St Sunday Crag Trail runningWalking

With an instantly recognisable profile from the east, St Sunday Crag is an excellent orientation-marker in views. It also shows surprisingly well from the west, despite being on the “wrong” side of the Fairfield-Helvellyn watershed, due to its lofty height and the conveniently-placed window of Grisedale Hause. But it’s the shape from Ullswater that most commands attention, with that precipitous cat-slide northern slope from the summit to Grisedale, losing five hundred metres vertically in eight-hundred along. And it's not just pretty to look at but makes an excellent ascent into the bargain. This route throws in the bonus subsidiary summits of Birks and Arnison Crag, both of which offer superb views down to the lake.

St Sunday from the steamer  © Norman Hadley
St Sunday from the steamer
Fetching Map

Detailed description

1
NY3899416043 Start at the foot of the Grisedale lane. There's parking there or, if you've arrived by bus, start from the Patterdale Hotel and saunter up the lane. Where the lane dinks right, two tracks turn left and hard left at Home Farm. Take the hard left one, with the footpath sign passing to the left of the farm. Almost immediately, peel away left to cross hummocky ground, aiming to pass the small conifer wood on its bottom corner.

2
NY3937315750 Turn right after the wall and follow the good track (part of the C2C) for a couple of minutes.

3
NY3925615721 Turn left to head up the wiggly wall (you'll see why it gets that name) all the way to a point just below the rocky tor of Arnison Crag.
The wiggly wall is your steadfast companion on the pull up to Arnison Crag  © Norman Hadley
The wiggly wall is your steadfast companion on the pull up to Arnison Crag
© Norman Hadley, Jun 2021

4
NY3930214981 Bag the little Wainwright (worth it for the view, even if you aren't a ticker) then scramble back down. Follow the grassy ridge down to Trough Head (good for bog-cotton, in season), then strike a diagonal up the flank of Birks. Don't worry about bypassing this second Wainwright: it makes much more sense to visit on the descent, when the view down to Ullswater has maximum impact. The last stretch to the summit of St Sunday Crag is steep and slightly rocky.
St Sunday Crag is an ideal perch from which to admire the north-facing crags of Fairfield  © Norman Hadley
St Sunday Crag is an ideal perch from which to admire the north-facing crags of Fairfield
© Norman Hadley, Jun 2021

5
NY3691813388 At the summit of St Sunday, turn tail, but stick to the ridge and follow it down to Birks.
Ullswater snaking out of sight from Birks  © Norman Hadley
Ullswater snaking out of sight from Birks
© Norman Hadley, Jun 2021
Keep going, down the steep nose of Thornhow End, all the way down to the Grisedale Lane. Turn right to return to the start.

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Further Routes

by Norman Hadley



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