While since I’d been to the lakes so I fancied somewhere new.  Haystacks is one of the more popular walks due to it’s relative ease.  But, one I did want to see having read much about it.  Following is just a few images from the walk but Ill add a comment here what I thought of it.  On any walk I think I have a main objective.  That is to enjoy the escape, the isolation and the sense of being miles from anywhere.  The lakes often bring stunning scenery though sadly, in particular on this walk what it doesn’t bring is isolation.  Being an easy walk and being on a bank holiday, it was more akin to a busy shopping district than a lonely hill.  Too many people for my liking.  The walk itself is mostly on broken rock and granite, barely a blade of grass crossed my feet.  In this sense, this is where Northumberland comes into its own (of my experience).  The views may not be as breath taking in say the cheviots, but you do get a grander sense of only being with yourself and your thoughts.  Plus a monkey, in my case.

Dont get me wrong though.  Haystacks is a walk to do if you havent.  5 or so mile and 4-5  or so hours at ease.  Steady climb up taking 90mins then a walk across the top and back down the other side.  Avoid the north face though, thats not for the faint hearted, only those with either a rope or lacking the will to live!

We started the walk from near Buttermere at Gates Garth Farm.  From here you follow the trail up.  Nothing simpler really!

On the way up you can glance back towards Lowswater and varying heights and angles.  It’s an impressive scene to take on, more so when the sun and cloud play kindly.

Going up you head to Scarth Gap.  It’s on reaching the gap you see your final climb up Haystacks and the reason it received it’s name.

Once on the top, you do get a decent view around you with some other notable peaks.  The cloud base remained fairly high for us this day though towards the end it did start to clip the tops and some rain came.  We were fairly lucky though and in all was decent walking conditions.


Hello Monkey…

The way back down is a fairly uneventful track.

Haystacks was the favourite summit of influential guidebook author Alfred Wainwright. He neglected to name the fell as a whole in his “best half-dozen” at the end of the Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells because of inferior height, but stated that for beauty, variety and interesting detail, for sheer fascination and unique individuality, the summit area of Haystacks is supreme. This is in fact the best fell-top of all.  Wainwright’s ashes were scattered by his wife Betty near the shores of Innominate Tarn.  In Buttermere church there is a memorial to Wainwright, and one can look out of the window to Haystacks [wikitext]