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Helm Crag, Grasmere

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Geologic Formation Hiking Trail
Helm Crag is a fell in the English Lake District situated in the Central Fells to the north of Grasmere. Despite its low height it sits prominently at the end of a ridge, easily seen from the village. This, combined with the distinctive summit rocks which provide the alternative name 'The Lion and the Lamb', makes it one of the most recognised hills in the District.Alfred Wainwright wrote of Helm Crag that "The virtues of Helm Crag have not been lauded enough. It gives an exhilarating little climb, a brief essay in real mountaineering, and, in a region where all is beautiful, it makes a notable contribution to the natural charms and attractions of Grasmere."TopographyA rocky ridge curves east and then south east from Calf Crag, passing over Gibson Knott and the depression of Bracken Hause, before ending at Helm Crag where it falls steeply on all sides. To the north and east of the ridge is the Greenburn valley, which joins the Rothay at Helm Side. To the west and south is Easedale Beck, which is also a feeder of the Rothay, the watersmeet being just north of Grasmere village. Helm Crag is generally rough, with particular features being High and Low Raven Crags on the eastern side and White Crag on the southern extremity.GeologyThe geology of the fell is complex, but the summit is in an area of outcropping andesite sill.SummitThe summit is unusual, having two short parallel ridges running north west to south east with a hollow in between, the western ridge being the higher. Some distance below the eastern ridge the scene is repeated as, still keeping parallel, a third ridge, ditch and parapet are crossed before the crags are reached. The whole complex initially appears man-made, but is entirely natural. The summit commands views of the Langdale Pikes, Coniston Fells and Eastern Fells.
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  • This is a great walk and one which can easily be undertaken from Grasmere. Although quite steep in places, the climb is hugely rewarding when you see the views from the summit. We were blessed with am...  more »
  • Excellent walk. Beautiful views overlooking grasmere. Probably my favourite walk in the area. Must do if you are staying nearby.  more »
  • If you want a short walk before dinner, or first thing before leaving for home it's great (up and down in 2.5 hours - 4.2 miles). Even better, once you're up there, continue along the ridge and return...  more »