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Borrowdale and Glaramara from Grange Fell.jpg
Glaramara with Combe Gill (centre right) from Grange Fell
Range: Lake District Southern Fells
Summit: 2,569 feet NY246104
54°28’60"N, 3°9’55"W

Glaramara is a fell in the Lake District, in Cumberland. It is a substantial fell that is part of a long ridge that stretches for over four miles from Stonethwaite in Borrowdale up to an important mountain pass, Esk Hause. The summit of Glaramara at 2,569 feet is the central point of this ridge, which separates the valleys of Langstrath and Grains Gill, however the ridge has two additional fells, numerous subsidiary tops and several small tarns making its traverse an appealing and challenging walk.


The fell's unusual and pleasant sounding name, previously only applied to the summit rocks, has now been accepted as the name for the whole fell. Like many fells of the district the name comes from the Old Norse language, and may be translated as "Hill with the mountain hut by a chasm".


Glaramara's most striking feature is Combe Gill on its northern slopes, a classic example of a hanging valley that was formed by glacial erosion during the last Ice Age. The gill is full of crags and according to Alfred Wainwright contains the only natural cave in the Lake District: these are the Dove Nest Caves. A rock slip from Dove Nest Crags has partly covered the cave which has three entrances. On its east and west flanks the fell falls away steeply with rocky slopes and scree to the valleys. To the south the ridge continues from the summit of Glaramara for a mile over various tops with little loss of height to the adjoining fell of Allan Crags before descending to Esk Hause.[1]


The direct ascent of the fell is invariably started from the Borrowdale road midway between Rosthwaite and Seatoller from here it is possible to ascend on either of the ridges to the east or west of Combe Gill, the east ridge is the best because it allows for the climbing of Rosthwaite Fell and its subsidiary summit of Dovenest Top (2,073 feet). On this route two other tops of Glaramara Combe Door Top (2,218 feet) and Combe Head (2,411 feet) are passed over, both of these are Nuttalls. Combe Head gives fine views down into Combe Gill and from here it is short climb to the twin summits of Glaramara.[2][3]


The view from the top of the fell is very good. Glaramara's position in the centre of the Lake District and its relative isolation from other fells by deep valleys gives a good all round panorama with the view north down Borrowdale towards Skiddaw being especially fine. Most walkers will continue south along the ridge towards the next main fell, Allen Crags taking in three more subsidiary tops on the way. These are, in order:

  • Looking Steads (2,543 feet)
  • Glaramara South Top / Red Beck Top / Lincomb Head (2,365 feet)
  • High House Tarn Top (2,244 feet)[2][3]

Fell race

The Glaramara Fell Race is run on Glaramara each year. It is a five-mile race from Glaramara Outdoor Centre near Seatoller to Glaramara's summit with 2,100 feet of ascent. The winner of the race usually takes around 47 minutes to complete the course.[4]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Glaramara)


  1. "Wainwright's Favourite Lakeland Mountains", Alfred Wainwright, ISBN ISBN 0-7181-3370-6, Gives details of topography.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wainwright, Alfred: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book Four — The Southern Fells (1960)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Mountains of England and Wales, Volume 2", John & Anne Nuttall, ISBN 1-85284-037-4, Gives details of ascents, view, Nuttall tops and name meaning.
  4. Borrowdale Fell Runners website Gives details of fell race.