I think the ridge walk along the hollows and crags of High Rigg (locally Naddle Fell) is one of the loveliest rambles in the Lake District. Those Wainwright baggers who simply scoot up the northern slope and back from the little church at St John’s in the Vale, really do miss a great deal.
So last week, on a very fine day after the rain had cleared, we set out from Stanah Village Hall to walk northwards along the ridge. Most walkers do this walk from the United Utilities car park at Legburthwaite, but why? Parking at Stanah is a modest £2. Legburthwaite £7. So by adding a few hundred yards of lane walking you save a fiver!
Crossing Smaithwaite Bridge and through the next gate, a path leads gently upwards on to High Rigg. An easy climb, though the surrounding bracken is rather high at this time of the year. It’s an unusual climb for Lakeland, for there is a fine mixture of very picturesque trees for much of the way. We saw a lovely little golden frog too.
Picturesque views, back over Thirlmere and up to Helvellyn in one direction, and some dramatic vistas of Blencathra in the other. Easy walking too, as the path winds through hollows, round rocky tors, and past tiny tarns to the summit, which is set at the northern end of the ridge.
Grand views now of Lakeland’s northern giants, not just Blencathra but Skiddaw as well, with pretty prospects towards Keswick and Bassenthwaite.
A short but steep grassy descent leads down to St John’s church. We returned by way of the ancient packhorse route, running through the vale above St John’s Beck. One of the best paths in Lakeland. So good that I’m saving my description of it for my next blog later this week.