Howes and Seat Robert

James Forrest overlooking Haweswater in the Lake District from the Old Corpse Road after hiking Seat Robert, Howes and a variety of other Outlying Fells of Lakeland
Kidsty Pike from the shore of Haweswater on the Howes and Seat Robert Outlying Fells of Lakeland route
Kidsty Pike from the shore of Haweswater on the Howes and Seat Robert Outlying Fells of Lakeland route

Howes and Seat Robert Route Introduction

Howes and Seat Robert are two classic routes featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland guide book. The original routes take in seven outlier fells of the Lake District National Park – two on the Howes route and five on the Seat Robert route. This route card incorporates all seven hills into a single circular and is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Thursday 24th December 2020. These were Outlier numbers 101 to 107 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Howes and Seat Robert Route Stats

Fells: Howes (583m), Nabs Moor (493m), High Wether Howe (531m), Fewling Stones (509m), Seat Robert (515m), Great Ladstones (440m) and Langhowe Pike (401m).

Total Distance: 21.8km / 13.5miles

Total Ascent: 1,020m / 3,350ft

Approx Walk Time: 8 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 469107

Howes and Seat Robert Route Report

The Lead Up

Four days earlier we’d hiked Newton Fell (south) and Newton Fell (north). Today was a crisp and snowy Christmas Eve so we set out on a long hike of seven outlying fells near to Haweswater.

The Approach

Mardale Head Car Park by Haweswater
Mardale Head Car Park by Haweswater

We left the car park and headed to a large gate by Haweswater information board. We passed through the gate, designed to keep deer away from the road and followed the track uphill.

The path at the beginning of the Howes and Seat Robert Walk
The path at the beginning of the Howes and Seat Robert Walk

Soon we reached a fingerpost and turned left following the sign to Gatescarth Pass.

Finger post to Gatescarth Pass
Finger post to Gatescarth Pass

This stony path weaved up the hillside. We passed through a kissing gate and continued uphill.

View towards Blea Water and the High Street range
View towards Blea Water and the High Street range

Stunning views surrounded us, to the right towards Blea Water and to the left towards Haweswater. The sky was a beautiful hue of early morning sunrise pastel colours.

James Forrest hiking at sunrise at the start of the Howes and Seat Robert Route
James Forrest hiking at sunrise at the start of the Howes and Seat Robert Route

It became very icy underfoot as we reached the top of the pass.

James Forrest on an icy Gatescarth Pass
James Forrest on an icy Gatescarth Pass

There was an option to peel off to the left to hike Branstree but we kept going straight on following the fingerpost sign for the byway towards Sadgill.

Views down to Longsleddale valley from Gatescarth Pass
Views down to Longsleddale valley from Gatescarth Pass

We passed through another gate and started heading downhill with views of the Longsleddale valley which was glowing in the sunlight.

Finger post to Swindale Head and Wet Sleddale
Finger post to Swindale Head and Wet Sleddale

The Ascent

We passed through a gate at the bottom of the pass and then turned left at the fingerpost marked Swindale Head and Wet Sleddale. Hopping over the stream we made our way on the grassy trail which was boggy in parts in the direction of Mosedale Cottage to the north east.

Boggy trail to Mosedale Cottage
Boggy trail to Mosedale Cottage

We passed through a gate and at this point we could turn left for Branstree or right for Tarn Crag, two Wainwrights. Instead we continued heading north east for Mosedale Cottage.

Mosedale Cottage, a bothy in the far eastern Lake District National Park
Mosedale Cottage, a bothy in the far eastern Lake District National Park

We reached the white-washed bothy but didn’t enter due to the current COVID restrictions. It was also a little early to stop for lunch, but is a great shelter under normal circumstances.

We continued past the bothy, crossing Great Grain Gill and continued along the path. Soon we crossed Nowtly Gill and turned left after this, following the tracks of a farm vehicle up the hillside.

James Forrest ascending Howes
James Forrest ascending Howes

At around the 500m mark we looked over our left shoulders to see the white Mosedale Cottage from above.

View down to Mosedale Cottage from the ascent of Howes
View down to Mosedale Cottage from the ascent of Howes

At the top we turned right and made for the highest point, on a rocky outcrop.

The rocky summit of Howes
The rocky summit of Howes

Soon, in a vicious cold wind we reached the summit of Howes.

The Summit – Howes

View to Branstree from Howes
View to Branstree from Howes

We took a few photos on the summit but we didn’t stay for long. It was bitterly cold in the exposed position and we needed to retreat to lower ground as soon as possible.

View to Ulthwaite Rigg from Howes
View to Ulthwaite Rigg from Howes

We glanced across to Ulthwaite Rigg, a fell we’d hiked as part of another long Outlying Fells of Lakeland walk a few months earlier.

James Forrest hiking towards Nabs Moor from Howes
James Forrest hiking towards Nabs Moor from Howes

We left the summit to the north east and weaved down through the crags of Howes onto another farm vehicle track that would guide us towards Nab Moor, our second of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of the day.

Fence between Howes and Nabs Moor
Fence between Howes and Nabs Moor

The track led us to a fence which we passed over before we continued north to the summit of Nabs Moor.

The Summit – Nabs Moor

Adventurer Nic on the submit of Nabs Moor
Adventurer Nic on the submit of Nabs Moor

Nabs Moor summit was marked by a small rock on a boulder.

View into the Swindale valley from Nabs Moor
View into the Swindale valley from Nabs Moor

The sun was now shining on us which took the edge off the wintery gales. We admired the views into Swindale valley before starting our descent into the Mosedale valley.

We headed south east initially before turning east to walk beside Swine Gill towards Mosedale Beck in the valley bottom.

Descending into the Mosedale valley
Descending into the Mosedale valley

We had two choices here. Either turn right at the bottom and follow the path to the bridge before looping back onto High Wether Howe from the south. Alternatively, we could find a way across the river here, approaching High Wether Howe from the west and cutting around two kilometres from the route. Luckily the dry weather allowed us to go for the latter option.

James Forrest crossing Mosedale Beck on the Howes and Seat Robert route
James Forrest crossing Mosedale Beck on the Howes and Seat Robert route

We crossed the fence for the second time of the day and used a small island in the river to aid our crossing. Dry boots all round!

Looking towards High Wether Howe
Looking towards High Wether Howe

We ascended High Wether Howe on the right hand side of the fence. As we reached the top we turned left and crossed the fence for the third and final time. Just short of the summit we stopped for lunch, as the rocky top of High Wether Howe gave us some much needed protection from the wind. Lunch today was a family favourite recipe from the night before – potato, cheese and onion, baked in the oven. It was cold now but was still delicious!

The Summit – High Wether Howe

View from High Wether Howe
View from High Wether Howe

We topped out onto the summit of High Wether Howe and took some photographs before continuing north to Fewling Stones.

