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A trip to the Lake District.

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

The Lake District – Haystacks

A popular walk in the Lake District that has some of the best views you can see. If you aren’t an avid walker and want the best bang for your buck in regards to effort, this is the walk for you. After a 35 minute walk you can be at a summit of a mountain in the heart of the lakes! Also if you fancy a night wild camping in your own tent or a mountain bothy then this is the place for you. I personally have done hundreds of walks in the lakes and this is one I have enjoyed multiple times.

This walk is good for all levels it just depends on where you start the walk. There are a few options but I will list the 2 most popular which are easy to follow. You can make the walk as easy as you like.

Option 1 (For Intermediate Walkers): There are two options for this circular route, you can start at the bottom of the lake at Gatesgarth Farm (£4 for all day) and walk up Fleetwith Pike, then up to haystacks and back around or you can park at the Honister Slate mine (£5 all day) Which starts with a short walk up to the summit followed by a walk down and back up to the slate mine. I recommend the first option! Both routes will take approx. 3-4 hours.

Time: 3-4 Hours

Distance: 5.4 miles (8.6 kilometres)

Option 2 (For Beginner Walkers): Starting at the Honnister Slate Mine (£5 All day) you are 3 quarters of the way up to the summit of Fleetwith Pike & Haystacks. From here is a 35 minute incline to the top where you can see the most fantastic views around. Take some lunch and brew & have a break at the top or in one of the bothies. There are 2; Warnscale bothy Dubs Hut. It will take you 40-50 minutes to summit Fleetwith Pike & around the same time to summit Haystacks.

Time:40-50 minutes

Distance: 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometres)

If you want to be a bit more adventurous and want to try a wild camping experience this is one of the best options to do so! You can set up your tent at the summit of haystacks in a number of different places with some fantastic views to wake up to in the morning. When we went we pitched our tent by the tarn on the way up to Haystacks. As a backup we planned to make use of one the bothies that are up there. We just left our car overnight at Gatesgarth Farm, you can also pay to leave your car overnight at the slate mine.

Up ¾ of the way to Haystacks & Fleetwith Pike, there are 2 bothies open for all to use! A bothy is an old stone building that is maintained by the mountain bothies association with a log burner and some fuel in some cases. You can’t book them so they are on a first come first served basis and in the larger bothy (Dubs Hut) you can expect to be sharing it with others.

The first bothy is called Dubs Hut, it’s located in between Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks at the top of the stream. It’s the big stone building that you won’t miss on your route up. This bothy is big enough for up to 10 people approximately.

The second is Warnscale Bothy, this one is on the side of the mountain to the side of Warnscale beck below haystacks a 15 minute walk from dubs hut. The bothy is only big enough for 4 people but is cosier and has a fantastic view of buttermere lake.

This walk is one of my favourite in the lakes and here are some of my photos!

Kit List

You don’t need everything on this list if you are simply going for a day out walking, but they are items that I personally wouldn’t leave without especially when I’m doing a wild camp! Plus once you have bought the bigger items you won’t need to buy them again. Here is a kit list with my recommendations.

Boots (Essential)

Walking Socks (Essential)

Hat (Essential)

Gloves (Essential)

Waterproof Coat (Essential)

Headtorch (Essential)

Battery Pack (To recharge phone, this one is fantastic, it's lasts forever! I have an Iphone 11 pro max and it charged it fully 4 times over a week!)

Sleeping Bag (The sleeping bag I use & it's unbelievably snug!)

Map (Essential)

Thermarest or Roll Mat

Sunglasses (Essential)

Sun Cream (Essential)

Rucksack (Essential)

Spare Clothes

Water (Essential)

If you are going to be doing a wild camp then make sure you have the right tent to do the job! You don’t want a flimsy festival tent that isn’t designed for the job. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. I recommend the Vango Adult Spey 200 which is very reasonably priced as seen below. It's a great tent without breaking the bank.

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