Walking with Wainwright – Red Screes

29 March 2019

One of the greatest joys felt by walkers is that moment when you ascend to the highest point on your hike; it’s the moment just following that final burst of strength – the power march you can’t resist when the end is finally in sight – that second when, gasping for air, you turn around to see the sum of your steps laid out before you.

If you have felt yourself being described above, then Red Screes is the challenge you’re looking for during your next stay at one of our luxury holiday cottages in the Lake District. In this blog, you can learn more about how to get to Red Screes, where to park, local amenities and the trail itself.

If this is your first time hearing about the Wainwright Walks, then you may enjoy reading other blogs from this series to gain a deeper appreciation of Alfred Wainwright and his many travels:

Walking with Wainwright – Langdale

Walking with Wainwright – Easedale Tarn

From Mill House Cottages to Red Screes

From most of our accommodation in the Lake District, the drive to Red Screes will take somewhere between thirty and forty-five minutes – depending on the traffic as you pass by Windermere. Its proximity to Windermere makes Red Screes an efficient day out as you could spend some time by Bowness following your walk.

Arriving at Red Screes

To get to Red Screes, you will need to drive to Kirkstone Pass. If you are unsure what to type into your SatNav, your best bet is to aim for the Kirkstone Pass Inn which is located opposite a large free car park and is functionally the beginning of your walk. Alternatively, you could take buses into Windermere and then take the 508 bus which stops off at the Kirkstone Pass Inn – this is the best option for those who walk for the pleasure of a pint following a difficult day’s excursion.

Alternatively, you could buckle yourself in for the long haul and instead drive towards Ambleside and complete a much longer circular walk taking you through many hikes including The Struggle, Middle Dodd and, of course, Red Screes. Experienced walkers might be more interested in this day-long hike, but for others, the trip straight to Red Screes from the Kirkstone Pass Inn could be preferable.

Walking Red Screes

The best thing about walking Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass is that the walk is incredibly straightforward and therefore it is unlikely that you will have to worry about getting lost – with the exception of hiking in a thick mist or heavy rain.

Kirkstone Pass in Fog

The walk begins in the car park; leave through the gate in the corner and follow the stony path that leads up to the incline. Once the incline begins, it’s a steep trek from there on out so the best course of action is to take it slow. Red Screes is an exceptionally steep walk and injuries from rushing and tripping, especially in wet weather, should be guarded against.

From there, it’s up and up until you reach the cairn from where you can view the neighbouring fells and the distant Lake Windermere. Though it is understandable that you would be excited to rush back to the Kirkstone Pass Inn, please take extra care when returning down the fell.

A Celebratory Meal and Drink

Once returning to the base of the fell, one can’t help but order some food and a drink from the Inn. We recommend trying their home-made soup with a side of chips and a drink of your choice, all enjoyed from one of the picnic benches overlooking the majestic view.

View from the Inn

Alternatively, if the weather is bad, you could jump back in your car and stop off at Windermere for a sophisticated meal by the water before heading back to your luxury holiday home. If you took the bus in order to enjoy a pint at the Inn, then you may need to wait for the next 508 which runs every two hours on average. Keep in mind that you will need to leave yourself enough time both to complete the walk and to catch the last bus in this case.

We hope that you stay safe and enjoy the views surrounding Red Screes on your next hike in the Lake District!

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