Icicles between High Wether Howe and Fewling Stones
Icicles between High Wether Howe and Fewling Stones

We passed a lip of ground where a perfect collection of icicles had formed. They glistened in the sunshine.

Blue skies on the Howes and Seat Robert route
Blue skies on the Howes and Seat Robert route

We continued north under bright blue skies until we reached the top of Fewling Stones.

The Summit – Fewling Stones

View from the summit of Fewling Stones
View from the summit of Fewling Stones

The summit views of Fewling Stones were less dramatic than the earlier summits of the day as we were walking further and further away from the bigger fells, but the hillside was glowing in the sunshine and it had turned into a lovely day for hiking.

Surveying the land between Fewling Stones and Seat Robert
Surveying the land between Fewling Stones and Seat Robert

We left the summit of Fewling Stones to the south east. We walked over pathless terrain passing to the north of Haskew Tarn before ascending Seat Robert, our fifth summit of the day.

The Summit – Seat Robert

The large summit cairn on Seat Robert
The large summit cairn on Seat Robert

Seat Robert had the most established summit of the bunch, with a large wind shelter and summit cairn. We both commented that there wasn’t much of a drop in height between the five outlying fells on this side of the valley which meant that that hardest part of the walk was the pathless tufty terrain. You just have to be careful not to twist an ankle on the rough ground between the fells around Seat Robert.

James Forrest walks between Seat Robert and Great Ladstones
James Forrest walks between Seat Robert and Great Ladstones

We left Seat Robert to the north, staying left of Gambling Crag and following a series of intermittent farm vehicle tracks to Great Ladstones. There were patches of thick ice galore on this part of the route.

The Summit – Great Ladstones

Summit cairn of Great Ladstones
Summit cairn of Great Ladstones

The summit of Great Ladstones was marked by a cairn. We left the summit to the north east and made a beeline over pathless terrain to Langhowe Pike.

Views as we approach the final fell of the day Langhowe Pike
Views as we approach the final fell of the day Langhowe Pike

By this point we were beginning to tire but we knew we had a couple of ascents left.

The Summit – Langhowe Pike

View from the summit of Langhowe Pike
View from the summit of Langhowe Pike

Langhowe Pike summit was marked by a cairn. We admired the views back to where we’d walked from. It had been a great day of hill walking so far.

The Descent to Swindale Head

The decent of Langhowe Pike
The decent of Langhowe Pike

We left the summit, making our own zig zags down the hillside towards the bottom path. We made it to a gate at the bottom beside a dry stone wall.

James Forrest walking towards Swindale Head
James Forrest walking towards Swindale Head

From here we followed the path south-west to a bridge in the Swindale valley, just upstream from the dam.

James Forrest on the bridge
James Forrest on the bridge

After crossing the bridge we joined Swindale Lane to continue south west to Swindale Head.

View towards Swindale Head
View towards Swindale Head

At the farm at the end of Swindale Head we went through a gate to the right of the buildings and turned right at the finger post marked ‘Public Bridleway – Mardale via Old Corpse Road’.

The Old Corpse Road and the Final Descent to Mardale Head

We followed the bridleway up between two walls to a gate.

Finger post for the Old Corpse Road to finish our Howes and Seat Robert adventure
Finger post for the Old Corpse Road to finish our Howes and Seat Robert adventure

Passing through the gate, we then crossed a stream heading uphill to the north.

We continued along the Old Corpse Road as it swung west.

Crossing the stream
Crossing the stream

We soon realised we were walking just below the summit of Hare Shaw, a fell that we’d hiked as part the Naddle Horseshoe a few months earlier.

The view up towards Hare Shaw, another of Wainwright's Outlying Fells of Lakeland
The view up towards Hare Shaw, another of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland

At the top of the pass we could appreciate the snow-capped High Street mountain range before the southern tip of Haweswater came into view.

View to the High Street range of snow-capped fells, seen towards the end of the Howes and Seat Robert route
View to the High Street range of snow-capped fells, seen towards the end of the Howes and Seat Robert route

Many would argue that this is the best view in the far eastern Lake District National Park. Rough Crag drops dramatically down into reservoir forming a dramatic peninsula.

Adventurer Nic standing above Haweswater, just off the Old Corpse Road
Adventurer Nic standing above Haweswater, just off the Old Corpse Road

We stopped for photographs close to two ruined buildings just off the path.

We followed the zig zag trail down to the road where we crossed over and took the lakeside path back to the car.

James Forrest on the final descent into Mardale Head, finishing the Howes and Seat Robert Outlying Fells route
James Forrest on the final descent into Mardale Head, finishing the Howes and Seat Robert Outlying Fells route

The lakeside path was also beautiful, with the water reflecting a gorgeous sunset glow.

Haweswater at sunset
Haweswater at sunset

Due to erosion, the path at the end is not recommended, so we finished the last part of the route on the road back to Mardale Head car park.

Adventurer Nic on the Haweswater lakeside path
Adventurer Nic on the Haweswater lakeside path

A Dramatic Finish

At the very end of the walk we had a ‘heart in mouth’ moment! The car key wouldn’t work. It was so cold that I think it had affected the battery. Luckily there’s a back up key hidden inside the push button casing so I used this to gain access. Unfortunately it meant setting off the car alarm in the process! The sound of our alarm must have carried down the valley until I managed to disable it! Oops!

Wrapping Up

Gummer’s How and four other fells at the south of Windermere beckoned. This would be our next Outlying Fell bagging outing.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Dixon Heights – Newton Fell South

View from Newton Fell South Top Dixon Heights towards Morecambe Bay

Route Introduction

Dixon Heights (Newton Fell South Top) is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the southern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 20th December 2020. This was Outlier number 100 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights Route Stats

Fells: Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights (177m)

Total Distance: 3.69km / 2.29miles

Total Ascent: 150m / 500ft

Approx Walk Time: 1 hour

Grid Reference Start: SD 415806

Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights Route Report

The Lead Up

Earlier, my boyfriend James and I had hiked Newton Fell North from a parking area near Chapel House Forestry England. We moved the car slightly to start Newton Fell South (Dixon Heights) from Lindale, in order to avoid walking across private land.

The Approach

Waterfall on the side of the road in Lindale - The Gill
Waterfall on the side of the road in Lindale – The Gill

We parked on The Gill opposite a wonderful waterfall and walked uphill past the Royal Oak pub. Ascending past Burnbank Cottage we continued straight on up Lindale Hill. We merged onto Cartmel Lane, ignoring the road sign that indicated the vehicular route to Kendal and Lancaster. There’s no doubt about it, this is the least enjoyable stretch of this route and caution should be taken walking along this road. There are very limited parking options for this fell which necessitates the road walking, but it would soon be forgotten once we were across the main road.

James Forrest crossing the A590
James Forrest crossing the A590

At the end of the slip road we crossed the dual carriageway A590 carefully. 

