You won’t find any shops on this Cumbrian high street, but what you will find is amazing scenery and a beautiful walk.
High Street stands at 2,718 ft tall and is the highest point in the far eastern part of the nation park. The fell is named after the Roman road which ran over the summit.
There are many different routes up to High Street but the route i chose for this walk was from the car park just after Hartsop Mill Cottage. The car park is not visible from the main roads and when you drive down the lane to access it, you still would not think one exists, but it does and it can possibly cater for around 20 cars.
Driving to Hartsop along the Kirkstone Pass is very much pleasing to the eye and the scenery is just awesome and many times i just wanted to stop the car and get out and start taking images. You get great views of Red Screes and Stony Cove Pike and the small but beautiful Brotherswater.
The aim of my walks is to provide amazing scenery whilst walking but this little beauty provided that with just the car journey alone. The Eastern fells and especially High Street even if accessed from Haweswater provide some of the best eye candy i have seen so far whilst up in the lakes.
From the car park head through the gate that leads you up towards Hayeswater Gill, this path is a very gradual incline and will take you past a disused mine to your right. Watch out for the fighter jets flying through the valley behind you as you will have to be quick to spot them.
You will come to a footbridge that you will pass over so you are on the left of the gill and this will take you along a path that starts to ascend very quickly towards The Knott which stands at 739 meters. As you climb to your diagonal right you will see the pleasant Hayeswater below you. Now on my visit i was surprised that there had been heavy snowfall even though it was now April. This gave for impressive picturesque scenery but in places it was difficult to navigate due to the snow drifts. It was not quite crampon conditions but care needed to be taken to avoid slips and falls.
The ascent up to The Knot takes you around the left-hand side until you reach the Straights of Riggindale. From this point you follow path along the stone wall which flattens out for a while and then dips down a little before you can either chose to walk along the ridge of High Street to the right or keep left and follow the path up to the trig at Racecourse Hill. High Street does not have a trig point its all incorporated into one at the Racecourse trig.
After leaving the trig at Racecourse Hill follow the path around to the right where you will see Thornthwaite Crag and the Beacon tower. You can’t miss the beacon given its visibility and is a great stopping point to eat some lunch and take a break. From this viewpoint you will have a great view of Windermere to the south west.
From the beacon head NNE and follow the path down Threshthwaite Mouth which is a scree, bolder and rock run and the decent is rather steep and tricky in places, especially with snow on the ground. I had to zig zag down given the path was completely covered with snow and drifts and was too dangerous to attempt without crampons on.
Once you reach the saddle at the bottom take the path to your right which will lead you down the valley between Raven Crag and Gray Crag. From this vantage point the view is absolutely stunning where you will get a bowl-shaped view with Angle Tarn in the distance. With snow covering the tops this gave for a dramatic landscape and my camera phone was out given i had left my proper camera equipment at home for this trip. I sat down for a good 15 minutes just having a mindfulness time out, just to absorb this natural amazing piece of Cumbria.
When you head down through Threshthwaite valley there are some boulders and tricky paths to navigate but once you reach the Pasture Bottom and the Beck its levels out and you get a nice river walk. As you look back on yourself again you will be in awe of the landscape. Once through this area the path will gradually take you straight back to the car park.
Over all opinion of the route? in my view it is a must and it is family friendly and rarely anything too dangerous will come across your path. Visual wise this has everything i am looking for when featuring walks on my website. The good thing about this route is once you have finished you can travel a few miles north and enjoy the offerings of Glenridding or Patterdale.