Steeple and your need to know guide on the Wainwright


Wainwright Number:

Western Lakes

OS Map:
Explorer maps OL4 and OL6

Steeple is 819m high or 2687ft tall. 

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

You can head up to Steeple as your only Wainwright of the day and for this, the easiest way up is from Ennerdale. 

The route is pretty clear but we'd recommend taking a map with you along your way and know how to use it too. 

You will need Explorer maps OL4 and OL6.

The Wainwrights close to Steeple include Haycock and Scoat Fell. These can be included in a round walk from Ennerdale to bag a few Wainwrights in the same day while enjoying the views along the way. 

At the top of Steeple is a sharply pointed shape. So there is very little room for a cairn but a small one has been built here to make the very top none the less. It's a great sight to see when you make it to the top of Steeple.

Facts about Steeple

Steeple is an iconic fell in the Lake District because of its overall profile on the Fells. Its sharp-looking summit draws the eye to the Wainwright from all angles. Alfred Wainwright quoted on this fell:

“Seen on a map, it commands the eye and quickens the pulse, seen in reality it does the same.”

This is what makes it one to climb on the bagging list of Wainwrights. And although it is just the northern projection of Scoat Fell. It has remarkably been given the reputation of being a separate fell altogether.

How high is the Wainwright? (m/ft)

Steeple stands at 819m tall or 2687ft. It is the twenty-eighth highest fell in the Lake District, which ranks it among the top fells to conquer.

Where is Steeple located?

It is located in the Western Fells in the Lake District. This mountain range lies between Wast Water and Ennerdale Water and can be climbed from either point. It is a mountain that is usually climbed alongside other fells in the area to make a round trip and so you can bag a few Wainwrights at the same time here.

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

The walk to Steeple from any direction is challenging as it lies alongside fells of structure and height. Therefore, it’s not a quick few hours round trip. It is added to other routes such as the Mosedale Horseshoe and so you can enjoy a full day hiking in the Lakes to conquer this beauty.

However, if you did want to climb it separately, you can do so via Ennerdale, but then you do miss the eery walk between Scoat Fell and Steeple to arrive at the summit.

The walk between this gap looks scary and when you’re on the path itself, as Wainwright rightly says, it does quicken the pulse a little. I remember when we walked across to Steeple, we almost lowered our whole profile just to feel closer to the ground as we made our way on the short path there.

But all the paths around are located easily in our opinion, although in bad weather take extra care along the high fells. It can become very disorientating quickly, so make sure you’re well equipped for all weathers and scenarios.

Check out the weather for Steeple today right here

How long does it take to climb the Fell?

Walking up Steeple directly from Ennerdale and back down the same way will take you a good few hours. If you decide to do any other fells alongside and make a full route from your starting point. You can be out in the Lakeland fells all day quite easily.

So take a look at your map and see exactly where you want to go and always allow extra time on your routes just in case. As well as this you want to be able to enjoy the views and walk while you’re there.

Are the paths good climbing up Steeple?

The general path up the front of the fell from Ennerdale is a great walk. It’s straightforward and clear. It simply follows the line up the ridge as it climbs steeply to Steeple summit itself.

The paths from the back end and around Scoat Fell are also good, although on the fell tops it can become a little unclear in poop weather.

Best parking for Steeple

The best parking for walking up to Steeple is either from Ennerdale in the North West, or from Wast Water in the South East. Both of the main car parks here are free and there is some off-road parking too if the car parks get full.

The car park as Wasdale (Wast Water) does have public facilities, but at Ennerdale, there are none on the main routes.

You can also climb Steeple from Grasmere, and again there is ample parking here if you choose to do so.

What is at the summit?

The top of Steeple itself is a sharp shaped peak and so almost no room for a cairn to be placed on top. But one has been put here and so it’s great to get to the summit and see the cairn to mark the achievement made.

From a distance, the whole fell looks a little scary and challenging to climb. Although it is only the walk between Scoat Fell and Steeple itself that can be a little unnerving in windy conditions.

View from Steeple summit in the Lake District
View from Steeple summit

What are the views from the top of Steeple?

From the top of Steeple, you get some really intense views over the heart of the Lakes. Although the views looking out towards the south-east can be a little restricted with the higher fells blocking some of the views beyond. Looking towards the north and north-west you get a really good view of Ennerdale Water and the surrounding fells from here.

Which OS map do you need to climb
the Fell?

The ordnance survey map which covers the area of Steeple is OL4, although depending on the area in which you are walking, you may need OL6 as well. This is the map for the south west of the Lakes, and so if hiking from Wasdale this will be needed too.

Where to stay around B&Bs, Campsites, etc

One of the best places to stay for the walk up Steeple would be Grasmere if you are walking from the north of the Fell. There is plenty of accommodation here as well as other amenities. On top of this, you could try a hand at wild camping along the Fell tops or near the Waters either side of Steeple for a whole new experience.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: