Fairfield and your need to know guide on the Wainwright


Wainwright Number:

Eastern Lakes

OS Map:
Explorer maps OL5 and OL7

Fairfield is 873m high or 2864ft tall. 

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

There really isn't an easy way up to Fairfield. It is the centre of two main horseshoe walks to get to the summit of this Wainwright. Check them out in more detail below or through the link here

You will need Explorer maps OL5 and OL7.

Fairfield is part of two horseshoe walks in the Lake District. So there any many Wainwrights that surround this gem of a Fell.

At the top of Fairfield is a collection of small cairns across the rather flat summit plateau.

Facts about Fairfield

Here are some interesting bits of information all about Fairfield to get started with your knowledge of the fell.

- Fairfield stands to the south of the Helvellyn range.

- It is part of an eight peak horseshoe which is started at Rydal. You can bag all eight Wainwrights in one long day hike.

- Fairfield is also part of the Deepdale horseshoe which can be climbed from Patterdale.

How high is the Fell? (m/ft)

The mountain stands at position 13 in the tallest Wainwright league and is 873m tall or 2864ft. It lies in the central fells just south of Helvellyn.

Where is Fairfield located?

Fairfield is located pretty centrally to the Lakes and I say this because of the views you get from the summit. It's classed as part of the Eastern range in the Pictorial Guide to the Lake District. From this book, you will see all of the routes that are available too.

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

It is a fell that on its own would be challenging enough on any given day. However, because of where it is situated, it is very often included in one of two horseshoe walks in the Lake District.

The first is the Fairfield horseshoe which incorporates a total of eight of the Wainwrights. It starts at Rydal and is a gruelling average of ten hours walking time to complete.

The second is the Deepdale horseshoe which begins at Patterdale and includes five Wainwrights and takes around six hours to complete. This is a more rugged climb than the Fairfield Horseshoe but does offer some immense views too.

So considering these points. The mountain isn’t the easiest the climb and it’s worth making sure that you are in good physical health before attempting the hike of either horseshoe.

How long does it take to climb the horseshoes around the mountain?

Anywhere between six and ten hours depending on the route which you choose to take, as described above.

Are the paths good climbing up Fairfield?

This depends on which route you decide to take. They are not as clear paths as some of the other Wainwrights and so a compass and map with good navigational skills is a good idea. As well as this, with it being a long horseshoe whichever you take, it’s worth checking the weather conditions before you set out.

And it’s best to do full research so that you know exactly what to expect throughout the hike so that you don’t get yourself in any trouble along the way. For example, the summit of Fairfield itself is a large flat top which in mist can become confusing to navigate from.

Best parking for the Wainwright

Either at Grasmere where there is car parking in its main car park on in the lay-by heading back up towards Thirlmere. Or parking at Ambleside is another good spot. There is some free parking but this gets taken up very quickly. Although if you’ve missed the free spots, there is a car park as you continue either way along the road.

If you choose to hike the Deepdale horseshoe then there is ample parking at Patterdale although mostly pay and display. There are multiple car parks with facilities in the village as well, and some good cafes for a brew when you’ve finished your walk too.

What is at the summit of Fairfield?

The summit of Fairfield is very flat and hard to navigate in the mist, so please take care. There are a collection of cairns at the top of the fell as well a few low lying wind shelters to take a little bit of cover from the weather.

What are the views from the top of the Fell?

The views from the top of Fairfield look all across the Lake District and you get a clear view of Helvellyn from the summit too. You can see down to Windermere and Coniston water along with views around the north of the Lakes as well.

It has some seriously nice views all around and with it being one of the top ten tallest Wainwrights you get a clear feeling that you’re looking down on the fells around you.

View from the summit of Fairfield
View from the summit of Fairfield

Which OS map do you need to climb Fairfield?

For the Fairfield horseshoe, you will need ordinance survey maps OL5 and OL7 to complete the whole of the horseshoe. This is because it crosses over from one to another as you make your way along the route.

For the Deepdale horseshoe, however, you will only need ordinance survey map OL5.

Where to stay, B&Bs, etc

The top places to stay would be either Grasmere for the Fairfield horseshoe walk as there are accommodation and camping in the village and surrounding area. Or you could head further south and down to Windermere. This is where Alfred Wainwright visited for his first holiday to the Lakes.

If you were looking to complete the Deepdale horseshoe then Patterdale has ample accommodation as well as all that you could need for a few days to stay in the area too. It’s a lovely busy village where you can look into taking a trip on the Ullswater steamboat too. It’s a great few hours ride and you can hop on and off at different sections around the lake.

True Freedom Seekers
Thank you for taking the time to read our page. We hope you have enjoyed the information which we have for you. Please feel free to reach out to us about anything regarding the Lake District. Or leave a comment below. Happy Wainwright bagging.

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