logo Walking Britain

Lake District Walk
Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Western Fells

Wainwrights - Buckbarrow, Middle Fell, Seatallan

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km

Ascent - 2500 feet / 758 metres

Time - 6 hours 0 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NY144055
Lat 54.437676 // Long -3.321272
Postcode CA20 1EU (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Photo from the walk - Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Photo from the walk - Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Photo from the walk - Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Photo from the walk - Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Photo from the walk - Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell
Click thumbnails for larger images.

Driving into Wasdale is a special experience with high fells, including England's highest mountain, providing a dramatic backdrop to England's deepest lake, Wast Water. This Lake District circular walk connects three 'Wainwrights' to form a varied horseshoe route, which, although not heading for major peaks, offers some superb mountain panoramas for much of the way.

Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell Buckbarrow, Seatallan & Middle Fell 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The start is a small area of grassy verge just east of Greendale (Grid ref. NY144055) at the foot of the path from Greendale Tarn. After parking, walk along the road west towards Gosforth with the first objective, Buckbarrow, rising in steep crags on your right hand side. Stay on the road as far as Gill Beck (Grid ref. NY 129054) where you turn right (north) to follow a clear path that climbs alongside the beck. Stay with this path following it as it turns east away from the beck to climb easily towards Buckbarrow. From here there are excellent views the length of Wasdale, although you do need to explore a little to find the best viewpoint.

Continue north through craggy knolls to the cairn on Glade How (Grid ref. NY 134064) to locate the onward path that descends a little before climbing steadily to Cat Bields. From here you are rewarded with a grand panorama out towards the Irish Sea although it is somewhat spoiled by the Atomic Power facilities at Seascale.

The summit of Seatallan lies just over a mile away in an approximate northeasterly direction. This section is the most tedious of the route although an easy grade means you can make steady progress uphill. Once you have reached the trig point on Seatallan the view suddenly improves with a spectacular panorama in all directions. Included in the view are some of the lesser known fells such as Haycock and Caw Fell.

The easiest descent from Seatallan follows the path to Haycock. Leave Seatallan's summit on a northeasterly bearing and descend steeply over grass towards the col named Pots of Ashness. Do not descend all the way to the col instead turning right as soon as easier ground is reached (Grid ref. NY 143088) from where you contour across the eastern slopes of Seatallan on sheep trods and over rough grass. Ahead you will see Middle Fell, the next objective, with a clear path to aim for.

Climbing once more you soon reach the summit of Middle Fell with its excellent view of Mellbreak, the Scafells and Great Gable. The path continues south along Middle Fell's ridge before turning southwest to descend into Greendale. Joining the path from Greendale Tarn continue downhill to where you started.

Please maintain social distancing - keep at least 2 metres away from other walkers.

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL6Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL6Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 90Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 90Digital Map1:50kBUY

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.

Recommended Books & eBooks

Lake District: High Level and Fell Walks

Lake District: High Level and Fell WalksThis guidebook describes 30 graded fell walks on the ridges and high peaks of the English Lake District, the UK's most popular national park. Reaching some of England's finest and highest mountain scenery, this guide leads readers to classic horseshoes and traditional ascents as well as lesser-known routes to quieter summits.
More information

Great Mountain Days in the Lake District

Great Mountain Days in the Lake DistrictAn inspirational guidebook to 50 challenging walks on the high fells of the Lake District. The graded circular routes, between 4 and 14 miles in length, cover classic Lakeland summits like Fairfield, Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Blencathra, to the lesser-known High Spy, King's How and Brund Fell.
More information


NavigationThis pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

Walking - Covid 19 update

Regular updates on how Covid 19 will impact on walking in the UK More info.

Mountain Weather

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

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.