car park.

Notes - This walk was undertaken in very cold weather after moderate snowfall, which had undergone some melting. All paths had sections of avoidable ice. Long Stile also had some tricky icy sections but again these were all avoidable. The final climb onto High Street was covered with snow. care needed to be taken to gain decent footholds. Once the summit has been gained no further problems apart from icy grass were encountered. The latter was surprisingly dangerous especially on the descent to Kidsty Howes.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1152 The Corpse Road and Selside Pike from Mardalemoderate6.0 miles
Walk 3033 Tarn Crag & Harrop Pike from Sadgillmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 1147 Longsleddale and Kentmere Pike from Sadgillmoderate8.0 miles
Walk 1228 Thornthwaite Beacon & High Streetmoderate6.5 miles
Walk 1959 Gray Crag and Pasture Beck from Hartsopmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 2585 Hartsop Dodd, Stony Cove Pike, High St. & The Knottmod/hard10.0 miles
Walk 3309 Hartsop, Hartsop Dodd, Stony Cove Pike & Kirkstone Passmoderate8.5 miles
Walk 1320 Shorter Kentmere Horseshoemod/hard10.5 miles
Walk 2652 Photographer's Kentmere Horseshoemod/hard13.5 miles
Walk 1110 Angletarn Pikesmoderate7.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Lake District Fells - Buttermere

Walking the Lake District Fells - ButtermerePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 32 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Buttermere, Lorton and Newlands valleys, with highlights including Haystacks, High Stile, Grasmoor and the fells of the Coledale Round. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

Outdoor Adventures with Children - Lake District

Outdoor Adventures with Children - Lake DistrictGuidebook to 40 outdoor adventures in the Lake District with children under 12, including walking, cycling, orienteering, paddling, boating, hostelling and more. Graded activities for varying age ranges or for families with children of different ages.
More information

Messaging & Social Media

Message Walking Britain and follow the latest news.

Facebook  Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.