Robinson, Hindscarth & Dale Head from Chapel Bridge

11th May 2024

The forecast for the week just kept getting better and better peaking at the weekend with temperatures rising into the late teens, it's not often we're spoilt with such a great forecast which sent my head into overdrive on where to walk.

Because I'd been so focused on the Dartmoor wildcamp I hadn't really been paying enough attention on planning walks which I'd normally do weeks in advance prior to my leave but that's not to say I didn't have a few ideas up my sleeve.

I think it was Rod some weeks ago who walked a route similar to this while I was working and it got me thinking when was the last time I ascended Robinson via High Snab Bank which was ten years ago, where does the time go, more importantly why had I waited so long to return.

With the forecast as good as it was, and given how early the car parks are filling up I thought I'd set off earlier than usual timing my arrival at Chapel Bridge just gone 7:00am which meant a 4:00am alarm call. Early I know but to be ahead of the crowds and to be on your first summit before 9:00am it was more than worth it.

Wainwright Guide Book Six
The North Western Fells
Hindscarth is a twin to Robinson. Both were created by the same upheaval and sculptured in the same mould. They turn broad backs to the Buttermere valley and go hand in hand together down to Newlands, their ridges reaching the valley at the beautiful watersmeet near the little church.

Ascent: 2,970 Feet 905 Metres
Wainwrights: 3, Robinson - Hindscarth - Dale Head
Weather: Hot, Dry & Suny. Light Winds Across The Summits. Highs of 26°C Lows of 14°C
Parking: Car Park, Chapel Bridge Newlands Valley
Area: North Western
Miles: 9
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken: 5 Hours
Route: Chapel Bridge - High Snab Farm - High Snab Bank - Blea Crags - Robinson - Littledale Edge - Hindscarth - Hindscarth Edge - Dale Head - Dalehead Quarry - Newlands Beck - Newlands - Little Town - Chapel Bridge

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA12 5TU
Grid Reference: NY 231 519
Notes: A small car park found next to Chapel Bridge in the heart of Newlands, with the popularity of Little Town, Newlands Church and of course the Newlands Fells close by it's no wonder this car park fills up quickly especially during the Summer months. Parking is free but my advice is to be early if you want to guarantee yourself a parking place.


Map and Photo Gallery


Field of Llamas, Chapel Bridge Newlands 7:05am 14°C

The sun had been up for well over an hour but hadn't climbed high enough to spread light into the valleys; there was even a touch of dew across the fields of Newlands. I was surprised to find the car park was empty so I pulled in right opposite the donation box advising it was £5 for all-day parking. I've had a brand new fiver burning a hole in my wallet for the last week, and I popped into the little opening, trouble was it was so new static caused it to stick to my fingers and I had to literally push the note in with two hands, whether it was static or if I just didn't want to part with my new fiver.

I was soon joined by five or six curious Llama's who were so inquisitive they were stretching their necks over the fence for a better look. As you can see, they got quite close until I pulled away, thinking it was Llamas or Alpacas who spit. It was too early to find out, so I returned to the rear of my car to lace up. Within five minutes, I was ready to leave; even the Llamas had got bored and were nibbling berries from a nearby tree. The sound of Newlands Beck provides the morning chorus, along with a quad bike in an adjacent field. 

Robinson from Newlands Church.
I could hear the quad bike getting louder as I passed over Newlands Beck and walked towards Newlands Church.

Newlands Church and Church yard.
I spent a moment reading the gravestones who were all local to the valley.

Robinson positioned perfectly between the trees after passing High Snab Farm.
The lane rises between fields of lambs which is where the noise of the quad bike was coming from. It looked like the farmer was teaching his son how to round up the sheep combining the quad and two sheep dogs. The lambs were having non of it scattering around the back of the young lad while the dogs charged forward corralling the older sheep into the upper field. I left them to it and passed the entrance to the farm then the Cottages and Low High Snab before arriving at this gate and brilliant view.

Views towards High Crags (Hindscarth) and Robinson over on the right.
There is a path alongside Scope Beck that ascends towards the hanging valley of Littledale that divides Robinson with Hindscarth which won't come into view until I'm higher up. One of the things I hadn't forgotten about this route was how steep the ascent is to gain High Snab Bank

Ascent in High Snab Bank.
With the heat increasing there were a few camera stops gaining High Snab Bank not just to admire the view but to get my breath back too.

The view North towards Knott Rigg, Ard Crags, Wandope, Eel Crag (Crag Hill) Sail and Keskadale Farm lower right.
If Rod sticks to his plans he'll be visiting all these summits on a separate walk this morning.

Robinson Crags and Robinson ahead.
With Robinson's sweeping north east ridge descending towards Newlands Pass on the right.

Looking towards the rock step and rock slab from Blea Crags.
I was really looking forward to the rock step which can be seen as the small patch of rock dead centre of the photo, above it is the rock slab, both easy to negotiate in the dry.

Looking back on Blea Crags and High Snab Bank from the rock slabs.
The path seen to the right avoids both the rock step and slabs from where I took this photo.

