Red Pike rises high above Buttermere and Crummock Water lakes in the Lake District. The summit and the hike in offer beautiful views of the pastoral Buttermere valley and the adjacent peaks including the impressively rugged Pillar.
Exit the car park and walk towards the rear of the Fish Hotel following the public bridle way to Lake Buttermere. Continue on the bridleway until you reach a bridge that crosses the stream which flows into the lake.
After crossing the bridge go through a wood gate and turn right and follow the step stone laid path through the woods. This impressively laid and steep path will take you all the way to the Sourmilk Gill hanging valley which is situated approximately 400 ft below the summit. Sourmilk Gill is situated in a natural ampitheater formed by the Red Pike and High Stile.
Sourmilk Gill, High Stile and Red Pike
Once in the valley continue straight ahead until you can cross the stream and see the clear path leading to the summit of Red Pike. The path will take you to a high mountain pass between Mount Dodd and Red Pike. Having gained the pass scramble up the red scree and sand to the summit of the aptly named Red Pike.
There are multiple routes of descent from the summit. For a longer day out continue south east from the summit to the ridge that connects Red Pike to High Stile. From High Stile continue along to ridgeline until you summit High Crag. From there it is possible to to walk back down into the Buttermere valley and to gain the bridleway that runs along the south shore of the lake.
Another alternative is to hike back down towards the pass that seperates Mount Dodd from Red Pike. From the pass a faint trail can be picked up which leads down the slopes to the north west corner of Lake Buttermere. Once you reach the valley floor follow the wide path until your regain the bridelay at the foot bridge near the lake.
Buttermere is accessed via the B5289. Once in Buttermere park in the pay and display car park behind the Fish Hotel, located just off the B5289, behind the Bridge Hotel.
Buttermere is a small village but there are a few shops and good food is available in the local inns. In the summer check out the local dairy for freshly made icecream.
None. But keep to paths where possible and keep dogs on the lead as there are generally sheep grazing in the area.