Swirl How and Great Carrs
Key information: Swirl How and Great Carrs
Climb these adjacent peaks for outstanding views of central and southern Lakeland.
A selection of routes including a wonderful circuit from Little Langdale taking in Wether Lam.
- Walkopedia rating87
- Natural interest16
- Human interest7
- Negative points0
- Total rating87
- Length: Your choice
- Maximum Altitude: 802m (Swirl How)
- Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
These adjacent peaks command outstanding views of central and southern Lakeland. On a good day, you get glimpses of the glistening sands of Morcambe Bay behind the remarkably level ridge south to the Old Man of Coniston, the Scafell group, the mountains receding northwards to Skiddaw and Helvellyn on the horizon, with Coniston Water to the east completing the visual feast.
Routes: There are several ways to climb these hills:
The most direct approach is up the steep path from the Wrynose Pass to the north.
From Coniston to the south east, either via Levers Water or via the Old Man of Coniston, then along the superb 3km or so ridge walk on northward across minor peaks to Swirl How, then round east to Wether Lam and back to Coniston. This is a long walk but one of the best in a walk-rich region.
You can approach from the Little Langdale Valley in the north-east, making a wonderful circuit via the long ridge via West Side Edge and Great Carrs and then back via Wether Lam.
The approach from Dunnerdale to the west is less used. A steep climb there and back via Levers Hawse.
Walkopedia climbed the Old Man of Coniston from the south, then walked on along the wonderful long ridge to Swirl How, then down via Great Carrs to the beautiful Little Langdale Valley (we then crossed the shoulder to the west of Pike of Blisco, to reach Great Langdale, back on the Cumbria Way) on a bright and vivid October day. After recent rain, the air was extraordinarily clear, and we could see the Isle of Man on the western horizon, the Scafell group as if they were a mile away and Skiddaw's cone on the northern horizon. One of our best ever UK walks.
The Lakes have lots of weather. While there are periods of glorious sunshine, come prepared for cloud and rain. Some of the Lakes’ most beautiful light is on showery, broken cloudy days, so don’t be disheartened by a mixed forecast! This is demanding walking in mountains with treacherous weather. Come prepared, be ready to improvise: there is little point slogging up to the peak if in cloud.
There are no less than 25 inspiring Cicerone guide books on the Lake District (their speciality)! Find relevant books here.
See our Lake District page for further photos and general and practical information.
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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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