Distance: 11 miles (18km)
Start/finish: Bridge House (NT), Rydal Road, Ambleside, LA22 9AN
Terrain: Footpath, road, fell
Toughness: Challenging
Ascent: 974 metres
Navigation: Moderate to challenging (dependent on visibility)
Good for: Classic routes, ascents, views
Lat Long / Grid Ref of Start: 54.4338, -2.9643 / NY3754804689

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a classic walking route, traversing eight Wainwrights, and
its challenging terrain lends itself perfectly to running. Head NW out of Ambleside, following Scandale Beck before ascending through Rydal Park with its stunning house and gardens. A road and then footpath make a zig-zag ascent up to Nab Scar, from where there are wonderful views across to Loughrigg Fells. Follow route N, over Heron Pike and Great Rigg, to summit of Fairfield with its cairns and shelters. From the summit head E, crossing Link Hause, Hart Crag and Dove Crag before turning S to High Pike summit and then descending steeply to Low Pike. Finally traverse High Brock and Low Brock before descending to Ambleside.

Miles Km Directions
0.0 0.0 From start follow the A591 Rydal Road north west out of Ambleside towards Grassmere
0.7 1.1 Turn right onto footpath, following Scandale Beck and ascending north through Rydal Park
1.7 2.7 Turn right onto road at Rydal Hall and ascend road then footpath north west up and over Nab Scar, continuing north west then north along obvious path to Heron Pike
3.4 5.4 From Heron Pike continue north along ridge over Great Rigg to Fairfield
5.6 9.0 From summit of Fairfield turn right, heading east then south east across Link Hause. Continue over Hart Crag to Dove Crag
6.9 11.1 From Dove Crag head south over High Pike, descending steeply to Low Pike and finally descending back into Ambleside to finish

Download and print route directions (right click to download)

Download .GPX file (right click to download)

How to use .GPX files

OS Map

To see this map cookies and javascript must be enabled. If you are still having trouble after having checked both of these please contact us using the link at the top of the page


Open Street Map and interactive elevation profile


Leave a Comment