This shorter walk takes us into the quiet valley of Greendale, one of a series of side-valleys on the northern side of Wasdale, then onto Middle Fell, the craggy fell that looms above the lake shore road. At the summit of Middle Fell we are rewarded with views over Wast Water, the Screes and into the rough ground on the western slopes of Red Pike.
Length: 3.5 miles
Map: The English Lakes - South Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: October 2010
We start from the small parking area at Greendale. This is the area of flat open ground just past the buildings at Greendale, on the same side of the road.
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A clear footpath heads north from the parking place, heading towards the gap between Middle Fell and Buckbarrow, with Greendale Gill just to the left. Take this path, which starts off gently but becomes increasingly steep. This steep section brings us to an unexpected bowl in the hills, where a series of small streams (Tongues Gills) form long waterfalls that plunge down into Greendale Gill. Ignore the path that branches off to the right just above the steepest part of the path (we'll be returning down this path later). A little further on another path branches off to the left, crossing the Gill - high water levels meant that I stayed on the right-hand side of the gill, but the other path heads in the same general direction, so take your pick!
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Our path brings us to the southern end of Greendale Tarn. Paths pass along both banks of the tarn - I took the path to the right, but this soon becomes rather awkward, so I would recommend the path to the left. Whichever path you take, follow it past the tarn and up to the top of the valley.
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At this point we reach a t-junction with a path running from Middle Fell towards the eastern slopes of Seatallan
and on to Haycock. Turn right onto this path and follow it as it climbs up the northern ridge of Middle Fell.
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This path brings us to the summit of the fell, and then continues on over the summit and down the far side of the fell, tending to curve a little to the right at this point to follow the south-western ridge of the fell. Follow this path until it joins our original path up Greendale, then turn left onto this path and return to the car park.