If you’re looking to conquer the Fleetwith Pike Walk while visiting the Lake District, this article is for you. This guide will arm you with everything you need to know about hiking Fleetwith Pike to help you prepare for the adventure ahead.
It’s no secret that the Lake District is bursting with exciting fell walks and hikes. Many of them, like Scafell & Catbells, are popular and for good reason. But you can also find the occasional hidden gem, of which Fleetwith Pike is one of them.
While many people hike to Fleetwith Pike from Honister, we walked to Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere. It was a fantastic walk from start to finish, where we enjoyed astonishing views and a reasonably demanding workout.
If you fancy a challenge, I recommend adding Fleetwith Pike to your Lake District itinerary. But I suggest you keep reading, as there are a few things you might want to know before you head out.
So let’s get to it – here’s everything you need to know about the Lake District’s Fleetwith Pike Fell Walk.
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Fleetwith Pike FAQs
Before I share the various walking routes to Fleetwith Pike, let’s cover some key information that will be useful to know before you begin.
Fleetwith Pike Height
Fleetwith Pike stands at the height of 648 metres, equivalent to 2126 feet. This puts Fleetwith Pike 115th on the list of the tallest Wainwright Fells.
Fleetwith Pike Difficulty
While Fleetwith might seem modest in relation to the taller Wainwright Fells, do not let that fool you into a false sense of security.
This is still a moderately tough hike requiring a reasonable fitness level and suitable hiking gear.
You can take a few different routes to the top, which I cover further down. Some are easier than others, but all require a fair bit of scrambling as you approach the summit.
With that in mind, I would only recommend attempting it during good weather.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to be up there when it’s raining or wet, when there’s bad visibility, or if there are high winds.
How Long to Climb Fleetwith Pike
Naturally, this will vary from person to person and also depends on which route you take. On average, it takes around 1-2 hours to hike from the very bottom to the summit of Fleetwith Pike.
But no need to rush – just enjoy and take in the views.
Parking at Fleetwith Pike
If you’re travelling by car, there is a car park at the foot of Fleetwith Pike, which is a great place to start and end your walk.
At the time of writing, it is £4 to park for the entire day. There are also various National Trust car parks in the surrounding area.
Fleetwith Pike with Dogs
We completed the Fleetwith Pike hike via Fleetwith Edge with our Jack Russel cross Chihuahua, Ronnie. This trip was Ronnie’s first-ever time attempting fell walks of this kind, and he loved every minute of it.
Before attempting the hike, we had read various contradicting reviews about taking dogs. But we figured we could only try, and if it got too tricky, we could always turn around.
We needn’t have worried. Ronnie raced up the rugged trail with no troubles at all. His face was a picture as he looked back at the view, completely in awe of what he was seeing. It was utterly heartwarming.
Ronnie is 10 years old but in great shape and has the privilege of being small and agile. We had also tested the waters on the easier Catbells hike a few days earlier, so we had an idea of his capabilities on tougher terrain.
I suggest doing the same if your dog is new to challenging hikes like this one. Test the waters with a less demanding hike first and see how they get on. Chances are they will love it!
The only trouble is, their average daily walks will seem bland in comparison!
Tip – You’ll encounter sheep and other wildlife along the route. For their safety and your pet’s safety, please keep all dogs on leads.
Fleetwith Pike Walking Routes
As I mentioned earlier, many different walking trails will lead you to the summit of Fleetwith Pike.
Here I’ll list the most popular routes that take you directly to the summit. I won’t cover the trails that include other nearby peaks or fells as I could be here all day.
If you’re interested in conquering multiple summits in one day, you can find a multitude of trails on walking apps such as All Trails or Komoot.
Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere
If you want to add some distance and variety to your hike, it’s worth doing a circular walk to Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere (view map).
Since we were camping near Buttermere in our campervan, this is exactly what we did.
We started and ended the hike at Syke Farm Cafe, and the total round distance was approximately 7 miles. We were gone for 5 hours, but only 3-4 hours of those were actual moving time.
