Bannerdale Crags and your need to know guide on the Wainwright


Wainwright Number:

Northern Lakes

OS Map:
OS map 5

Bannerdale Crags is 683m high or 2241ft tall. 

This Wainwright is located in the northern Fells of the Lake District.

You can head up to Bannerdale Crags from Mungrisdale. The easier option is to head up the left side of the tongue of the Wainwright and then onto the top this way. 

You will need Explorer map OL5.

Bannerdale Crags is located near to the Blencathra range of Fells. These can all be hiked in the same day if you choose to do so and if you have the time in your day to do this. It's a great hike that you can check out here

At the top of Bannerdale Crags is a small Cairn and lovely views across the north of the Lake District. However the cairn doesn't mark the true top of the Wainwright, for this, you need to head 100 yards west of the cairn. 

Where is Bannerdale Crags located in the Lake District?

Located in the northern part of the English Lake District it is the perfect place for views across the Fells. As previously stated the northern Lakes is a little quieter but don't let that mistake you. Being so close to Blencathra, (number 14 in the Wainwrights) Bannerdale Crags can see a peak in visitors.

So how hard is the Fell to climb and which routes can you take?

This really is depending on which way you want to tackle the Wainwright of Bannerdale Crags. For us we did it as part of the Blencathra walk, bagging another 4 Wainwrights on the same day. But of course, you do have the option to walk this Fell on its own.

The ascent from Mungrisdale can be taken for two different routes. You can either go up the east ridge which includes a little bit of a scramble. Or you can go up the left-hand side of the tongue. The tongue way being slightly easier than that of the east ridge.

Alternatively, you can, of course, add in other Wainwrights on your walk. This is the beauty with the Lake District where you can simply keep walking around as much or as little as you like. For us, we went to bag 5 Wainwrights and we did just that.

Our route was again starting at Mungrisdale, but we headed up to Souther Fell first. This gave a good stretch to our legs to continue the day. Following on from Souther Fell we went onwards and upwards to Blencathra via Scales Tarn (a perfect spot for lunch). From here we headed to Mungrisdale Common, then on to Bannerdale Crags. Lastly, we finished on Bowscale Fell.

For another option, as we all love options, you can also climb it from Scales. This is a route that takes you up to Blencathra but instead of turning for that Wainwright, you want to cross Glenderamackin at the footbridge. This will then continue up the left-hand side of White Horse Bent.

How long does it take to climb Bannerdale Crags?

This is the question people love to know, but it's such a difficult one to answer. Mainly for the fact that you can again spend a couple of hours on a simple route. Equally, you can spend like us, just over 7 hours on the fells. This was a huge day bagging Bannderdale Crags and a most enjoyable one too.

Read More:

Read our walk from Mungrisdale to Blencathra, which includes this Wainwright of Bannderdale Crags. See the amazing views and get geared up to bag it yourself. 

Are the paths good climbing up Bannerdale Crags?

The paths themselves are pretty good. It is a rather grassy fell again so the paths can become a little faint and boggy. Especially if you are coming from Mungrisdale Common. In the low cloud, you may struggle so be careful. Other than that the paths on Bannerdale Crags are good.

If you are coming up from Mungrisdale and the east ridge then there is also a touch of scrambling to be had. Just be careful and you should be fine. Of course, it goes without saying that you should fully plan your walk before setting off and let others know where you are.

Best parking to start your route

If I'm honest with you the only place to really park to bag this Wainwright is at Mungrisdale. But of course, if you want an (as Alfred Wainwright himself said '...tedious climb...' then you can start at Scales too.

What is at the summit of Bannerdale Crags?

Bannerdale Crags has got a cairn to point its summit. The only question one must ask themselves is, is that really the true summit. The answer is actually no. The cairn itself doesn't actually sit at the real highest point of this Wainwright. Looking from the cairn in a westerly direction, and approximately 100 yards is the actual summit of Bannerdale Crags.

Bannerdale Crags in the Lake District. One of the 214 Wainwrights

What are the views from the top?

The views from this Fell are quite surprising to be fair. You can actually see in the far distance the Wainwrights of Coniston Old Man, and Weatherlam, which are over 17 miles away.

Of course, you'll be able to see Blencathra. To the west is Skiddaw and Little Man Skiddaw. North is Bowscale Fell. East Souther Fell will be in view and moving down to the south-east is Great Mell Fell, Gowbarrow, Place Fell and High Street to name just a few. Southerly is Helvellyn. Let's hope you climb it on a clear day so you get the views.

Which OS map do you need to climb Bannerdale Crags?

OS map number OL5 will see you on your right path. Mind the pun...

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