a fell in the English Lake District and is the highest of a group of
hills in the Eastern Fells, standing to the south of the Helvellyn
There is a marked contrast between the character of
the northern and southern flanks of Fairfield - from the south it
appears as a great horseshoe of grassy slopes below a consistently high
skyline. But on the north side the Fairfield range is magnificent with
dark precipices, long fans of scree and desolate combes and deep
has connecting ridges to several other fells and in plan view can be
likened to a bow-tie. The top has an east-west axis with ridges running
out north and south from each end.
southern arms make up the popular walk, the Fairfield horseshoe, which
starts in Ambleside and makes a circuit of the valley of Rydale to the
south. On the western side, descending from Fairfield are Great Rigg,
Heron Pike and Nab Scar while the eastern ridge bears the tops of Hart
Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike and Low Pike.
western ridge of Fairfield crosses Deepdale Hause to St Sunday Crag
whilst that to the north east is a short rocky spur into Deepdale,
dropping over Greenhow End. A fifth line of high ground
due west to Seat Sandal across Grisedale Hause.
and eastern faces all loom above the desolate upper Deepdale, which is
divided by Greenhow End. This short rocky spur has Hutaple Crag on the
west and Scrubby Crag on the east. The circular hollows of Cawk Cove and
Link Cove lie on either side, each with a steep headwall formed by the
flanks of Fairfield.
of Fairfield is Grisedale Tarn at around 1,770 ft (540 m). This sizeable
tarn has a depth of over 100 ft (30 m) and holds brown trout, perch and
is to Ullswater, 3 miles (4.8 km) to the north east along the valley of
Grisedale. The south western flank of Fairfield looks down on Tongue
Gill, a feeder of Raise Beck and Grasmere.
is a rough stony plateau with the high point at the western end above
the brink of Cawk Cove. The top is very flat and there are many cairns,
including a pair of large windbreaks near the high point.
Guidebook writers warn that it is easy to get lost
in mist and that the cautious walker should beware of the presence of
precipices to the north and west.
The vista is
fine, with all of the major fell groups well seen and views down into
the abyss of Deepdale only yards away.
visible at close hand include Helvellyn (with its spectacular arÍte
Striding Edge), Nethermost Pike, Saint Sunday Crag and Cofa Pike (a
subsidiary summit of Fairfield).
south towards Ambleside and Rydal over Rydal Head is also extensive,
with Windermere and Coniston Water in view.
most commonly climbed as the high point of the Fairfield horseshoe, a
walk which has no agreed direction of travel. Coming from Great Rigg,
the long grassy ridge heads directly for the summit, whilst the walker
arriving from Hart Crag climbs up from Link Hause with a fine view of
Scrubby Crag to the right, before the stony traverse of Fairfield
finest indirect ascent is from Patterdale via Birks and St Sunday Crag,
following the fine narrow ridge down to Deepdale Hause before ascending
rough ground to Cofa Pike. This subsidiary top of Fairfield has a fine
peaked profile, quite outdoing its parent until the wide tabletop comes
into view behind. A further rock pinnacle is surmounted before the
summit windbreaks are reached. From St Sunday Crag onwards the northern
crags of Fairfied are seen in their full and wild glory.
can be climbed via Grisedale Hause, either up Tongue Gill from Grasmere,
from Dunmail Raise or from Patterdale. The path up from the Hause is a
rough zigzag up worsening scree. Grisedale Hause can also be reached as
a ridge walk from Seat Sandal, or by cutting across the outlet of
Grisedale Tarn from Dollywaggon Pike and the Helvellyns. In this way
Fairfield forms part of the Threlkeld
Kirkstone Walk, which continues
over Fairfield summit to Dove Crag and Red Screes.
A more challenging route climbs out of Deepdale, veering into the lower
part of Link Cove before surmounting Greenhow End and The Step