James Forrest walking down Lindale Brow
James Forrest walking down Lindale Brow

At the other side of the road we made our way down the tarmac lane – Lindale Brow.

James Forrest on the approach of Newton Fell South Top- Dixon Heights
James Forrest on the approach of Newton Fell South Top- Dixon Heights

We passed through a small hamlet before following the right of way onto a track.

The Ascent

View across the south Lakeland countryside
View across the south Lakeland countryside

We passed over a stile at the side of a metal gate and ascended up the side of Newton Fell Dixon Heights, enjoying the view over the wall on our left.

James Forrest approaching the next gate
James Forrest approaching the next gate

We forked right to stay on the right of way and the trail led into woodland on grassy terrain. Passing through a wooden gate which was pinned open at time of writing we continued north.

The ascent below the crags of Newton Fell South - Dixon Heights
The ascent below the crags of Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights

Immediately after this, we forked off to the right following a faint trail, to pass under the crag.

The arch of the ruin
The arch of the ruin

We reached a ruin atop the crag and enjoyed the low sun which was creating a lovely orange glow.

James Forrest ascending Dixon Heights
James Forrest ascending Dixon Heights

Walking alongside a fence we progressed on to the south, close to gorse bushes and small trees.

Fell pony in the undergrowth
Fell pony in the undergrowth

We then peeled off to the left once we’d cleared the steep part of the crag. This was where we saw our first fell pony. A white pony in the shelter of the undergrowth.

Fell pony with a rainbow
Fell pony with a rainbow

We continued uphill and saw our second fell pony, which had a beautiful rainbow backdrop.

The Summit – Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights

Summit of Newton Fell South - Dixon Heights
Summit of Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights

From here the tower top of Newton Fell South (Dixon Heights) was in view.

Rainbow over nearby fells
Rainbow over nearby fells

We enjoyed views over nearby fells.

Morecambe Bay views
Morecambe Bay views

The views out to Morecambe Bay were particularly beautiful.

A cairn with Hampsfell in the distance with the setting sun
A cairn with Hampsfell in the distance with the setting sun

The view across to Hampsfell was stunning in the evening light.

View from Newton Fell South - Dixon Heights
View from Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights

Despite the heavily tarmacked approach, the scenery from the top of Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights was ultimately worth it.

The Descent

James Forrest descending Newton Fell South - Dixon Heights
James Forrest descending Newton Fell South – Dixon Heights

We descended over easy grassy terrain to the north. We turned left at the bottom to join the path and retraced our steps back to the car. 

Wrapping Up

Next on the Outlying Fells peak bagging agenda was a mash up of Alfred Wainwright’s Howes and Seat Robert routes in the Far Eastern Lake District.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Newton Fell North

James Forrest looking down over fellside on the descent of Newton Fell North

Route Introduction

Newton Fell North Top is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the southern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 20th December 2020. This was Outlier number 99 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Newton Fell North Route Stats

Fells: Newton Fell North (239m)

Total Distance: 5.49km / 3.41miles

Total Ascent: 180m / 600ft

Approx Walk Time: 2 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 381852

Newton Fell North Route Report

The Lead Up

A fortnight earlier I’d hiked Hampsfell and Humphrey Head and now I was returning to South Lakeland to hike the nearby Newton Fell North top, followed by the Newton Fell South top (Dixon Heights) on the same day.

Starting the Walk

Chapel House - Forestry England entrance to woodland
Chapel House – Forestry England entrance to woodland

We parked in a layby opposite the ‘Chapel House- Forestry England’ sign and walked uphill following a track into the woodland.

Peeling off the track onto a footpath through the woodland
Peeling off the track onto a footpath through the woodland

After 400 metres we peeled off onto footpath that rose uphill which was grassy and a bit muddy underfoot.

View to Finsthwaite Heights from the ascent of Newton Fell North
View to Finsthwaite Heights from the ascent of Newton Fell North

We soon emerged out of the woodland and through gaps in the trees we appreciated the view over towards Finsthwaite Heights.

View to Windermere on the ascent
View to Windermere on the ascent

Soon after this Windermere came into view as we followed the finger post to the north.

James Forrest hiking into the woodland
James Forrest hiking into the woodland

The trail led into thicker woodland once more.

James Forrest forking right uphill through the trees
James Forrest forking right uphill through the trees

Once in the woodland we peeled off to the right in order to continue uphill.

James Forest hiking in the Chapel House woods
James Forest hiking in the Chapel House woods

We walked along a large score in ground through the tall trees.

Path out of the woodland
Path out of the woodland

The path was then easy to follow as it ascended and then flattened out and dipped slightly.

James Forrest pointing towards Newton Fell North
James Forrest pointing towards Newton Fell North

The path led us to a wide track where we could see the high ground of Newton Fell. We turned right on the track to head towards our target.

Following the small finger post
Following the small finger post

After 300 metres we took a sharp right following a yellow disc on a low fingerpost. The path looked overgrown at first but it was easy to follow the slim path. The scent of woodland filled our nostrils as we progressed along the trail. It was boggy and mulchy in parts but we made it through with dry feet, walking carefully over exposed wet tree roots.

Ascent over Open Fellside

James Forrest going over the stile
James Forrest going over the stile

We hopped over a stile and continued along the trail over the open fellside.

James Forrest forking left
James Forrest forking left

The handy footpath markers continued here. At a wobbly finger post we turned left to head east over rough ground towards the wall.

James Forrest following the wall to Newton Fell North
James Forrest following the wall to Newton Fell North

We then followed the wall as it undulated south. We crossed a stream and walked until a new boundary wall came into view.

James Forrest going over the stone stile
James Forrest going over the stone stile

Here we passed over a stone stile to the other side to continue following the wall on our left, all the way to the top of Newton Fell (North).

The Summit – Newton Fell North

Phone mast on Newton Fell North Top
Phone mast on Newton Fell North Top

We didn’t climb over the wall to the true highest point of the fell as Alfred Wainwright himself wrote in his book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland – ‘the game is not worth the candle’.

Looking over the High Newton Reservoirs from the summit of Newton Fell North Top
Looking over the High Newton Reservoirs from the summit of Newton Fell North Top

Instead we stood beside the ugly phone mast and surveyed the views from there, including the High Newton reservoirs to the south east.

View to Hampsfell from Newton Fell North Top
View to Hampsfell from Newton Fell North Top

The view to Hampsfell and Morecambe Bay stretched out to the south.

The Descent

James Forrest approaching Whitestone Beck
James Forrest approaching Whitestone Beck

We retraced our steps for almost a kilometre before we reached Whitestone Beck. Instead of crossing the stream by the wall like the ascent, we peeled off left at the path crossroads and crossed the stream further down.

James Forrest walking the trail on the descent of Newton Fell
James Forrest walking the trail on the descent of Newton Fell

Once on the other side we followed the path marked by a finger post to head west.

