Rosthwaite to Patterdale
Distance: 16.0 miles
Height Gain: 4,400 feet
Highpoint: Greenup Edge (2,008 feet)
Walking time: Approx 8-10 hours
Part 1: Rosthwaite to Eagle Crag
Leave the village, cross the bridge over Stonethwaite Beck and follow the waymarked Cumbria Way footpath south into Borrowdale valley. The path is well laid and follows the wall as far as Smithymire Island. The hugely impressive Eagle Crag looms ahead and the path keeps well to the left of this. Do not be tempted to follow the Cumbria Way, right, across the footbridge into Langstrath, instead keep to the track directly ahead, maintaining the beck to your right.
Part 2: Eagle Crag to Grisedale Tarn
After Eagle Crag, the path climbs steadily, around Lining Crag and up to Greenup Edge. This area can be wet underfoot after rain. Upon reaching the high point of Greenup Edge, drop down to the head of Far Easedale and a choice of routes. The easy route down Far Easedale avoids the lovely ridge walk over Gibson Knott and Helm Crag, but if you’re not stopping in Grasmere it may save your legs for the steep climb to come. if you select the Helm Crag variation, take care on the steep descent into Grasmere. If you are continuing to Patterdale, don’t be tempted to walk all the way into Grasmere, instead take lunch at the Travellers Rest and prepare for the next climb. Take the waymarked footpath off the A591and follow the clear track beside Little Tongue Gill. The grassy path climbs steeply past Hause Riggs up to Hause Gap at the foot of Fairfield. Grisedale Tarn now comes into view (unless the mists are down).
Part 3: Grisedale Tarn to Patterdale
If you’ve walked from Rosthwaite then the obvious route to Patterdale is straight down Grisedale, but the super-fit, or those that started in Grasmere may wish to take the Helvellyn or St. Sunday Crag routes, allow at least an additional two hours for these, compared to the Grisedale valley route. The valley route follows a clear but often rough and rocky path and you will need to divert off this if you wish to visit the Brothers’ Parting Stone. You will soon come to a small stone-built lodge beneath some grand crags, this is Ruthwaite Lodge, it will almost certainly be locked. Continue on down the valley, the path soon becoming a tarmac road. Just after Thornhow turn right through a gate and up a slight rise to a stile. From there bear left and follow the clear track all the way into Patterdale and the White Lion Inn.