Hiking Highlight

Created by komoot users
Recommended by 43 out of 43 hikers

The fell forever associated with arguably the most legendary of all hillwalkers, hikes to Haystacks take you to Alfred Wainwright’s favourite summit and the tarn where his ashes were scattered. It rises beautifully at the head of the Buttermere Valley. On a still day there are few sights in Lakeland as evocative as Haystack’s rocky form reflected in Buttermere’s serene waters.

A bristling fist of crag surrounded by loftier mountains, Haystacks punches above its weight thanks to its magical, complex summit, magnificent tarns and awe-inspiring views. A hike to the top is always an unforgettable adventure.

Alfred Wainwright’s favourite fell and final resting place

Buttermere is an obvious base for walking routes to Haystacks with a couple of pubs and a variety of accommodation options. The fell can also be approached from upper Ennerdale, where the secluded Black Sail Youth Hostel offers an advanced base camp. You could also let the car do the majority of the work by starting out from the Honister Pass.

There are myriad ways to get at Haystacks; it can be combined with a great number of other fine summits. Nestled amongst the industrial vestiges of the ground that links Haystacks to Fleetwith Pike are two bothies, perfect for a wild night amongst the fells.

The summit is a simply magical place to explore, studded with craggy outcrops and a number of wild, high tarns. Innominate Tarn is perhaps the most beautiful, the hallowed ground that Wainwright chose for the scattering of his ashes.

It holds court to a number of majestic Lakeland giants who watch on silently. The stupendous dome of Great Gable, the muscular might of Pillar, the pyramidal form of High Crag: this is a mountain scene that takes some beating. In winter, it is arguably all the more magical, a superb place in which to get up high amongst snow-capped peaks.


  • Trail Magazine

    Alfred Wainwright’s favourite fell and final resting place, Haystacks is achingly pretty: a place where rocky, craggy coarseness meets the quaint charm of tarns and streams in perfect harmony. Alf described the peak as a ‘wonderful cure’ to the everyday worries of life. If you’re feeling stressed, go climb Haystacks.

    • December 2, 2019

  • David

    Hay Stack is not even 600m but it has views of a giant. On a sky blue day like I had today hiking this historic Wainwright was just pure joy. I took the route up Warnscale Beck and came behind it via Green Crag. Every step was a delight. The views of Fleetwith Pike, High Crag and Buttermere were stupendous.

    • June 15, 2021

  • Yvonne

    Wainwright's mountain and a pure delight.

    • January 25, 2020

  • Jessica Mather

    Not the largest of wainwrights, but makes up for it in drama. Wainwrights favourite fell and for very good reason.

    • July 10, 2021

In the know? Log-in to add a tip for other adventurers!

Best Hikes to Haystacks


Our Tour recommendations are based on thousands of activities completed by other people on komoot.

Learn More
Location: Cumbria, England, United Kingdom


  • Elevation580 m

Good to know

  • Family Friendly
  • Wheelchair access
  • Dog Friendly

Most Visited During

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Weather Forecast - Cumbria



What We Offer

Terms of ServicePrivacy PolicyCommunity GuidelinesSecurity vulnerability reward programImprint