Panorama from the Haystacks hike in Lake District, England
Panorama from the Haystacks hike in Lake District, England

Haystacks Walk

Lake District
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Views of Innominate Tarn from the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandScrambly part of the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandAscending to Scarth Gap on the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandGatesgarth Farm from the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandBluebells on the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandButtermere Valley from the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandSmall mountain tarn on the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandDescending views from the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandInnominate Tarn from the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandBlackbeck Tarn on the Haystacks Hike in Lake District, EnglandButtermere Valley and Crannock Water on Haystacks Walk in English Lake District

Haystacks Walk

Distance: 5.0mi
Elevation: 1,657ft
Time: 3-4h

Difficulty Rating:

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The Haystacks Walk is a true gem of the Lake District and has a unique feel compared to most of the other walks in the area. While out on this beautifully scenic route, you will be exposed to views across the rugged terrain of surrounding mountains, Buttermere, and the nearby Honister Pass, which makes for a memorable afternoon on the trails. It is noted as one of the favourite places for Lakes pioneer Alfred Wainwright.

Haystacks Walk Map

Getting there

To start the Haystacks Walk, get yourself to Buttermere and then head SE to Gatesgarth farm, where there is paid parking. Be aware, the roads to get to Buttermere are narrow and can be very steep.

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About

When to do

When Dry, no fog

Backcountry Campsites

None

Toilets

None

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

None

Crowd Levels

Moderate to High

Route Type

Circuit


Haystacks Walk
Elevation Graph


Haystacks Walk Description

Haystacks is a wonderful walk that could be great for families with young children, if not for the need to use your hands on the way up. If going with kids you can do the walk in reverse and walk up to Haystacks and back the same way, which will help you to avoid the challenging bits. These sections are not extreme and we have seen a couple take their three Dachshunds up with them, lifting them up over scrambly areas, so it is really up to your experience and comfort level.

This is a wonderful walk and gives truly unique scenery in the Lakes. From the car park across from Gatesgarth Farm, cross the street and continue down the path to the right of the barn and through two gates onto a large track to the left of a hedge. Passing another gate at 902ft, you will continue straight ahead before passing yet another gate in 902ft to follow the path on an uphill climb.

At the top of a set of stone stairs, turn left and continue uphill. Starting in mid-May you will start to see occasional bluebells while you ascend; however, they reach their peak later on in the summer. Here, you will pass yet another gate and continue ahead. You’re aiming for Scarth Gap which is ahead on the miniature saddle to the right.

After passing a stream (that could result in getting your feet wet after rain), head through a stonewall and continue uphill, reaching Scarth Gap after 1.5mi (1.5mi from the start). From here, continue uphill to the left on a well-defined path. As you head uphill there are a few sections requiring the use of your hands for stability. This scrambly section can be challenging if the trail is wet, however we have seen people take small dogs up this route.

As you pass over Haystacks the views unfold, and at 2.2mi (2.2mi) you reach the stunning Innominate Tarn. As you walk downhill you get great views in all directions.

1345ft later, you will cross a stream that comes out of Black Beck Tarn and the left-hand path heading back uphill. After 1476ft ignore a path going off to the right and when the path splits in two 295ft later, take the right-hand path in the direction of an old stone building on other side of valley. The left-hand path also takes you back down the valley but isn’t as scenic.

After 1050ft,you will need to cross a stream where poles can come in handy after lots of rain. From here on, follow the well-worn path back down to Gatesgarth farm where you started.

Looking for more great walks in the Lake District? Check out the Helvellyn Walk, Scafell Pike Walk, Fairfield Horseshoe or the Old Man of Coniston.

Insider Hints

  • This path can be extended by starting in Buttermere and heading up Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag.

  • If you are driving, consider driving out of the beautiful Honister Pass road. Later in the day, when traffic is light this is a wonderful drive.

  • You can get to Buttermere from Keswick on the Honister Ramber Bus.

Comments

Maxine A. 2 years ago

Incredible views in the valley! Lots of photo opportunities!

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MuhammadA. 2 years ago

Excellent! There are so many great hike here in the Lake Distrct and this is one of my favorite.

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Squarepants11 2 years ago

Lake District offers great hikes! Haystacks got some charms on its own!

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3h 00m Time Taken
Elenastankova 2 years ago

I'm so glad the fog cleared up and we were able to see the majestic scenery!

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unicorn_lady 2 years ago

I can't forget the view as we were passing by the Haystacks. It was a little cloudy, but the sun rays light some portion of the lake perfectly as if someone is going to descend from it. It sounds funny, but I rarely witness this kind of nature interference. It only adds up to its beauty.

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3h 15m Time Taken
Charliechoco 2 years ago

good hike and awesome view of the lake.

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3h 20m Time Taken
Jameslove15 2 years ago

The hike was great. Totally rewarding to see the gorgeous lake. This have got to be in some movies!

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3h 00m Time Taken
Fran Cine 2 years ago

Fantastic views of Buttermere, Crummock and Ennerdale.Stunning!

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3h 30m Time Taken
Joannachan 2 years ago

Wow! I was totally blown-away by the views. I want to do this hike again.

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Felix Legrand 2 years ago

Excellent climb. Good views from the summit on a sunny day

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48 Comments Show all

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