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Seat Sandal via Grisedale Tarn from Grasmere

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Eastern Fells

Wainwrights - Seat Sandal

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km    Ascent - 2100 feet / 636 metres

Time - 4 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Seat Sandal via Grisedale Tarn from Grasmere
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

Seat Sandal is a neglected Lakeland fell as far as walkers are concerned. A solitary summit, it occupies a wonderful position providing views to many of Lakeland's great hills and mountains and forms the basis of this lake District circular walk. The route is straightforward apart from a short but steep ascent during the final approach to the summit of Seat Sandal. Paths are generally easy to follow although the descent off the summit needs care in poor visibility.

The start is one mile north along A591 from Grasmere at Mill Bridge (Grid ref. NY336091). Parking is available in two lay-bys and a few other places although there are restrictions at certain times of the year. At busy times of the year an early start is essential. As an alternative there is the frequent bus service between Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick passing the start. After parking locate the bridleway (signed Patterdale) on the east side of the main road almost opposite the lane leading down towards Low Mill Bridge.

The bridleway climbs gently with Tongue Gill below on your right. Ahead the slopes of Seat Sandal rise quite steeply. Cross the footbridge (Grid ref. NY339098) and bear right to cross the second footbridge. Go slightly left past a concrete reservoir to reach the path on the south side of Tongue Gill. At first the path heads upstream at a gentle angle and progress towards Grisedale Hause is quite fast. Passing a waterfall the path crosses to the other side of the Gill and the ascent gets steeper. Keeping ahead past a large depression on your right, the path climbs to Grisedale Hause from where you get your first sight of Grisedale Tarn.

This is a superb place to rest as you are surrounded by high fells with Fairfield, St Sunday Crag and Dollywagon Pike the most dominant. At the hause turn left and follow the wall to the foot of the climb onto Seat Sandal. There is a rather unpleasant, loose path that climbs steeply to the right of the wall. The loose section is short-lived and soon the conditions underfoot improve as you gain height. There are paths either side of the wall with the left-hand one providing the preferred route. The path becomes less steep as the summit area is reached with a cairn marking the highest spot. From here the best views are towards the Helvellyn range, Fairfield and St Sunday Crag.

The onward path is less distinct and care is needed in places to ensure you are heading in the right direction. The first key to the descent is a further cairn located roughly due west of the summit. From here the views north to Skiddaw and Blencathra and west to the Scafells and Great Gable are at their best. From this second cairn the path heads roughly southwest over grass. It is a superb way down with virtually no erosion and grass underfoot all the way down to the valley. Reaching a wooden gate in a wall, continue straight ahead and keeping the same line continue through a second wooden gate. Shortly afterwards, the path leads you down to a cast iron gate, which provides access to the bridleway used at the start of the walk. Turn right and you will be back at the main road in a few minutes.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1111 High Raise & Helm Cragmod/hard9.5 miles
Walk 3625 Silver How from Grasmereeasy3.2 miles
Walk 1154 Between Grasmere and Langdalemoderate9.5 miles
Walk 1472 Alcock Tarn & Rydal Watereasy/mod7.0 miles
Walk 1565 Rydal Water & Grasmere circulareasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 1682 Rydal Water & Grasmere easy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1823 Fairfield Horseshoe & Loughrigg from High Close mod/hard14.0 miles
Walk 2026 Loughrigg from Pelter Bridge near Rydaleasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 2715 Skelwith Bridge & Loughriggeasy/mod5.5 miles
Walk 1684 Lingmoor Fell & Langdale easy/mod7.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria WayA guidebook to the 73 mile Cumbria Way, an easy long-distance walk though the heart of the Lake District National Park, from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north, with good transport links to either end. The route is largely low-level but this guide offers alternative mountain days to climb some of the famous fells en route.
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Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far East

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