White Stone cliffs
White Stone cliffs

We admired the cliffs of White Stone to our left as we followed the trail down towards the road. When we reached the bottom we didn’t go through the gate. Instead we turned right to follow the grassy path. We exited through a gate in the corner of the field and turned right onto the lane. Another right turn at the crossroad at the bottom and we were back at our car.

Wrapping Up

Next on the Wainwright’s Outlying Fells peak bagging agenda was Newton Fell South Top Dixon Heights just down the road!

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Hampsfell and Humphrey Head

View to the Coniston Fells from Humphrey Head, one of Wainwright's Outlying Fells of Lakeland
View from Hampsfell
View from Hampsfell

Route Introduction

Hampsfell and Humphrey Head are the most southerly of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Only Hampsfell falls within the Lake District National Park but both are beautiful fells. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Monday 7th December 2020. These were Outlier numbers 97 and 98 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Hampsfell and Humphrey Head Route Stats

Fells: Hampsfell (220m) and Humphrey Head (53m)

Total Distance: 16.5km / 10.3miles

Total Ascent: 310m / 1,000ft

Approx Walk Time: 5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 390741

Hampsfell and Humphrey Head Route Report

The Lead Up

The previous day I’d hiked Dunmallard Hill and Heughscar Hill and I decided to seize upon the stable, crisp winter weather window and head down south to Grange-over-Sands to continue my peak bagging quest to hike all of the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

The Approach to Allithwaite

From Holy Well Lane car park, I walked north over the cattle grid and headed down Holy Well Lane. After 700 metres I turned right onto the bridleway to head east.

Finger post marking the start of the bridleway
Finger post marking the start of the bridleway

At the end of bridleway, I passed through a gate and turned left to walk alongside the wall. The trail was grassy and muddy in places.

Stone stile in the wall
Stone stile in the wall

I passed over a stone stile on my left and proceeded immediately through a small gate.

Small gate leading into field
Small gate leading into field

This led across a field of sheep before leading to a passage under the railway line.

Train travelling overhead
Train travelling overhead

After exiting the tunnel I continued straight on, hugging the right hand side of the field. I crossed a tarmac track and continued walking north through a gap in the wall, following a fingerpost for the Cumbria Coastal Way.

Sign for the Cumbria Coastal Way
Sign for the Cumbria Coastal Way

I walked through another field to a gate in the top right hand corner. This led into another field and to another gate, which led onto a short boardwalk and over a stile. This field had farm buildings over to the right which I walked alongside, heading to a ladder stile.

Route past the barn to the ladder stile
Route past the barn to the ladder stile

I passed over this into the next field and went through a gate which led on to exit the field through a gate leading onto a lane. Here, I turned left and walked north along the lane before turning left again at the T-junction for Jack Hill. I then took the first right, around the front of the Pheasant Inn pub to walk uphill on Church Road through Allithwaite.

Allithwaite to Fell End

When the road forked I took the left hand fork which led onto a residential side street.

Sign to Cartmel
Sign to Cartmel

At the next junction I followed the sign for Cartmel and continued uphill passing Saint Mary’s Church and Allithwaite Primary School on my left.

I took the next right as the gradient began to flatten out onto Wart Barrow Lane. It was along this road that I saw a bench and sat and ate my lunch there.

Lunchtime view from the bench
Lunchtime view from the bench

Setting back off I soon saw the stile in the wall on the right.

Stone stile into the field
Stone stile into the field

I used this and walked along the field which cut the corner of the country road.

From here I was treated to lovely views over to the distant snow-capped Coniston fells.

View to snow capped Coniston fells
View to snow capped Coniston fells

It was only two days earlier that I was right opposite the Old Man of Coniston on Top O Selside.

I merged back onto the road over another stone stile next to a large metal gate and continued to the next T junction. Here I turned left followed by an immediate right, beside the cemetery to walk up Grange Fell Road.

Cemetery
Cemetery

I passed the golf club and continued uphill.

I took my next left onto Spring Bank Road to head north, but soon followed a finger post for Cartmel over a stone stile.

Finger post to Cartmel
Finger post to Cartmel

This led onto the open fellside. I headed north and decided to veer north west to the summit of Fell End.

Fell End to Hampsfell Hospice

Looking back on the ascent of Fell End
Looking back on the ascent of Fell End

Behind me was a beautiful view across Morecambe Bay which was glistening in the sunlight.

I left the summit to the north following a grassy trail that led to a large gate. I used the stile to the left of the gate and then ascended once again to the north.

View to Hampsfell Hospice from the descent of Fell End
View to Hampsfell Hospice from the descent of Fell End

The boxy Hampsfell Hospice soon came into view in the distance and the trail ahead led to it, passing over one more stone stile along the way.

The Summit – Hampsfell

Hampsfell Hospice
Hampsfell Hospice

At the summit I explored the Hampsfell Hospice site which was built in 1846.

Signs in Hampsfell Hospice
Signs in Hampsfell Hospice

You can peer inside and read poetry mounted on plaques.

Stone steps up to the roof of Hampsfell Hospice
Stone steps up to the roof of Hampsfell Hospice

You can also ascend the stone steps on the outside of Hampsfell Hospice to walk on the roof.

List of sights which can be seen from Hampsfell
List of sights which can be seen from Hampsfell

There you will find a list of fells and towns visible from Hampsfell plus the corresponding bearing for each. The list includes some familiar Outlying Fells of Lakeland like Black Combe, Caw and Walna Scar.

Couple reaching the summit of Hampsfell
Couple reaching the summit of Hampsfell

On a good day you can see as far as Blackpool, the Howgill fells and Ingleborough.

Viewfinder on Hampsfell Hospice
Viewfinder on Hampsfell Hospice

The viewfinder is looking a little worse for wear these days but it is very charming.

Decorated stone on Hampsfell
Decorated stone on Hampsfell

On the top there was also a stone which read ‘One day you will look back and realise the little things are the BIG things’ which for me sums up the joy of the smaller Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

The Descent – Hampsfell

The Coniston Fells from Hampsfell
The Coniston Fells from Hampsfell

As I left Hampsfell Hospice I followed one of the many trails which headed south east through the patchy sections of limestone pavement.

Limestone pavement on Hampsfell
Limestone pavement on Hampsfell

There was one slightly awkward section of limestone pavement at the bottom which would be slippery in the wet, but I got down with no worries and immediately went over the ladder stile.

Ladder stile on Hampsfell
Ladder stile on Hampsfell

The trail led downhill to a stone stile. I went over this and continued walking beside a fence along a grassy path.

I went through a gate at the bottom and turned left to head down the lane.

Gate into woodland
Gate into woodland

Following a public footpath sign on the left, I entered woodland through a metal gate. There are a few options for exiting the woodland, but my GPX trace will show that I exited using the right of way behind a large building and down multiple flights of steps through Lieutenant Colonel Austin Townsend Porritt’s Garden before reaching Main Street.

