This substantial walk takes us from Seatoller, in the heart of the Borrowdale Valley up Grains Gill to the foot of the dramatic crags of Great End before following an interesting ridge to the summit of Glaramara, a great viewpoint overlooking the heart of the valley..
Length: 8.5 miles
Map: The English Lakes - North Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active) and The English Lakes - South Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: September 2010
We start from the National Trust car park in Seatoller.
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Leave the car park and turn left onto the road. After a short distance turn right onto the road that leads up to Seathwaite.
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At Seathwaite continue straight on through the farmyard and follow the rough track that continues on up the valley, with the stream to the right.
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This brings us to Stockley Bridge. Cross the bridge then turn left and follow the path that runs alongside Grains Gill, now with the stream to the left. We follow this path as it climbs up towards the north face of Great End.
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Towards the end of this path Grains Gill turns into Ruddy Gill then passes through an impressive ravine. The stream then turns to the left and briefly emerges from the ravine. At this point the path crosses the gill, then joins the main path from Sty Head at a T-junction. Turn left onto this path which runs along the right-hand side of the upper reaches of Ruddy Gill. Towards the top of this ravine the path splits in two - take the left hand path, which climbs up to the 'false' Esk Hause.
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This path brings us to a crossroads just to the left of the shelter at the top of this pass, with three clear and one faint path. Turn left onto the clear path that immediately climbs up to the
summit of Allen Crags. A reasonably clear path now runs north along the ridge that links Allen Crags to Glaramara, passing over one unnamed summit on its way. After the unnamed summit we climb up to Looking Steads, a false summit. From here the twin summits of Glaramara finally come into view.
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Glaramara has two summit crags separated by a small dip. The main path visits both crags and then drops down a rather nasty rocky step to reach the smooth slopes that run north into Borrowdale. It is possible to avoid this step by turning left in the gap between the two summits and climbing down a rather easier slope to the base of the crags, then turning right to come to the base of the step.
Whichever route you pick, we are now at the top of the long ridge that runs down to Thornythwaite Fell. The upper and lower reaches of the path along this ridge are very clear, but there are moments in the middle where it rather disappears in wet ground. On these occasions aim towards the right-hand side of the main ridge until the clear path comes back into sight. Once past this vague section follow the clear path as runs along the ridge, eventually entering a small patch of woodland towards its base.
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The path runs north through the woods, then curves around to the left to head towards a farm track down in the valley bottom. Turn right onto this track and follow it back to the main road through Borrowdale, then turn left and return to Seatoller.