LawNet Challenge 2019: Fairfield Horseshoe

LawNet Challenge 2019: Fairfield Horseshoe

by George Coombes | April 29, 2019

LawNet’s Member Services Manager George Coombes on taking on the slight variation of the famous Fairfield Horseshoe.

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a classic Lake District walk – and in good weather you can pretty much see the whole route for the entire day… which luckily, we had. 

After some last-minute rushing and running up and down the lane (before I had even started the challenging walk) to try and squeeze yet more cars into the already full hostel car park (!) all 77 set off in our teams at around 7.45am.

In order for us to walk from the hostel we flouted the tradition of starting from Ambleside and instead set off from Grasmere.  The first peak to ascend was Heron Pike.  The route was tough going and steep in places but eventually we made it to the top.  Yes, it was sunny, but the wind was bitingly cold and had a wind chill factor of minus 3!  So, at the top of the ridge it was definitely woolly hat and thermals time!


Once we reached the top of Heron Pike, we had done the biggest climb of the day and, with spirits high, continued on our merry way along the ridge past Great Rigg, and on to Fairfield.

Fairfield, the highest peak in the Eastern Fells at 2863ft, gave us a fantastic 360-degree view of most major fell groups.  Luckily in our guide, Bernie, we had a veritable fount of knowledge and he could name all the peaks and ridges that the eye could see!  Some feat…!

After a quick team discussion, we decided to do an extra peak to the set route and trekked away from the horseshoe to tackle Sunday St Crag.  I’m glad we did as for me this was the best part, a bit of scrambling, which I love to do, which truly got the heart and adrenaline pumping.  Once we reached the top of Sunday St Crag we didn’t stay for long as by now the wind had picked up even more and we were all cold!  So, we soon headed back towards Fairfield to pick up the route again. 

From here is was a fairly easy and gentle walk back down to the valley via High Pike and Low Pike.  Although it was at this point that somebody in our team (not me) fell waist height into a bog!  Unfortunately, we haven’t got any photographic evidence as we were all laughing too much! 

As 4pm approached we could see the hostel in the distance and a pint beckoning us! Once again it was a really successful event with 75 of the 77 completing the whole route.

 Thank you to all those that took part… and planning for 2020 has already begun!
See more photos in our Flickr album.