Grange-over-Sands to Humphrey Head

Here I turned right and crossed the road to head down into a large car park to gain access to the Promenade.

Tunnel under railway to promenade
Tunnel under railway to promenade

Behind the Commodore Inn there is a tunnel under the railway line which I passed through. At the other side I turned right onto the promenade.

Cyclist on Grange-over-Sands promenade
Cyclist on Grange-over-Sands promenade

I walked right to the end of the promenade and turned right under the railway. I walked along Carter Fold which led to Cart Lane. There I kept walking south past houses that must have wonderful views across the bay until the lane became a thin path.

Path towards Humphrey Head
Path towards Humphrey Head

This path led to a staircase. I turned left at the top of the staircase to walk along Kentsford Road. I soon reached Kents Bank railway station.

Kents Bank Railway Station with Humphrey Head in the distance
Kents Bank Railway Station with Humphrey Head in the distance

Here I showed caution crossing the railway and exited through the gate on the other side.

Gap in the wall towards Humphrey Head
Gap in the wall towards Humphrey Head

I passed through a gap in the wall to walk along the thin promenade in the direction of Humphrey Head which was now looming in front of me in the fading light.

It was here that I wondered if I’d make it before the sunset, so I increased my pace. The thin promenade didn’t last forever and soon I was following a mushy trail but I could now see the path that I started on, on the other side of the bay. I re-joined the path and turned right back onto the bridleway.

Gate to Humphrey Head
Gate to Humphrey Head

At the end of the bridleway I turned left, but instead of following the lane back to the car I took the next left through a gate.

The Summit – Humphrey Head

Grassy ascent of Humphrey Head
Grassy ascent of Humphrey Head

I peeled off the lane and followed the spine of Humphrey Head along the grassy trail, passing through one more gate along the way.

View from the summit of Humphrey Head
View from the summit of Humphrey Head

The true summit of this tiny fell is actually 150m before trig pillar so I took a few photos here before walking on to the trig.

Sunset at the Humphrey Head trig pillar
Sunset at the Humphrey Head trig pillar

I continued to walk part way down the nose of the limestone peninsula towards the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay.

Humphrey Head Point
Humphrey Head Point

For a moment I considered returning to the car off Humphrey Head point via the saltmarsh but I didn’t fancy crossing the soft sediment alone after sunset as the channels are often deep and impassable.

Memorial gate on Humphrey Head at sunset
Memorial gate on Humphrey Head at sunset

I therefore retraced my steps and paused at the gate by the trig pillar for a while, enjoying the sunset.

Sunset from Humphrey Head
Sunset from Humphrey Head

Today – 7th December 2020 – marked 10 years since one of the worst days of my life, a bereavement that will never leave me.

I couldn’t think of a better way to mark the day than with a glorious pink sunset in a stunning Cumbrian location.

The Descent – Humphrey Head

Pink skies above Humphrey Head after sunset
Pink skies above Humphrey Head after sunset

I considered a route off the side of the crag directly down to the car but I was told this is a very steep and slippery descent on limestone and mud so it’s not one I’d recommend alone in the dark either. I therefore retraced my steps back to Holy Well Lane and to my car.

Wrapping Up

Up next would be Newton Fell (North Top).

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Dunmallard Hill and Heughscar Hill

Views to Ullswater from Heughscar Hill near Pooley Bridge in the Lake District National Park
The top of Dunmallard Hill in the Lake District
The top of Dunmallard Hill in the Lake District

Dunmallard Hill and Heughscar Hill Route Introduction

Dunmallard Hill and Heughscar Hill are two of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They’re situated on the north-eastern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 6th December 2020. These were Outlier numbers 95 and 96 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Dunmallard Hill and Heughscar Hill Route Stats

Fells: Heughscar Hill (375m) and Dunmallard Hill / Dunmallet (240m)

Total Distance: 7.81km / 4.85miles

Total Ascent: 310m / 1,025ft

Approx Walk Time: 3 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 470243

Dunmallard Hill and Heughscar Hill Route Report

The Lead Up

The previous day I’d hiked Carron Crag and the Top O Selside Fells and the dry wintery spell was continuing so I thought I’d capitalise on the lovely weather with another peak bagging outing as I travelled across Cumbria visiting the summits of each of the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

The Start of the Route

Pooley Bridge, a village in the Eden District of Cumbria in the Lake District
Pooley Bridge, a village in the Eden District of Cumbria in the Lake District

I left the Lake District National Park Authority car park and turned right onto the main road through Pooley Bridge. Walking through the village, I passed St Paul’s Church and began to ascend uphill, following a sign for the Ullswater Way.

Sign for the Ullswater Way in Pooley Bridge
Sign for the Ullswater Way in Pooley Bridge

At the crossroads I continued straight on in the direction of Hill Croft Caravan Park. When I reached the entrance for the caravan park I kept right though, remaining on the road.

Sneak peek of Ullswater through the trees on the ascent of Heughscar Hill
Sneak peek of Ullswater through the trees on the ascent of Heughscar Hill

The view towards Ullswater started to open up through the trees as I walked towards Heughscar Fell.

The Ascent – Heughscar Hill

Gate to the fell
Gate to the fell

At the end of the tarmac road I passed through a gate and continued along the main path, gradually ascending.

The view continued to open up to my right, a view of Ullswater and the surrounding fells, with their tops shrouded in cloud.

Resting on the ascent of Heughscar Hill looking towards Ullswater
Resting on the ascent of Heughscar Hill looking towards Ullswater

I paused to take a layer off. I was already too hot. It was a rather mild December afternoon despite the lack of sun.

Along the route there were a few options to turn off the main trail but I ignored them and continued ascending gently over a stony trail that almost felt like cobbles in parts until I arrived at a fingerpost.

Fingerpost to Askham Fell on the way to Heughscar Hill
Fingerpost to Askham Fell on the way to Heughscar Hill

I followed it in the direction of Askham Fell but then almost immediately peeled off the trail to the left in order to follow a grassy path to the north east.

The turn off from the main track up Heughscar Hill
The turn off from the main track up Heughscar Hill

I kept reminding myself to turn around regularly here as the best of the view was behind me on this section of the route.

Ullswater from the ascent of Heughscar Hill
Ullswater from the ascent of Heughscar Hill

It was here where I encountered small sections of snow, so I couldn’t resist marching through the virgin snow like a child.

Adventurer Nic with her feet in the snow on Heughscar Hill
Adventurer Nic with her feet in the snow on Heughscar Hill

The cairned summit of Heughscar Hill came into view as I continued uphill, and the trail led around to it from the south.

The cairned summit of Heughscar Hill in the distance
The cairned summit of Heughscar Hill in the distance

The Summit – Heughscar Hill

The view from the summit of Heughscar Hill was very nice, with the best feature being the curvy Ullswater down in the valley.

