High Rigg from Legburthwaite: little climb, grand views
High Rigg, at first glance, looks a very insignificant fell. But get up on to the wide ridge and the views in each and every direction are astounding, even by the high standards set by the rest of the Lake District. Travel a couple of miles south out of Keswick on the A591 and well before you reach Thirlmere you will see a line of low crags and High Rigg summit to your left. I find the route starting at the southern end the most enjoyable way to see all. Along the crags, each of the numerous views always bring cause for a pause. Then at the top of High Rigg at the northern end you get a vista to rival many. Not bad at all at just the height of 357m (1171ft).
The main image above is right from near the beginning. looking south to where I start. The village of Legburthwaite has a car park with honesty box. Walk north on the A591 a few hundred metres to steps over the wall on the right. From there you climb up and follow the path through the trees to the top of Wren Crag. Look back and you get that view above to start with. Raven Crag towering on the right above the top end of Thirlmere. The valley stretching on for miles in the direction of Grasmere and Ambleside.
Then look north as you come down between the crag tops.. Blencathra seems perfectly framed beyond the far end of St John’s in the Vale.
Looking further right and looking up you have the lower slopes of the Helvellyn Range. Even on the this gorgeous warm Spring day there were still the remnants of snow.
You had seen Blencathra to the north in the direction you were heading, but the double whammy of mountains that await you has not been fully realised. Half way along, by a small tarn, I get get a small idea. The unmistakeable shape of the summit of Skiddaw pokes above the horizon.
Like I say this is no big mountain, nor a long walk. the climb involves less than 1000 ft of ascent and the distance up, along and back to the car park is less than 6 miles. But.. the views from the top are as wonderful as when you looked south, with spectacular differences.
There they stand, next to each other, Skiddaw and Blencathra side by side. There was nobody else around. I had time to sit and marvel in the sun, looking at all about me with nothing to occupy me but content thoughts.
Over to the left you can see the Western Fells too, beyond Keswick and to the south end of Bassenthwaite Lake.
Alas, it was time to head back and down for the next hike of the day. That doesn’t stop you from enjoying plenty more of the scenery.
A walk for all standards, a walk for families and shows what can be seen with not so much of the effort required of the bigger mountains. If you want to see far reaching and unforgettable mountain views without the day long harduous climb then along with Great Mell Fell, which is not too far away either, I would add High Rigg.