High Rigg, at first glance, looks a very insignificant fell at only 357 metres (1171 feet) in height. 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.
This 5 miles circular walk takes in the walk up and over High Rigg, down into St John’s in the Vale and back along the valley bottom.
Along the way I was amazed at the unique views you get of the great fells surrounding the area. I found this a very quiet and extremely underestimated walk.
Where Is High Rigg
Travel a couple of miles south out of Keswick on the A591 and before you reach Thirlmere you will see a line of low crags and High Rigg summit to your left.
The top seems small compared to the higher mountains around but as I say, this is a walk to get up and take all those surroundings in.
I find the route starting at the southern end the most enjoyable way to see all. Starting near the village of Legburthwaite.
There is a United Utilities Car park at postcode CA12 4TQ.
Starting The Walk
From the car park walk north on the A591 a few hundred metres to get to the steps over the wall on the right.
From there you do the bulk of the climb up immediately, following the path up through the trees. Where you see a fork in the path on the way up, take the left one.
Before too long you come out above the trees on the first little summit at the top of Wren Crag. My advice is to stop here and take in the huge views.
Looking back you get a superb view over Thirlmere with Raven Crag imposing above it.
And looking ahead and to your right you can see all along St John’s in the Vale towards the unmistakeable Blencathra. This is the valley floor you will be walking back along. Perfect.
From wren Crag you simply follow the path along the top heading towards the highest point of High Rigg.
High Rigg Tarn
Before you get to the summit though you pass by High Rigg Tarn. A wonderful place to stop out of the breeze and to enjoy a lunch break or coffee break.
If there has been any rain recently then you may want to watch your step up here, it can get very boggy so the path can have the signs of people making their own mud avoidance ways.
The path can go either side of it so the best option is the driest option.
You will notice that after the start of the walk and once up on the ridge it becomes an undulating walk with a few ups and downs, but no big climbs to worry about.
At The Top
Due to this being a line of crags, up on a wide ridge, the actual summit is very unassuming as far as the physical marking of the location goes.
What is true though is that the view and calmness from up here is incredible. You have not climbed high but you can see for miles.
The backdrop north has Skiddaw and Blencathra perfectly framed.
Looking backwards where you came and left you can see the top of Helvellyn at the top of the horizon and was nice to see the peak top covered in some snow still on this calm and sunny spring day.
You can of course head back the way you came from here and still say you had a super day’s walk.
If you want to turn it into this great 5 mile walk then carry on along the ridgetop and down into St John’s in the Vale. I did a separate article from down there where I took in not just the vale and church but also the lovely Tewet Tarn.
Turn right once at the road, past the church and then just after that turn right at the footpath sign to Sosgill Bridge. This path follows the foot of the crags you have walked and takes you on the quiet valley bottom back to Legburthwaite.
Distance – 5 miles
Time – 2.5 hours
Parking – CA12 4TQ