The summit cairn of Heughscar Hill with Ullswater in the distance
The summit cairn of Heughscar Hill with Ullswater in the distance

It was a Sunday so there were plenty of families and dog walkers out enjoying the fells but I appeared to be the only peak bagger amongst them. Most had no interest in reaching the true summit and so I had a moment with it all to myself.

Linking the Fells

Ullswater from Heughscar Hill
Ullswater from Heughscar Hill

I headed off the summit to the north over grassy terrain. The view of Ullswater was actually better here as I could see more of the lake.

I followed the trail for 600 metres before it peeled off to the left below a small crag.

At the path crossroads beneaeth the crag I turned left and here the route became a little muddy but the view more than made up for it.

I glanced across to Dunmallard Hill which was covered in trees in the distance. This was next on my peak bagging agenda.

Dunmallard Hill, seen from Heughscar Hill
Dunmallard Hill, seen from Heughscar Hill

I continued to head west, following a right hand fork at the next path junction until I met the corner of a wall.

Corner of the wall on the descent of Heughscar Hill
Corner of the wall on the descent of Heughscar Hill

I followed this wall down the hill and re-joined the main track at the bottom. Passing through the gate I retraced my steps back to the bridge at Pooley Bridge.

Some might want to end their walk there, or stop for a brew (or a pint) in Pooley Bridge before continuing on to Dunmallard Hill.

Pooley Bridge - newly renovated in October 2020
Pooley Bridge – newly renovated in October 2020

I headed over the bridge, which was only recently rebuilt in October 2020. The 128ft bridge replaces the stone bridge from the 18th Century that was damaged during Storm Desmond in 2015.

Inscribed bricks on Pooley Bridge
Inscribed bricks on Pooley Bridge

Inscribed in the bricks are people and businesses who helped raise the required funds for the new bridge.

View from Pooley Bridge towards Ullswater
View from Pooley Bridge towards Ullswater

Views on both sides of the bridge are delightful.

View from Pooley Bridge
View from Pooley Bridge

When the road bent to the left I crossed it and joined the path beneath Dunmallard Hill.

The Ascent – Dunmallard Hill

The new Pooley Bridge, seen from the foot of Dunmallard Hill
The new Pooley Bridge, seen from the foot of Dunmallard Hill

I took one last look across at the bridge from here before I headed up the forest path which rose steeply into the woodland.

The steep woodland path to Dunmallard Hill
The steep woodland path to Dunmallard Hill

The main trail loops all the way around, spiralling up the hill right to the summit.

The Summit – Dunmallard Hill

This is probably one of the most underwhelming of all of the Outlying Fells of Lakeland summits that I’ve visited so far. People normally go hillwalking for the expanse of views. But Dunmallard Hill basically just a woodland on a hump therefore you know you’re at the summit when you can climb no further.

Dunmallard Hill Summit
Dunmallard Hill Summit

Wainwright refers to the fell as Dunmallet and other spellings include Dunmallock and Dunmalloght. In this article I’ve stuck with what’s printed on most maps – Dunmallard Hill.

The Descent

I continued over the summit and down the fell to the north. This was slightly steeper than the ascent and a lot of fun in the mud.

The descent path off Dunmallard Hill
The descent path off Dunmallard Hill

The trail soon re-joined my route of ascent and from here I turned right and retraced my steps back to the car.

An evergreen tree in the middle of a desolate winter woodland on Dunmallard Hill
An evergreen tree in the middle of a desolate winter woodland on Dunmallard Hill

Wrapping Up

Next on the list was Humphrey Head and Hampsfell – the most southerly of all the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Top O Selside and Carron Crag

View to the Coniston fells over Coniston Water from the Top O Selside hiking route
Adventurer Nic on High Light Haw
Adventurer Nic on High Light Haw

Top O Selside and Carron Crag Route Introduction

Top O Selside and Carron Crag are two routes featured in Alfred Wainwright’s book – The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The original routes take in 5 tops in the south of the Lake District National Park. This route card mashes the two routes together into one longer route and is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 5th December 2020. These were Outlier numbers 90 to 94 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Top O Selside and Carron Crag Route Stats

Fells: Carron Crag (314m), High Light Haw (263m), Low Light Haw (250m) and Brock Barrow (221m).

Total Distance: 18.2km / 11.3miles

Total Ascent: 470m / 1,550ft

Approx Walk Time: 6 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 336942

Top O Selside and Carron Crag Route Report

The Lead Up

It had been a couple of months since my last Outlying Fells of Lakeland walk which was Great Worm Crag, The Pike and Hesk Fell back in September. It was now early December and the Lake District had experienced it’s first snowfall of the winter season.

My boyfriend James and I decided to hike Carron Crag and the Top O Selside fells on this sunny Saturday from Grizedale main car park.

The Ascent

Grizedale Car Park and Visitors Centre
Grizedale Car Park and Visitors Centre

We left the car park and headed west down the side road following a sign to Grizedale Forest Office. Crossing over the bridge and passing a farm, we peeled off the track to head uphill on a bridleway.

The start of the bridleway
The start of the bridleway

We found ourselves following a moss covered dry stone wall. Part way along the wall we were very surprised to see some graffiti art. These painted bricks featured the logos of common outdoors brands.

Outdoor brand graffiti art on a dry stone wall in Grizedale Forest
Outdoor brand graffiti art on a dry stone wall in Grizedale Forest

We kept to the left until the bridleway joined a much wider track, we turned right onto this and walked for around 200m before taking the first left uphill.

Trail leading uphill through Grizedale Forest
Trail leading uphill through Grizedale Forest

On this route, we passed one of Grizedale forest’s many sculptures entitled RUUP – from ‘ruupor’ which translates to ‘megaphone’ in Estonian.

RUUP sculpture in Grizedale Forest
RUUP sculpture in Grizedale Forest

The three sculptures were designed by Birgit Õigus and placed on the Carron Crag trail through the forest. As the artist’s aim was to encourage folk to stop and listen to the woodland sounds, we did just that.

James Forrest having a good look at the RUUP sculpture in Grizedale Forest
James Forrest having a good look at the RUUP sculpture in Grizedale Forest

After our spot of forest bathing we continued on the trail before turning right at the cross roads at the top onto a tarmac track. We then took the second left onto a stony path.

We followed the trail all the way to another sculpture of Grizedale forest.

17 Degrees South Sculpture in Grizedale Forest
17 Degrees South Sculpture in Grizedale Forest

This time it was a 1997 sculpture by Linda Watson entitled 17 Degrees South.

We continued uphill until we reached the short scramble onto the summit of Carron Crag.

James Forrest reaching the summit of Carron Crag
James Forrest reaching the summit of Carron Crag

The Summit – Carron Crag

Here we enjoyed views over the forest to the Coniston fells which looked like they’d received a nice sprinkling of snow.