From the cafe, we walked along the eastern shore of Buttermere lake. Stunning vistas ring this idyllic expansive lake, so it’s certainly not a dull walk.
The striking, sharp ridge of Fleetwith Pike is unmissable from the lake’s edge. In fact, it looks quite daunting, and from afar, it seems impossible that anybody could climb it.
Only as you edge closer can you make out the two primary trails that lead to the summit. Which one you choose will depend on how challenging you want the hike to be.
Fleetwith Pike via Fleetwith Edge
The most strenuous trail ascends alongside the narrow ridge line. To take it, follow the signpost to Fleetwith Pike at the foot of fell.
This route starts out steep but with no real technical difficulty, zig-zagging its way to the upper portion of the trail.
It isn’t long before you’re rewarded with breathtaking views back over Buttermere and the surrounding fells.
You will encounter a white cross nestled alongside the trail. It’s a memorial to Fanny Mercer – a young woman who slipped and died while descending the ridge.
A reminder to take care and not steer too far from the trail.
Things get a bit hairy around the midway point when the trail transforms into a succession of rocky terrain.
Seasoned hikers will have no trouble making the ascent but be prepared for a fair amount of scrambling.
All in all, the trail is relatively easy to navigate. There were a couple of sections where we had to stop and assess the route, but the well-trodden path helped lead the way.
One thing to note is that looks can be deceiving. Just as you think you have reached the top, the trail continues up another 200 metres or so.
Thankfully, the exhilarating climb and sweeping vistas help with the final push. You’ll know when you get there as a sizeable cairn marks the summit.
Fleetwith Pike via Warnscale Quarry
Take a right at the signpost and follow the trail through Warnscale quarry for a more gradual climb to the summit with less scrambling involved.
This trail is arguably more interesting than Fleetwith Edge, albeit slightly less exhilarating. That’s because there’s a fair bit more to see and encounters a diversity of terrain.
It’s also a slightly longer route measuring in at around 2.5 miles from foot to summit.
Along this route, you will encounter Warnscale Beck, a series of waterfalls and streams that cascade down through the quarry.
There are also a couple of mountain bothies – one at Warnscale and one at Dub Slate. I wish we’d known about them beforehand, as we’d have most certainly taken this route back down.
The route meanders alongside Fleetwith and snakes its way through Dub Slate Quarry before making a final ascent to the summit.
For an enjoyable circular walk to Fleetwith Pike, I recommend ascending via Fleetwith Edge and descending via Warnscale Quarry (view map).
Fleetwith Pike From Honister
The easiest route to Fleetwith Pike is from Honister Slate Mine.
In fact, it’s much easier than the two routes above since you start at the top of the Honister Pass, reducing the climb to ‘just’ 285 metres.
Don’t be fooled, though. You can still expect a strenuous leg workout. Although straightforward to navigate, the trail is steep, and you can expect some scree as you approach the summit.
Unlike the other routes, however, this one is suitable for younger children and adults or dogs who may be less able.
To park at Honister Slate Mine will set you back £5 for the entire day. There are plenty of activities going on at the slate mine itself, so if you wanted to, you could make a fun-filled day of it.
Camping at Fleetwith Pike
If you’re a camping enthusiast, I don’t need to tell you that wild camping in the Lake District or anywhere in the UK is technically illegal.
That said, there are places where wild camping is tolerated, and if you pitch up camp at the top of a fell, it’s unlikely you will be bothered or moved.
Just remember to follow the basic rules of wild camping and leave no trace. The more responsible you are as a camper, the less likely they will enforce the law for campers who come after you.
If you’re considering camping at Fleetwith Pike, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.
Boasting unrivalled panoramic views, you can enjoy the sunrise, sunset, and a magical night beneath the stars.
While Fleetwith Pike isn’t a highly technical hike, you will still need some suitable gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Here are some essentials I recommend you have in preparation for your walk.
Enjoy your Fleetwith Pike Hike!
Well that’s it – that’s everything you need to know about hiking Fleetwith Pike. I hope you’ve found this information helpful.
If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything please do get in touch! Otherwise, we wish you a fantastic hike.