Experience Amazing Lake District Views on the Red Pike Walk from Buttermere
Start your adventure in the charming village of Buttermere. Head south-west, bound for Scale Bridge. This Red Pike walk will then take you north-west along the southern banks of Crummock Water. Keep going until you reach Scale Beck just ahead.
Proceed south, cutting up through the valley adorned with the majestic Scale Force waterfall. Next, set your bearings south-east, aiming for Lingcomb Edge, an absolute gem of the Lake District. Continue this south-eastern trajectory to reach the Red Pike summit, a highlight of this exhilarating Lake District hike.
Maintain your south-east course, navigating above Chapel Crags, to ascend High Stile’s peak. The next stop on our Red Pike walk is High Crag. Proceed south-east again, above Eagle Crag and Comb Crags. At High Crag’s apex, marvel at the breath-taking vistas.
Ready for descent? Navigate High Crag’s downward path via Gamlin End. The journey continues to Scarth Gap Pass, a path that leads down between High Wax Knott and Low Wax Knott. The descent is not over yet; the trail leads further down Buttermere Fell.
Reach Buttermere’s south-eastern corner and head north-west. Your path hugs Buttermere’s southern side and ventures through the tranquil Burtness Wood. Continue to the fords of Sourmilk Gill, then head north back to your starting point in Buttermere, concluding this 9-mile Red Pike walk.
Red Pike Walk: Maps and Tools
Visit either the OS Maps website or the Outdooractive website to view this walking route in greater detail. Both platforms offer a range of features, including the ability to print the route, download it to your device, and export the route as a GPX file. You can also watch a 3D fly-over and share the route on social media.
Red Pike Walk: Distance, Duration, Statistics
Distance: 8½ miles
Distance: 13¾ kilometres
Duration: 5 hours
Ascent: 2949 feet
Ascent: 899 metres
Type: Circular walk
About Red Pike
Red Pike, situated in the High Stile mountain range of the western Lake District, acts as a natural divider between Ennerdale and the picturesque valley encompassing Buttermere and Crummock Water. The direct ascent of Red Pike from Buttermere, via Bleaberry Tarn, is highly popular and attracts many hikers each year.
One of the area’s most revered walks is the ridge walk from Red Pike to High Stile, continuing to High Crag and concluding at Haystacks. The route is hailed as one of the finest in the region, offering breathtaking views of the Scafells, Great Gable, and Pillar.
The distinctive red coloring of Red Pike can be attributed to the presence of syenite in the rock and subsoil of the fell. This striking feature becomes especially evident in areas where surface erosion has occurred, such as the stony track adjacent to Scale Force and the path leading from Bleaberry Tarn to the summit. The red pathways are easily discernible from a considerable distance.
Red Pike holds the 62nd position in the list of Wainwrights, which are fells featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. With an elevation of 755 meters (2478 feet), Red Pike is designated as a significant landmark in Alfred Wainwright’s Western Fells. Its location can be identified by the grid reference NY 160 154, and it is covered by the Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL4 and Landranger map 89.
Recommended Ordnance Survey Map
The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District North-Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL4, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.
Red Pike Walk: My Photos
The view across Crummock Water to Grasmoor from Scale Force.
Scale Force, about one-quarter of the way round this Red Pike walk.
The steep-sided valley created by Scale Beck between Gale Fell and Blea Crag.
Looking back towards Crummock Water as we start the climb up to Lingcomb Edge.
The view down to Buttermere (the village) from Lingcomb Edge.
Amazing views from Lingcomb Edge: Crummock Water backed by Rannerdale Knotts, Grasmoor and Whiteless Pike to name but a few.
The start of the climb to the top of Red Pike from Lingcomb Edge.
The sun lights up Rannerdale Knotts and a rainbow appears above Buttermere (the village).
Ennerdale Water as seen from Red Pike.
Magical scenes on the Red Pike walk.
Looking down upon Bleaberry Tarn and Buttermere from the Red Pike summit, height 755 metres (2477 feet).
Chapel Crags between Red Pike and High Stile, with Bleaberry Tarn visible below.
Spectacular vistas from above Chapel Crags.
The view west through the Ennerdale valley as we approach High Stile.
Bleaberry Tarn, Crummock Water and, in the sunshine, many of the Lake District’s north-western fells including Rannerdale Knotts, Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike, Eel Crag, Sail, Causey Pike and Ard Crags.
The summit of High Stile, height 807 metres (2648 feet), with the Scafell Pike range of mountains on the horizon. High Stile is the halfway point of this Red Pike walk.
More magnificent panoramas from the top of High Stile including the distant Loweswater, a smaller lake to the north-west of Crummock Water.
Grey Crag on the eastern face of High Stile.
The summit of High Crag, height 744 metres (2441 feet).
Looking south-east towards Hay Stacks during the descent of High Crag, about two-thirds of the way round this Red Pike walk.
Amazon’s Top Walking Boots: Four Standout Choices for Men and Women
For walking and hiking, the right boots are essential for both comfort and safety. While Amazon boasts a wide range, certain boots emerge as top-sellers. From those, here are four I personally favour. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small commission from any purchases made through the links provided. This helps support the upkeep of this website. Rest assured, you won’t pay a penny extra, but your purchase will contribute to keeping my site running smoothly. Happy walking!
These fully waterproof leather walking boots feature a Gore-Tex lining, ensuring no water enters whilst allowing feet to breathe and stay cool. Made from full-grain leather, they promise unmatched durability and comfort. The boots come with memory foam tongues and cuffs that mould to your feet for a tailored fit, and the Vibram Hillmaster outsoles offer confidence on challenging terrains.
Made from durable suede and abrasion-resistant textile, these men’s hiking boots are both lightweight and sturdy. The upper material is enhanced by a 360° full rubber sheath. Their dual-layer midsole with Bilight technology ensures ergonomic cushioning and grip, especially on extended hikes. The Vibram Wrapping Thread Combi outsoles allow a natural walking feel, and the Gore-Tex lining provides waterproofing, breathability, and optimal weather protection. Furthermore, the patented Salewa 3F system ensures flexibility, a secure heel grip, and a blister-free fit.
Specially designed for women, these hiking boots offer waterproofing and breathability, thanks to their Gore-Tex lining. Crafted from full-grain abrasion-resistant leather, they’re durable enough for the toughest hikes. The Supalite soles ensure stability and traction, and the EVA midsoles add comfort for extended walks.
These hiking boots incorporate a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, blending breathability with superior waterproof performance. The combination of pigskin leather and mesh on the uppers, along with the suede outer material, ensure durability and style. Enhancements include 100% recycled laces, webbing, and mesh lining. Additionally, bellows tongues, protective toe caps, and Vibram TC5+ rubber soles ensure protection and ease on any terrain.