Classic Lake District Walks – Deepdale Horseshoe

Classic Lake District Walks – Deepdale Horseshoe

By Dave Roberts   

on January 5, 2021   4/5 (1)

Classic Lake District Walks – Deepdale Horseshoe

Further Details

Route Summary:

A high level circuit of Deepdale to the summit of Fairfield.

Start and Finish: Patterdale

Distance: 15.6 km

Ascent: 965 m

Time: 6 hours

Timings are approximate and depend on the individual. Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.


White Lion Inn and the Patterdale Hotel.

Public Transport:

The 208 bus serves Patterdale from Keswick during the summer and early autumn seasons.

Traveline for UK Public Transport


Some exposure to be aware of on Cofa Pike

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Keeping Safe on the Wales Coast Path,  Navigation and the Gear and Equipment you’ll need.

Scafell Pike Guidebooks:

We recommend the The Near Eastern Fells: Walking Guide to the Lake District (Lakeland Fellranger)  guidebook from Cicerone or the usual Wainwright’s Walking Guide to the Lake District Fells Book 1: The Eastern Fells 

Recommended Scafell Pike Maps

Classic Lake District Walks – Deepdale Horseshoe Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Classic Lake District Walks – Deepdale Horseshoe

The Lake District summit of Fairfield is lucky enough to have two classic circular routes in the Deepdale Horseshoe and the Farifield Horseshoe. The Deepdale Horseshoe is a bit more rugged than it’s more bucolic southern counterpart, with a couple of sections verging on easy scrambling. This route sets off from Patterdale, heading for the shapely peak of St Sunday Crag before ascending the summit of Fairfield via Deepdale Hause and Cofa Pike – which is slightly exposed if you haven’t a head for heights or are new to the hills.

The summit of Fairfield is a fine vantage point for the Eastern Fells, with views across to Helvellyn and Striding edge and towards Windermere. While it’s the natural stopping pint for lunch, it also provides the opportunity to survey the fells you’ve already crossed and those you’ve got ahead.

The Deepdale Horseshoe continues from Fairfield over the flat summit and steeply down to Link Hause berfore a short sharp climb to attain the final summit of Hart Crag and then down over the ridge of Hartsop above How. This ridge then brings the Deepdale Horseshoe to an end at Deepdale Bridge.

This Deepdale Horseshoe route finishes off along the A592 for a short distance, which is definitely the quickest way to get to one of Patterdale’s watering holes (The White Lion and the Patterdale Hotel, if you’re interested). However, if you still have the energy and the inclination then  you can also follow the footpath on the other side of the valley  in order to avoid the road altogether and walk to Patterdale via Rooking.

Click here to view the full description on Mud and Routes.

Image Credits – Dave Chick.


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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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Gear you may need

Welcome to Walk up Scafell Pike

Walk up Scafell Pike is the dedicated on-line guidebook for walking routes up Scafell Pike in the English Lake District, with free walking maps and full guides to all the routes to the summit of England’s highest mountain.

Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 978m high and is one of the mountains climbed on the Three Peaks Challenge walk. It’s a formidable mountain that needs respect, with no such thing as an easy route up  the mountain to be had. All the walks and hikes are a challenge, and well worth the effort to reach the roof of England.

The Routes to the Top of Scafell Pike page has an interactive map that shows all the walking routes to the summit of Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head, Scafell Pike from Borrowdale and Scafell Pike from Langdale as well as hotels, campsites and pubs near Scafell Pike (add your Lake District business for free), and there’s a page for each walk that shows the route, parking postcode,  a downloadable file for your GPS device as well as details on the weather for the mountain.

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for more Scafell Pike facts such as how long will it take to climb Scafell Pike, where can i start the walk from and other questions.

Main Walking Routes up Scafell Pike

Route Name Starting Point Parking Post Code Distance Ascent Walking Time
Scafell Pike from Wasdale or Wasdale Head Wasdale or Wasdale Head  CA20 1EX (Wasdale Head)  4.2km*  900m*  3-4 hours**
Scafell Pike from Seathwaite, Borrowdale (Corridor Route) Borrowdale  CA12 5XJ  15km (round trip)  1000m  6 hours+
Scafell Pike from Langdale Langdale  LA22 9JY 9km  1130m 4 hours**
Scafell Pike from Hardknott (southern approach) Eskdale Hardknott CA19 1TG – for Boot – then continue up Hardkott Pass to GR NY211 011  17km  1000m  6 hours
Scafell Pike Corridor Route from Wasdale Wasdale or Wasdale Head CA20 1EX (Wasdale Head)  7.8km*  970m*  3-4 hours **

*Distance/Ascent noted is for one way only.

**Time is for one way only, and variable. Very fit walkers can walk up and down in 3-4 hours(depending on the route)and will know their own timings and speed. If in doubt, assume the longest duration for your ascent and add the longest for your descent, depending on route. Add a good half hour or more for the summit stop as well.

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