Steeple (Lake District)

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Steeple from Wind Gap.jpg
Steeple seen from Wind Gap between Scoat Fell and Pillar
Range: Lake District Western Fells
Summit: 2,687 feet NY157116
54°29’35"N, 3°18’7"W

Steeple is a fell in Cumberland, within the Lake District. It is situated in the mountainous area between Ennerdale and Wasdale and reaches a height of 2,687 feet. Steeple is really part of Scoat Fell, being just the rocky northern projection of that fell, however because of its prominent peak and steep crags it has earned the reputation of being a separate fell. Lake District writer Alfred Wainwright rated Steeple and its name very highly saying:

"Seen on a map, it commands the eye and quickens the pulse, seen in reality it does the same."


Steeple’s close proximity to Scoat Fell robs it of being one of the best fells in the area; the two fells are linked by the Steeple arête, a bealach with a lowest height of 2,618 feet. The arête is stony and loose underfoot due to erosion and it is better to stick to the firmer rock along the crest. Scoat Fell is only 72 feet higher than Steeple but the short distance between them means that the higher dominates the lower significantly.


Steeple can be climbed from Wasdale or Ennerdale; it’s usually climbed in conjunction with other nearby fells such as Pillar, Scoat Fell and Red Pike as part of the Mosedale Horseshoe walk. It can be climbed directly from Ennerdale by a public footpath that leaves the valley at grid reference NY151138 and goes south through the forest to reach the open fell and climbs the north ridge of Steeple to reach the summit.


The top of the fell is a sharp peak with hardly room for a cairn, in fact there is only room for a few people and often there is a queue to stand at the highest point. The ground falls away sharply on all sides especially to Windgap Cove to the east. The view is limited by higher fells to the south and east but there is an excellent view of Ennerdale Water and an opportunity to examine the nearby cliffs and hollows of Mirk and Mirklin Coves.


  • Wainwright, Alfred: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells,
  • Bill Birkett: Complete Lakeland Fells, ISBN 0-00-713629-3