logo Walking Britain

Lake District Walk
A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Central Fells

Wainwrights - Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag, Steel Fell

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km

Ascent - 2300 feet / 697 metres

Time - 5 hours 50 minutes

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NY336091
Lat 54.472899 // Long -3.026119
Postcode LA22 9RU (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere Photo from the walk - A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere Photo from the walk - A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere Photo from the walk - A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere Photo from the walk - A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere Photo from the walk - A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere
Click thumbnails for larger images.

This Lake District horseshoe walk links the high fells surrounding the valley containing Green Burn. Including four 'Wainwrights', Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag, the views are generally good and, although there is some wet ground to contend with, the walking straightforward. In poor visibility navigation might be problematic on the section from Steel Fell to Calf Crag so choose a good day to enjoy the walk.

A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere A Green Burn horseshoe from Mill Bridge, Grasmere 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The start is alongside the A591 at Mill Bridge (Grid ref. NY336091) one mile north of Grasmere. Parking is available in two lay-bys although there are restrictions at certain times of the year so an early start is recommended. After parking, leave the main road and take the lane down towards Low Mill Bridge. At the junction (Grid ref. NY333091) turn right and continue along this quiet lane towards Ghyll Foot. Just after crossing Green Burn, bear left up a gravel drive and start to climb. After passing two cottages on your right, go through the gate and turn half right to leave the track and follow the path with the wall on your immediate right.

The climb is steady and the way ahead obvious. However at least two false summits have to be dealt with during the ascent, which offers improving views across Dunmail Raise to Seat Sandal and the Helvellyn range. Cresting the final section of ascent, a cairn comes into view constructed from stone and metal fence posts. From here you are able to get a good idea of the route ahead with almost all of the walk visible from this point.

To continue, walk northwest and then west following the line of the derelict fence. The path is generally easy to follow although in mist it is necessary to stay with the fence line. At a fence junction (Grid ref. NY313113) a short diversion north offers an excellent view north down to Wyth Burn. Passing an unnamed tarn (Grid ref. NY307110), continue across wet ground (mostly avoidable) with the path swinging west and then south to reach the main ridge path on Calf Crag (Grid ref. NY302104).

The route from Calf Crag stays with the ridge that ends at Helm Crag. The path twists and turns along the ridge to reach Gibson Knott before descending to a broad col just before helm Crag. It is worth making a note of the exit path descending northeast towards Green Burn. that will be used after visiting the summit of Helm Crag. With the final ascent to the summit of Helm Crag an easy proposition over the paved path you can soon explore the rocks and crags that give this fell so much character when viewed from the valley. The Grasmere end of the summit area is home to the Lion and the Lamb whilst the other end is home to Lion Couchant (looks like a massive howitzer from the summit).

With exploration of Helm Crag complete, return to the col on its northwestern flank and turn right (northeast) down the steep path towards Green Burn. Care is needed during this descent especially if the grass is wet or icy. With the wall on your left continue the descent to reach a wall junction (Grid ref. NY326096). Cross the wall ahead and continue north across the next field to gain the path on the south bank of Green Burn. Turn upstream to reach a footbridge. Cross the bridge and walk downstream along the track. This leads past the two cottages passed early in the walk and down to Ghyll Foot. Follow the lane towards Grasmere to reach a road junction. Turn left uphill to reach the start.

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

Covid 19 Update for Walkers

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL6Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL6Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Explorer OL4Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL4Digital 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

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

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

Navigation

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.