UK Walks: Steel Fell – Lake District

Snowdonia National Park
  • Distance – 7.46km (4.63 Miles)
  • Ascent – 568m/1863ft
  • Highest Point – Steel Fell 53m/1814ft)
  • Time Taken – Four Hours
  • Difficulty – Moderate

Steel Fell is one of the worst known, but best Fells that you can walk around in the English Lake District and lyes between Thirlmere and Grasmere allowing you to climb this fell from either location, however, the fell is mostly climbed from the South East Ridge starting in Grasmere.

It’s a pretty easy walk, but if you want to spice things up a little more, it’s possible to take a direct ascent up the eastern face which is a much more challenging route that will challenge even the most experienced climber.

Steel Fell

One of the best things about this climb is the number of people that also climb this fell. Honestly, out of the ten times that we have climbed this fell, I cannot remember seeing another walker even on a beautiful and bright sunny summer day.

Its perfect southern ridge creates for a brilliant hike, mostly on the grass but with sporadic rocky outcrops which add to the interest; and then it concludes in a rather fulfilling view to the great north.

Starting Point

The route starts just to the North of Grasmere off the A591 where Low Mill Lane heads towards Ghyll Foot Farm and the foot of Steel Fell. The early part of the walk takes you down a country lane towards the National Park, and on a clear day, you can easily see the route your about to take.

It’s only about 1.5-miles from the base of Steel Fell to the summit. However, it’s a substantial incline of nearly 1,500 feet with very little rest bite from the gradient. The nice thing about this route is that the pathway is clearly marked and you’re walking on grass, or a mud pathway. If you stick to the path, it is a straightforward walk, however, deviating from the path can cause problems if you walk into one of Dartmoors famous bogs.

The Peak

The summit is clearly marked with a large cairn and has a fantastic view of the surrounding areas. To North is Thirlmere and the often snow-covered Helvellyn Range. To the south Windermere and the east the Vale of Grasmere.

On a sunny day, I would reckon that there cannot be a better sight with all the beauty around you.


The walk home is back they way you came with the only blessing, it’s now downhill and much easier on the legs.

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