View to the Coniston Fells over Grizedale Forest tree tops from the summit of Carron Crag
View to the Coniston Fells over Grizedale Forest tree tops from the summit of Carron Crag

We also noticed Helvellyn to the north was completely white!

Adventurer Nic at the trig pillar summit of Carron Crag with a snowy Helvellyn behind her
Adventurer Nic at the trig pillar summit of Carron Crag with a snowy Helvellyn behind her

The Descent – Carron Crag

My technique of choice coming off Carron Crag was the trusty bum shuffle! With my feet firmly back on the ground we continued in a northerly direction on a stony path which led us downhill.

Wide forestry trails in Grizedale Forest
Wide forestry trails in Grizedale Forest

This merged onto a wider track where we turned left to continue heading north through the forest. After 1km we turned left again onto another wide forestry track which led south west.

Our first proper peek at Coniston Water on the Way to the Top O Selside fells
Our first proper peek at Coniston Water on the Way to the Top O Selside fells

Continuing on the main track, we walked until Coniston Water appeared to our right with the fells rising up behind. It was a gorgeous view.

Following a fingerpost signed to ‘Parkamoor’, we turned right off the main track and into dense woodland. Despite the closing in of the trees, the trail was firm and obvious and I actually really enjoyed this section of the route. I love the smell of woodland and it was super strong here.

Approaching the Top O Selside Fells

We passed through a gate which led out of the woodland and onto open terrain.

Adventurer Nic overlooking Coniston Water en route to the Top O Selside fells
Adventurer Nic overlooking Coniston Water en route to the Top O Selside fells

The views to the Coniston fells were now completely unimpeded by the forest as we stood and admired the view from Park Crags.

'Cottage in the Clouds'
‘Cottage in the Clouds’

We continued straight ahead, all the while our eyes were drawn to Top O Selside in front of us. Passing through another gate, we continued over the grassy trail which led to Parkamoor House ‘the cottage in the clouds’ which is a beautiful ‘off grid’ cottage which appears available to rent.

We passed through another gate and followed the trail to the right as it skirted around the base of Top O Selside along it’s western flank.

View back towards the cottage from the flanks of Top O Selside
View back towards the cottage from the flanks of Top O Selside

We looked behind us to appreciate the beauty of the cottage from the opposite side, together with the trail that had led us to this point.

A post in the ground marked the left turn required for us to start heading towards High Light Haw.

A grassy path led uphill and then forked right to head south. At this point in the walk the trail becomes rather boggy and indistinct in parts as it undulates towards the higher ground.

We stopped for a cheese and pickle sandwich on a couple of rocks beside the trail here.

Looking up to High Light Haw
Looking up to High Light Haw

After lunch we kept following the trail south, ultimately peeling off the path when we had High Light Haw in our sights.

The Summit – High Light Haw

View towards The Old Man of Coniston and Coniston Water from High Light Haw
View towards The Old Man of Coniston and Coniston Water from High Light Haw

The summit of High Light Haw was simply beautiful.

The views were stunning. Not only did the Coniston Fells look fantastic, but the triangular summit of Harter Fell looked charming.

View towards Harter Fell from High Light Haw
View towards Harter Fell from High Light Haw

Black Combe rose to mark the most southerly point of Copeland.

View towards Black Combe from the summit of High Light Haw
View towards Black Combe from the summit of High Light Haw

I could also see all the fells around Beacon Tarn and down to Blawith Knott and Burney which was one of my favourite Outlying Fells walks of 2020.

James Forrest approaching a cairn on High Light Haw
James Forrest approaching a cairn on High Light Haw

We passed a cairn on the way towards Low Light Haw and followed the trail down to the col between the two outlying fells.

James Forrest hiking towards Low Light Haw
James Forrest hiking towards Low Light Haw

There were plenty of faint paths to follow but we mainly judged it by eye and weaved our way through the bracken and heather to reach the summit of Low Light Haw.

The Summit – Low Light Haw

Low Light Haw summit cairn
Low Light Haw summit cairn

The summit of Low Light Haw was marked by a cairn and the view was very similar to that of High Light Haw as the tops are a mere stones throw away from each other.

Views from Low Light Haw
Views from Low Light Haw

It was here that we observed a pack of hounds participating in a nearby hunt.

We descended down to the south west in the direction of Brock Barrow. The summit of Brock Barrow is enclosed by a circular stone wall.

Passing through a gap in the wall to Brock Barrow
Passing through a gap in the wall to Brock Barrow

There are many gaps in the wall. We simply picked a gap, stepped through and made our way to the summit.

The Summit – Brock Barrow


Many people bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland seek out Wainwright’s tops, others are happy with the true summits of each fell (the highest point). In this case we bagged the highest point but the Wainwright summit can be seen in the photo below.

View to the Wainwright summit of Brock Barrow
View to the Wainwright summit of Brock Barrow

We headed down from the summit in a southerly direction in order to pick up a path which led through a substantial gap in the wall.

Gap in the wall on Brock Barrow
Gap in the wall on Brock Barrow

We then followed the trail down through bracken to a crossing point of Caws Beck.

Crossing Caws Beck
Crossing Caws Beck

We picked up the trail on the other side and hiked alongside a wall.

Even from here, the Consiton fells commanded our attention. The scene was very autumnal in the foreground and wintery in the background as we looked across at Low Light Haw.

Views with autumn in the foreground and winter in the background
Views with autumn in the foreground and winter in the background

At the wall corner, the trail continued to head north towards Top O Selside.

James walking towards Top O Selside
James walking towards Top O Selside

We followed a variety of sheep trods which varied in quality as we continued north over undulating terrain until we reached the cairned summit of Top of Selside.

James Forrest walking towards Top O Selside
James Forrest walking towards Top O Selside

The Summit – Top O Selside

The last fell of the day always feels super special to me as the sunlight tends to be low and really magical. I had a real moment as I sat on the edge of the summit cairn.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Top O Selside
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Top O Selside

I breathed in deeply with the winter sun kissing my cheeks and really felt happy to be outdoors in my beloved Lake District.

Top O Selside views to the Coniston fells
Top O Selside views to the Coniston fells

Top O Selside Descent

For the descent of Top O Selside, we headed off piste through tufty grass aiming for the path crossroads around three quarters of a kilometre away to the north.

Adventurer Nic on the descent of Top O Selside
Adventurer Nic on the descent of Top O Selside

At the cross roads we went straight on towards the woodland in a north easterly direction. It was very wet underfoot here but we just about kept our feet dry hopping over the deeper sections of bog and puddles.

The wet trail towards Grizedale
The wet trail towards Grizedale

We passed through a gate and continued walking through the woodland to the north east.

James Forrest entering the woodland section of the descent
James Forrest entering the woodland section of the descent

At the next trail junction we turned left and then went straight on at the next crossroad which was almost immediate.

