Seat Sandal

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Seat Sandal
Seat Sandal from Helm Crag.jpg
Seat Sandal (left) and Fairfield (right) from Helm Crag
Range: Lake District Eastern Fells
Summit: 2,415 feet NY343115
54°29’40"N, 3°-0’57"W

Seat Sandal is a fell in Westmorland, amongst the fells of the Lake District. Seat Sandal stands two and a half miles north of the Grasmere village, from where it is very well seen. Nevertheless, it tends to be overshadowed by its more illustrious neighbours in the Eastern Fells: Helvellyn and Fairfield.


Looking down Grisedale to Ullswater: Seat Sandal summit in far distance, St Sunday Crag on the right

The fell's western flanks above Dunmail Raise are grassy and smooth while its eastern slopes are steep and craggy as they fall away towards Grisedale Hause which at 1,761 feet contains Lakeland's highest substantial tarn, Grisedale Tarn. The fell reaches a height of 2,415 feet.

The hills unusual name comes from the Norse]] language, meaning "Sandulf’s Hill Pasture" after an otherwise unknown man - Sandulf is a known a Nordic personal name.

Seat Sandal is distinctive in that its drainage reaches the sea at more widely spread points than any other Lakeland Fell, with Raise Beck going through Thirlmere and Derwent Water to reach the Irish Sea at Workington, Tongue Beck going through the lakes of Grasmere and Windermere to reach Morecambe Bay and Grisedale Beck draining into Ullswater and then to the sea at the Solway Firth. However, this is only true as a result of the diversion of Raise Beck north to feed Thirlmere Reservoir - before this (and still today when there is enough water in Raise Beck for it to flow both north and south), Dollywaggon Pike had in this distinction - Birkside Gill feeding Thirlmere, Raise Beck feeding Grasmere, and Grisedale Beck feeding Ullswater. The fell's main topographic attraction is Gavel Crag on its eastern side, which is connected to the main body of the fell by a fine rock arête.

Dunmail Raise provides the topographical connection between the Eastern and Central Fells, Steel Fell rising on the other side of the pass.


A hill of andesite lava forms the summit, the rocks beneath being the dacitic lapilli-tuffs of the Lincomb Tarns Formation.[1]


The fell can be ascended from Grasmere or Dunmail Raise although a start from Patterdale is quite feasible. The Grasmere or Patterdale starts use the old packhorse route that links the two places; this is now part of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk. When Grisedale Hause is reached it is a steep climb to the summit following a broken wall. The ascent from Dunmail Raise follows the bed of Raise Beck until it peters out at a height of 1,900 feet, it is then a walk south up easy slopes to reach the summit. There is also a direct ascent up the western slopes starting at Mill Bridge.


The view from the top is limited by the nearby Helvellyn and Fairfield ranges although there is a good view of Lakeland to the west, the Solway Firth and Criffel are viewed on a good day as is Morecambe Bay to the south.


  1. British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)