Fairfield Horseshoe (Part 2)

Friday 16th September 2022

Continuing on from my previous point, where I’d reached the rocky summit of Fairfield at the turning point in this circular walk.

Ahead of me now was a steady descent, on the trail of a small group of friendly walkers. Beyond them was another rise up towards Great Rigg.

Walking on from Fairfield and Rydal Head, the sun began to break out ahead of me.

I sailed over Great Rig and past Greatrigg Man (the cairn). Feeling comfortable and confident. No threats to my knees or ankles. Perhaps three days of tough fell walking hadn’t toughened me up?

Continuing south, I took a slight detour up to the summit above Erne Crag. In all honesty, I’d wrongly assumed it was the top of Heron Pike! But that was still to come.

While it wasn’t quite my final peak (or pike) of the day, I found a quiet space in which to stop for lunch, away from the busier footpaths. That was when I also spotted this arrow – an event I had missed by only five days.

Beyond Heron Pike, it was downhill all the way to Rydal and with an astonishing view of Ambleside and again, with Windermere beyond. I’ve heard about people taking on the Fairfield Horseshoe in poor visibility… Well, I hope they also return to walk this on a clear day!

I remember passing through a mere hamlet of a situation before Rydal Hall. One pub and people ambling about. While I would cross over Rydal Beck and follow the driveway to the A-road. Cross that, walk left and I would soon return to my car park. I think I even paid 50p to use the on-site toilets!

I still regard this as being the easiest walk of my week in the Lake District and I’d not hesitate to walk it again or recommend it to others. Perhaps next time, I’d follow it in a clockwise direction. Such a good way to close my week. One more night of camping and I’d then be packing up ahead of the long drive home.

Link to the route I followed (OS Maps)

Length of this walk = 10.5 miles

Thank you for reading.


Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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