The Great Gable Round

Difficulty
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Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
4-6h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
10.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
839 m
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Directions to Trailhead
The Great Gable Round

The Great Gable Round is a spectacular Lake District walk that will take you on a steep uphill climb for some amazing views over the rugged landscape. The trail sets out from Seathwaite, following closely along several winding streams and passing by a waterfall before beginning the tough slog to the summit. You’ll likely get a bit of a leg burn on this challenging walk, but the gorgeous views are certainly worth the effort.

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Route Description for The Great Gable Round

Walking the Great Gable Round can be a bit of a daunting experience due to the rugged and steep terrain leading up to the summit, but if you are well prepared, you will be rewarded with some amazing views. Make sure to wear sturdy walking boots and plenty of layers to stay comfortable on the exposed trail.

The trail follows closely along several winding waterways, before beginning the steep climb up to the viewpoint atop Great Gable. Although it may be a bit of a challenge, once you reach the summit you will have some truly spectacular views overlooking the surrounding Lake District landscape. To the southwest, you will have a great view of Wast Water far below, and in every other direction you will be able to spot countless peaks sprawled out before you. This is an amazing Lake District walk that should certainly make it onto your list.

Setting out from the Seathwaite car park, follow the path to the right to skirt around the edge of the Seathwaite Farm Campsite and pass through a gate to cross over Grains Gill. Head through the next gate and take the left path at the fork, making an immediate left to follow along the stream to the south. From here, continue along the path for 0.8 mi, as you walk at the foot of the steep slopes of Base Brown on your right.

Meeting up with Styhead Gill, continue along the trail as it turns to the west and begins to climb sharply uphill along the stream. Keep straight for 1.0 mi, passing by the rushing waters of Taylorgill Force, before coming to the edge of Styhead Tarn. This charming body of water sits nestled safely in the valley, with the imposing peaks of Great Gable and Green Gable to the west, with Seathwaite Fell and Great Slack to the east.

Continue southwest along the trail for 0.3 mi, where you will arrive at a junction next to a mountain rescue supply hut. Turn right here to begin the steep slog uphill to the summit of Great Gable. As you work your way up the rugged and rocky terrain, you will gain a great perspective of the surrounding mountains that make this area so wild and beautiful.

Once you have reached the viewpoint atop Great Gable, you will have a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape that includes Wast Water to the southwest and a whole host of rugged peaks, the highest of which are Scafell Pike (978 m) and Great End (910 m) to the south. After taking in the amazing views, carefully descend along the same trail that you came in on and make your way back past Styhead Tarn to arrive at a fork.

If you want to retrace your steps back to the trailhead, take the path to the left. If you are looking for a change of scenery on the return journey, head to the right and cross the bridge over Styhead Gill. From here, make your way northeast at the foot of Seathwaite Fell and follow closely along the edge of the water for 0.7 mi, where you will once again have a scenic view overlooking Taylorgill Force.

Here, the trail will turn east and pass through a gate before arriving at a junction. Keep straight and pass through another gate that will bring you to a bridge over Grains Gill. After crossing over the bridge, the trail will turn to the north and follow closely along the rushing water. Enjoy the final views of the rugged landscape, as you walk the final 0.8 mi back to Seathwaite. After wrapping up the Great Gable Round, make sure to pop into the cafe for some refreshments before heading home.

Trail Highlights

Great Gable

One of the most popular of the Lake District Fells, Great Gable features many different routes to the summit viewpoint that allow walkers to fully explore the rugged slopes of the mountain. Although the peak appears to be dome-shaped from almost every direction, when viewed from Wasdale it has the appearance of a pyramid, giving the mountain its name.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Great Gable hard to climb?

Although there are a number of different routes to the summit, Great Gable is a difficult fell to climb due to the rugged terrain and over 800m of elevation gain.

Insider Hints for The Great Gable Round

  • Wear proper walking boots to better travers the rugged, uphill terrain.
  • Bring plenty of layers, as much of the trail is exposed to the elements.
  • Toilet facilities can be found near the car park.
  • Visit the cafe next to the car park for some post-walk refreshments.

Getting to the The Great Gable Round Trailhead

To reach the car park for The Great Gable Round from Keswick, drive south on B5289 and take the first exit at the roundabout onto Borrowdale Road/B5289. Continue on for 7.0 mi and make a left onto Styhead Pass, following it for 1.2 mi to arrive at the car park.

Route Information

  • When to do

    March-October

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Seathwaite Farm Campsite

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

The Great Gable Round Elevation Graph

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