High Rigg

The weather in January can be a bit hit and miss. After a week of beautiful weather from Monday to Thursday (while we were stuck at work), on Friday the clouds started rolling in and on Saturday Storm Malik arrived. We therefore decided to play it by ear and make a decision about a walk for Sunday last thing on Saturday evening, and just go somewhere with reasonable weather for a quick one before the next storm arrived. Flicking through the weather forecasts, the Lake District had a three hour window of clear skies and even some sunshine, so we agreed to head over and bag another Wainwright. With the limited weather window we decided on High Rigg – one of the smallest Wainwrights and easily ticked off on a quick morning or afternoon stroll.

We followed the short (2.25 mile) circular route described in our Walking the Wainwrights guide, but if you want a longer walk, you can extend it by visiting some of the neighbouring summits and crags (numerous routes online). I can’t find the route we followed online but there is a similar OS maps route here.

The walk starts from St. John’s in the Vale – there is limited parking at the Church here Monday-Saturday but on Sunday’s you’ll have to park on the roadside (very limited). The walk took us just under an hour and a half, including lots of stopping for photos: the views are lovely, especially across to Blencathra and Thirlmere.

This short walk isn’t hugely taxing, following grassy tracks which gradually climb up and down (although there are a few short but steep slopes to traverse). Navigation could easily become confusing, with a vast array of identical grassy paths criss-crossing throughout the walk, so it’s best to feel confident in your navigations skills before doing this walk.

Case in point: about twenty minutes after we set off we looked at the map and noticed that the summit, to our left, wasn’t included in our route. We therefore detoured up to the rocky summit and marked it as our quickest Wainwright ascent to date – before continuing on our walk and realising that the actual summit was further along the route, marked with a summit cairn. An easy mistake to make I suppose, and one I’ve seen others make when reading other blogs!

Dog friendly rating – 3.5/5. This is a lovely short(ish) dog walk for a morning stroll. There is no road walking and no stiles – and therefore we were two very happy owners!

There were a few sheep dotted around this walk – we kept Merry on the lead the whole time as we don’t trust him not to chase them if he spots them before we do. However, the sheep were few and far between enough that we were comfortable letting Coal off in some places (little angel that he is, he has no interest in livestock whatsoever). Even as good as Coal is though, we still put his lead back on when we saw a sheep in the distance – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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