It‘s our walk of the month!
Wedged between Fairfield and Helvellyn, two of the Lake District’s richest honeypots, is Dollywagon Pike. It’s also stuck right between two of the most famous horseshoe walks in the Lake District, and takes a part in neither. You could see this as either tragedy or its saving grace.
This is the southernmost peak of the Helvellyn massif and to its west, as on much of the range, are steady, grassy slopes from bottom to top. To the east is a load of amazingness; untidy ridges and scaly outcrops amid a jumble of crags and coves. If this trove of exhilarating routes were roadside, it would be right near the top of any hillwalkers ‘to climb’ list. However, it’s hidden in the depths of Grisedale. Which means you’ll have much of that brilliant jumble all to yourself.
When you step onto its summit, you’re also starting a skyline walk, with panoramas on either side and two of the country’s best hills behind and before you. What you do from there is up to you; make a horseshoe from one of its neighbouring crags, head north and link it with a descent of Striding Edge, or Swirral. You have a whole massif to play with. But it’s worth exploring here, where you have one of the Lake District’s most popular places to walk, all to yourself.
Dollywagon Pike's fantastic mess of coves and buttresses as seen from Birkhouse Moor. Fairfield edges in from the left.