15. The Fairfield Horseshoe
Meeting Point: Ambleside Cricket Club, LA22 9PN
We start this superb lakes stage out of Rydal, climbing up to Nab Scar and then on to Heron Pike. From here, we head up to Great Rigg, and then on to the highest point of our walk: the summit of Fairfield at 873 metres.
The curve of the horseshoe route brings us over Hart Crag, Dove Crag, and Little Hart Crag, before dropping down into Scandale, keeping Scandale Tarn to our right. We continue descending, before looping back to our start point at Rydal.
This is undoubtedly one of the tougher stages of The Big Smile, especially when the weather is bad. However, it is a truly marvellous fell walk, affording us some fantastic views and taking us over several Wainwrights to boot.
Distance: 18.1 km (11.25 miles)
Difficulty Rating: ★★★★☆