Start – Grasmere NY337077, Distance – 12.5km, Ascent – 700m, Time – 4hrs 30mins plus stops.

An excellent horseshoe walk, taking in 4 Wainwrights without any serious effort. Starting in Grasmere, the initial part of the walk is along quiet lanes before ascending the steep, sharp ridge of Steel Fell. Once at the top, you’re treated to some great views north to the Wythburn area, including Ullscarf and Thirlmere. The route continues around the head of Green Burn and back along the excellent Gibson Knott/Helm Crag ridge. Although Helm Crag is usually quite busy (being close to Grasmere and having the iconic lion and lamb rock feature), the rest of the walk is likely to be pretty quiet. We did this walk in superb late winter weather, with snow on the higher surrounding tops but good ground underfoot on the route. Despite the lack of overall height on this walk, it’s a little gem of a horseshoe.

Dollywagon Pike seen across Dunmail Raise from the ascent of Steel Fell
Looking up the steep ascent ridge of Steel Fell. It’s a bit of a slog but with no tricky or technical bits

The shapely bulk of Seat Sandal, seen from the Steel Fell ridge

A view from the top of Steel Fell

Looking to the eastern fells from the top of Steel Fell

Looking along the Helm Crag ridge from Calf Crag

A view down into Far Easedale, with its distinctive walled enclosures

On the Helm Crag ridge, looking back across to the initial ascent up the Steel Fell ridge

Descending from Helm Crag on the final leg of the walk. Grasmere is ahead