Whiteside and Hopegill Head

Length 12 Kilometres | Highest point 770 metres

Whiteside 707m, 2319ft, GR 170219
Hopegill Head 770m, 25269ft, GR 186222


These tops lie between Crummock Water and Whinlatter Pass in an area of Skiddaw Slate. Typically the rock is broken and fragmented, not good for climbing but providing some dramatic scenery. Hopegill Head (also known as Hobcarton Crag) has an impressive line of cliffs where rare alpine plants grow. This circular walk includes an airy traverse of the ridge between the two tops, rightly described by AW as exhilarating. The ascent is quite strenuous up rough and rocky ground.

Park at Lanthwaite Green on the Buttermere road. A grassy path leads to a crossing of Liza Beck which emerges from Gasgale Gill. When the path turns a corner to enter the Gill, turn left and go up the steep and rocky path to Whin Ben. The angle eases a little here but care is still required on account of loose rock. From Whiteside, follow the rim of the crags to Hopegill Head 93km, 650m, 1hr 50min).

Hopegill Head from Whiteside
Hopegill Head from Whiteside

From Hopegill Head continue in a northerly direction towards Ladyside Pike from where there is a long gradual descent, easy underfoot, along the ridge to the north west. Towards the foot of the ridge, keep on the left side of an old wall. The angle steepens and it is a relief to reach a good grassy path descending gently to the left, just above the road. Veer left to cross Hope Beck and pick up the path outside the intake wall to Lanthwaite Green (12km, 4hr 15min).

Ladyside Pike and Hopegill Head
Ladyside Pike and Hopegill Head

For a shorter walk which includes the delectable ridge between the two tops, turn SE from Hopegill Head. Gradually bear away from the edge of the crags to follow the easy path over Sand Hill and down to Coledale Hause. The path which descends Gasgale Gill is unmistakable and gives a pleasant walk (8.5km).