The Fairfield Scrambler

A classic summit by a unique technical route

Fairfield is a much loved classic Lakeland mountain, standing pound above the villages of Ambleside and Grasmere, easily identifiable from a distance. Its summit is usually incorporated into the popular ‘Fairfield Horseshoe’ by most walkers, and host to an annual fell race. Our route starts away from the main hustle and bustle of popular tourist areas, from the tranquil Brothers Water at the southern end of the Ullswater Valley. Heading into a mountainous area much less frequented, ascending by two scrambling routes, with the summit of Dove Crag taken in along the way, this day provides a more technical and remote mountain experience.

Scrambling as an activity sits between mountain walking and rock climbing. It involves ascending up rocky terrain which requires the use of hands as well as feet. This can range from terrain involving simple short rocky steps requiring nothing more than your normal walking gear, to using harnesses ropes and a selection of climbing equipment at its extreme. The beauty of scrambling is that it opens up a huge range of new and exciting ways to travel through the mountains on the way to summit tops, avoiding the busier main footpaths. 

We use a number of simple scrambling routes thought the day to create our adventure, giving a technical and more interesting way to the top, but still achievable by anyone with some hill walking experience who are confident on their feet, in good physical condition, with a head for heights.

We recommend that in the lead-up to this challenge, participants work on building up their stamina with weekly cardio-vascular exercise of a minimum of 1 hour per day, 5 days per week to build up their calf + quad muscles. 


Stage 1 - Dove Crag via Hogget Gill

From the car park at Brothers Water, we walk along the valley of beautiful and quiet Dovedale, following the left hand split to find Hogget Gill. The watercourse of the gill is now followed by scrambling up the mountainside, trying to keep our feet dry. This brings us out in a small comb below Dove Crag, which we climb through to reach the summit.
250m of scrambling.

Stage 2 - Fairfield via Greenhow End

Now a decent into Houndshope Cove is made, passing the entrance to the famous Priest’s Hole. A quick visit can be made to Priest’s Hole to explore this small natural cave, sometimes used by walkers as a shelter to stay overnight. Continuing north we cross the east shoulder of Hart Crag, descending into Link Cove and the foot of Greenhow End. Our final ascent is now made towards the summit of Fairfield by scrambling up the rocky nose of Greenhow End and follow the continuing ridge to its flat top. We now turn west, ascending gently to reach the summit.
120m of scrambling.

Stage 3 - Descent through Grisedale

From Fairfield we start our descent, heading north over the short but fantastic ridge and minor peak of Cofa Pike to Deepdale Hause, then following a traversing path to Grisedale Tarn. Now continuing the decent into the Grisedale Valley, which is followed to our finishing point in Patterdale.
Total distance 15.8km, Total Ascent 1077m, Total Scrambling 370m, Total Descent 1087m, Target Time 8hrs

Key Information

  • Maximum ratio: 1 instructor to 6 scramblers
  • Helmets will be used throughout the day
  • Participants must be fit and well, have a good level of hill fitness and head for heights.
  • Bring you own normal hill walking equipment, food and water for the day
  • Everyone MUST be wearing appropriate walking BOOTS (trainers/approach shoes are not adequate)
  • On rare occasions during or after extreme levels of rainfall, Hogget Gill may not be a viable option as part of the day. An alternative route may be used in such circumstances.

Package Includes

  • Days typically consist of around 7-8 hours in the mountains with an instructor
  • Climbing helmet
  • Accommodation for two nights / optional
  • Breakfasts and packed lunch / optional
  • Information about the surrounding areas plus second to none service with passionate staff!

Duration: 1 Day

Activities: Walking and Scrambling

Suitable for: Private and corporate groups

Comments: A mixed bag of scrambling grades from beginner to intermediate level and suitable for persons of average fitness with a good head for heights.

Prices from: £100

Call: 017687 75337

Booking Enquiry

Package Prices


From £165

Hostel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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From £100

Qualified mountain guide
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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From £195

Guest House – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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