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Looking from the Kirkstone Inn down towards Lake Windermere
Looking from the Kirkstone Inn down towards Lake Windermere

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Route No 253 - Monday 23 June 2008
Kirkstone Pass to Stoney Cove Pike
& return - 8km
English Lake District

Map: OS Explorer OL7 The Lake District South-eastern area
Route Map on 'Landranger' base map from OS Open Space service
Open this route in Google Earth


Fell ponies near the Kirkstone Inn
Fell ponies near the Kirkstone Inn

On the Friday inspite of the heavy rain my son walked from the top of Kirkstone pass to Stoney Cove Pike and back.

Just over a year ago my wife and I spent a wet week in Grassmere in the Lake District with my son and his family.

Looking towards Ullswater from the Kirstone pass
Looking towards Ullswater from the Kirstone pass

Looking towards lake Windermere from the Kirstone pass
Looking towards lake Windermere from the Kirstone pass

It's also a good chance for me to continue my build up after being unable to do a decent walk for so long.

The weather forcast for today was good so my son suggested that we have a day out together and do the walk again - this time to see the views.

Looking towards Ulswater from the Kirstone pass
Looking towards Ulswater from the Kirstone pass

Path snaking it's way up to St Raven's Edge
Path snaking it's way up to St Raven's Edge

Dropping down from St Raven's Edge towards Caudale Moor
Dropping down from St Raven's Edge towards Caudale Moor

We made an early start and parked in the car park at the top of the Kirkstone Pass at about 9.20am. We got our boots on and started walking just after 9.30. The first 500m from the car park are very steep and climb about 250 metres on a rocky path onto St. Raven's Edge.

Climbing the rocky path up to St Raven's Edge
Climbing the rocky path up to St Raven's Edge

Looking from St Raven's Edge to High Street and Ill Bell
Looking from St Raven's Edge to High Street and Ill Bell

RAF trainer buzzing Kirkstone Pass
RAF trainer buzzing Kirkstone Pass

Kirkstone pass is often used for military training flights and the aircraft fly very low between the hills and we saw an RAF trainer fly below us over the pass.

The views improved all the way up and on top of St. Raven's Edge we had superb views South over Lake Windermere and North to Ullswater.

A glacial erratic boulder?
A glacial erratic boulder? - a bit too angular?

He was the curate in Ambleside in the mid 1600's and walked these fells where the boundary of his parish ran - indeed it is still a parish boundary today.

From St. Raven's Edge we dropped down almost 100m to a little col before starting to climb up again for 1km. to Caudale Moor. This is also known as John Bell's Banner or boundary.

Looking towards Helvellyn from Pike How
Looking towards Helvellyn from Pike How on the climb to Caudale Moor
Looking from our lunch stop at Stoney Cove Pike across to Park Fell Head
Looking from our lunch stop at Stoney Cove Pike across to Park Fell Head with a drop of about 250m to the Trout Beck below us in the valley

Looking down Trout Beck valley
Looking down Trout Beck valley from Stoney Cove Pike

We sat there for our lunch and whilst we were eating my son noticed some movement on the valley floor far below us. It was a deer and I managed to get a rather fuzzy photo of it. I was quite surprised that my camera could do it!

Caudale Moor is really just the wide, flatish top of Stoney Cove Pike. There is a large cairn at the Pike and we found a good spot on some flat rock nearby looking down the valley of Trout Beck.

The fuzzy shape of a deer grazing by Trout Beck about  250m below us
The fuzzy shape of a deer grazing by Trout Beck about 250m below us

A frog near the tarns on Caudale Moor
A frog near the tarns on Caudale Moor

Just before we rejoined the route up we came to a large cairn with a cross in the top. This is a memorial to Mark Atkinson who was the publican at the Kirkstone Inn during and after the first world war.

After our lunch, quite a long leisurely one admiring the scenery, we walked around the summit plateau to see the view in every direction.

Looking down to lake Windermere from Stoney Cove Pike
Looking down to lake Windermere from Stoney Cove Pike

Island of cotton grass in a tarn on Caudale Moor
Island of cotton grass in a tarn on Caudale Moor

A dung beetle - where would we be without them?
A dung beetle - where would we be without them?

It had taken us four and a half hours including our many stops to look at things along the way and to have our lunch. The weather conditions had been ideal for walking - a very pleasant day out.

From there we reftraced our steps back to the Kirkstone Pass car park. The round trip had been about 8km with over 500m of climbing including the col between St. Raven's Edge and Caudale Moor.

Military training flight skimming Kirkstone Pass
Military training flight skimming Kirkstone Pass

Military training flight skimming Kirkstone Pass
Military training flight skimming Kirkstone Pass
Back at the Kirkstone Inn
Back at the Kirkstone Inn