Almost at the summit.
It was here I was passed by three fell runners whose opening line was "early start?" Aye I smiled. Here the final ascent on Robinson reminded me of the final approach to Pen yer Ole Wen in Snowdonia.

Crummock Water, Loweswater and a host of Western fells as I approach Robinson's summit.
With the shoulder crested I was greeted to a cool breeze which felt heavenly after the exertion of the ascent.

Robinson summit 8:59am
I noticed that it was 8:56am and with a couple of hundred yards to go I picked up my pace to see if I could make it before 9:00am. I just about managed it and lavished the early morning set off. It's been a while since I truly felt alone on the fell but for a few moments that's exactly how I felt.

Time to head off.
Accompanied by hazy views of England's highest ground.

Views over Honistor Pass.
Towards Fleetwith Pike and Hay Stacks.

The High Stile ridge from Littledale Edge.
I made a quick descent and crossed Littledale Edge in the process scattering a large flock of sheep which I'd seen from my ascent of Robinson earlier.

Hay Stacks, Pillar, Steeple and the High Stile Ridge from Hindscarth summit.
Gone were my clear morning views replaced by haze and increasing heat. I've always been fond of the ascent of Hindscarth from Littledale Edge taking the short cut horizontal path which although continuous is of such a pitch it doesn't take it out of you.

Hindscarth Edge leading onto Dale Head.
I hardly spent anytime at Hindscarth's summit where a cool wind had dropped the temperature a couple of degrees which felt on the cool side. Just as I was about to leave three fell runners appeared at the north cairn who passed me as I made my way over towards the narrow path on the east side of the summit as I pass the head of Far Tongue Gill below.

Looking down on the Honistor Pass,Fleetwith Edge, Buttermere, The High Stile Ridge and Pillar.
Walkers were beginning to appear descending Dale Head including three more fell runners. I got chatting to two of the walkers who asked me of my route and a few more fell related questions and soon we were carried away in conversation before bidding each other to enjoy the rest of our walks.

High Spy, Maiden Moor and a hazy Skiddaw and Blencathra from Dale Head summit.
With so many descending Dale Head I figured I wouldn't get the summit to myself finding one walker leaving and two sat down overlooking the Newlands valley. We pass with a hi as I sit on the summit edge while popping Fruit Pastels into my mouth washing them down with long gulps of Summer Fruits.

Hindscarth beyond Far Tongue Gill.
A few minutes turned into ten as I took in the views towards the Grasmoor fells. It's 10:24am now and I'm guessing Rod is somewhere between Grasmoor and Eel Crag.

Views into Newlands.
Before I leave I take in the views below, somewhere down there is the very narrow miners path which I'll be descending by today. The path starts at the cairn above Dalehead Crags and ends at the ruins of the miners hut seen bottom left. It's a great path to descend into Newlands by with no real obstructions or exposure.

Approaching the cairn... the base of the zigzags.

The Miners Path, Dale Head.
I left the summit behind and descended towards the cairn and miners path. I had a clear view of the Newlands valley and couldn't believe how quiet it was. Or so I thought.

The ruined building at the bottom of the Miners Path is reached.
The heat of the morning continued to rise more so I had lost the breeze now confined to the summits. It really is beginning to feel like summer on the Lakeland fells now.

The path continues towards Newlands Beck below.

I heard voices below Miners Crag across the valley.
Not seen in the photo but directly below Miners Crag on the right are two wilder campers in one yellow and one green tent. Jeez I wonder if they could hear me singing to myself.

Newlands defended by the mighty Castle Nook over on the right.
I lost the path which I think was over to my left as I wanted to make a direct line towards the grassy path seen on the other side of Newlands Beck.

Dale Head and Hindscarth from the climbing hut.

The climbing hut is still in use to this day and is owned by 'CMC' Carlisle Mountaineering Club and is available for hire.

Scope End and the mighty Causey Pike from Newlands Beck.
It looks like the haze is beginning to lift now revealing much clearer views.

Hindscarth and Scope End.
Note the sheep using the shade from the tree to shelter from the heat.

Hindscarth and Robinson as my walk comes to an end.

It was hot now, and I could feel the heat penetrating my T-shirt through to my shoulders. I don't complain; instead, I take long sips from my bite valve while taking in the incredible views into Newlands behind me. Below the car park is rammed spotting the Llamas lying down behind the wall basking in the heat as midday passes. I could have walked the full horseshoe; in fact, the few people I shared my route with automatically thought that was what I was doing, but on the day, this valley means more to me than the hill, for it was after walking through Newlands all those years ago that inspired me to create this website. 

I drop to the grass verge below the path which ends at a gate tied with rope. I throw my poles over and hop over the gate onto tarmac. The carpark is rammed. Boot open as I de-shoulder and swing my pack into my boot while finishing off a bottle of Lucozade in one squeeze. I start the car, switch the air conditioning on, and send all the windows down. The outside temperature is showing 30°C moments later it settles at 26°C. Dried sweat across my forehead, forearms and calfs prickling in the heat as I rest in the drivers seat thinking these early starts might be the next game changer.


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