Heron Pike

Published 25 July 2013

The summit of Heron Pike, with Great Rigg and Fairfield in the background

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a well known and absolutete classic walk, taking in a whopping eight Wainwrights. The usual walk is to start at Nab Scar, pop via Fairfield in the middle, and end on Low Pike. Fell 2? That be Heron Pike.

I must confess that the more Wainwright is at pains to point out that a fell is of little interest, the more I tend to like it. Perhaps it’s a question of attitudes. For Wainwright it seems that a good fell is one that has lots of rocks, boulders and stones. If scrambling is not involved at least in some part, then it’s simply not one to rate.

Me, on the other hand, well I prefer to be able to concentrate on the views. Every minute I spend looking down on the ground wondering which rock I should put my foot on to next, is one where I’m not enjoying the finest views that Lakeland has to offer.

So, whilst Wainwright asserted that Heron Pike is of little interest, I rather liked it. However, what he was right in saying is that ultimately Heron Pike (which features neither herons, nor is particularly pike-like) is visited rather incidentally, with the majority of those trodding its paths doing like I was – as part of the Fairfield Horseshoe.

Heron Pike

The ridge route between Nab Scar and Heron Pike is a rather simple one. Stroll along some grassy tracks for two thirds of a mile, and hey presto, you’re there. There’s a few craggy bits, but that’s about it. All of which means you’ve no problems letting the old eyes wander off to enjoy the views in abundance. The old standby of Windermere glimmering off in the sun to the south, met with the sight of Elter Water and even Coniston Water too.

As I reached Heron Pike’s simple summit – little more than a slight rocky outcrop that was almost blink and you’d miss it – I spotted another body of water too. Thanks to the relatively clear skies, off in the instance and clearly visible, was the Irish Sea.

Next up: Great Rigg

Your Comments

Chris Hunt

25 July 2013 at 10:13 am

Wow, it must have been clear – and you must be extraordinarily tall – to see the North Sea from the top of Heron Pike. Are you sure it wasn’t the Irish Sea?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 July 2013 at 10:15 am

1.8m is extraordinarily tall, isn’t it?! But yes, it was indeed the Irish Sea – duly corrected!

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