At the next T junction we turned right and then immediately forked left onto a small path through the woodland.

James Forrest taking the smaller path
James Forrest taking the smaller path

At the next two crossroads we went straight on and then retraced our steps back to the car from here.

Wrapping Up

What next? Heughscar Hill and Dunmallard Hill beckoned. These would be my next two Outlying Fells.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Great Worm Crag, Hesk Fell and The Pike

Green Crag in the Lake District National Park

Route Introduction

Great Worm Crag, Hesk Fell and The Pike are three hills included in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland book. They are situated in the south west of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a great route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Monday 21st September 2020. These were Outlier numbers 87, 88 and 89 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Great Worm Crag, Hesk Fell and The Pike Route Stats

Fells: Great Worm Crag (427m), The Pike (370m) and Hesk Fell (477m)

Total Distance: 16.7km / 10.4miles

Total Ascent: 660m / 2,150ft

Approx Walk Time: 6.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 171977

Great Worm Crag, Hesk Fell and The Pike Route Report

The Lead Up

It had been almost a month since my last walk on my project ticking off the Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Potter Fell was my last route and I was ready to tick some more off the list.

Ian Baines

In the week prior to the walk, my good friend Ian Baines contacted me to say that he and his wife Helen and son Samuel were going to be up in the Lake District and would love to join one of my Outlying Fell walks. I jumped at the chance! It would be a special walk because Ian was the person who had kindly let me borrow his Outlying Fells of Lakeland book as a planning resource for my peak bagging and to share the summits of a handful of the fells with him would be an honour.

We discussed the ideal distance, around 15km, and I looked at the fells I had left and we agreed that a round of Great Worm Crag, The Pike and Hesk Fell would be ideal. We set the date and met at the Devoke Water Car Park on the road between Ulpha and Eskdale Green on a bright Monday morning.

The Ascent

As we greeted each other at the cars, Ian asked if we could extend the route to incorporate Green Crag. Helen hadn’t yet hiked Green Crag, which is a 488.7m Wainwright just to the north of Great Worm Crag. Of course I said yes! It was a while since I’d hiked it myself and I’d never approached it from this angle before. It would only add three kilometres to the overall route so it seemed like a great idea.

Junction close to the start of the Great Worm Crag, The Pike and Hesk Fell walk
Junction close to the start of the Great Worm Crag, The Pike and Hesk Fell walk

We started walking to the north east along a track and took the right hand fork when it split. The track led to a farm at Birkerthwaite. We skirted around over a stile to head east into a field which soon led to pathless rough ground.

Helen stepping over the stile by the farm
Helen stepping over the stile by the farm

We made our way around the scattered crags, heading through the gap between Great Crag and Little Crag before gaining high ground between the Rowantree Beck and Highford Beck.

Skirting around Great Crag
Skirting around Great Crag

As always with these types of DIY routes, sheep trods appear and disappear along the way, luring you into thinking you’re on a trail, but they never last. Sheep and humans clearly have different intentions in the fells! We had wonderful views to Green Crag in the hazy sunshine of this late September day. As the gradient flattened out we hooked left to face the fell, heading for a gap in the crags on the south eastern side of Green Crag.

Ian and Samuel ascending Green Crag
Ian and Samuel ascending Green Crag

We navigated the final couple of craggy sections from east to west onto the summit. It was surprisingly hot for a late September day and we were all in our t-shirts on the top.

The Summit – Green Crag

Views from the summit of Green Crag
Views from the summit of Green Crag

After some refreshments we retraced our steps through the topmost crags and then headed for the col between Green Crag and White How over spongy ground.

Ian and Helen on their way to White How
Ian and Helen on their way to White How

Conversation turned to linguistics, which happened to be the subject I’d studied at University and a career specialism for Helen. We also discussed the book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ as Samuel had a collection of the books in all the languages of the world.

Views from White How
Views from White How

We soon reached the summit of White How which was marked by a small cairn. Then we descended to the col between White How and Great Worm Crag. We approached our first Outlying Fell of the day from east to west.

En route to Great Worm Crag
En route to Great Worm Crag

We initially passed the true summit of Great Worm Crag, instead heading for the large cairn at the end of it’s plateaued top.

Ian walking back from the large cairn to the true summit
Ian walking back from the large cairn to the true summit

The Summit – Great Worm Crag

But it was the smaller cairn that marked the true summit. So we back tracked to it to take some photos before continuing our walk.

View to Green Crag and Harter Fell from Great Worm Crag
View to Green Crag and Harter Fell from Great Worm Crag

I particularly enjoyed the view back to Green Crag and Harter Fell, but the view to the Devoke Water fells was equally impressive.

We surveyed the route ahead and picked out Hesk Fell and The Pike to the south. I love discussing route options with friends. It’s always interesting to hear different considerations and we agreed to head to The Pike next.

View to The Pike and Hesk Fell
View to The Pike and Hesk Fell

Leaving the summit we walked down to the road over pathless ground, crossing the top of Freeze Beck and following the boundary down to the road.

Ian marching out the 1km road section
Ian marching out the 1km road section

After just over a kilometre on the road and after crossing Crosbythwaite Bridge, we turned right at a fingerpost signed to Holehouse Bridge. Here we passed a pair of donkeys that were almost hidden in the long grasses.

Donkeys on the ascent of The Pike
Donkeys on the ascent of The Pike

We headed uphill along the right of way beside a fence, passing through a gate half way up the fell.

Then we met a pair of gates. We could only assume the sheep channelled Houdini a lot in this area and required extra measures to keep them contained!

Samuel and Helen passing through the double gates
Samuel and Helen passing through the double gates

As we reached 300m we met a wall and followed it south all the way to the summit of The Pike.

Ian, Samuel and Helen ascending The Pike, with Hesk Fell behind them
Ian, Samuel and Helen ascending The Pike, with Hesk Fell behind them

The Summit – The Pike

I absolutely loved the view down to the Duddon Valley from The Pike. We paused for more refreshments looking down over Rainsbarrow Wood to the Duddon River.

View into the Duddon Valley
View into the Duddon Valley

It was joy to appreciate the fells on the other side of the river that I’d hiked back in June – Stickle Pike and Caw stood out in particular.

View towards Caw
View towards Caw

Hiking the outlying fells of lakeland has truly given me a greater understanding of the Lake District National Park landscape. I find it a lot easier to pick out summits these days and Ian is a great help when it comes to understanding a skyline as he’s been hill walking and peak bagging for so many years.

A selfie on The Pike
A selfie on The Pike

We left the summit of The Pike and followed the boundary all the way to a wall junction at around 350m on the approach of Hesk Fell.

Curious Herdwick sheep between The Pike and Hesk Fell
Curious Herdwick sheep between The Pike and Hesk Fell

We crossed using the stone stile in the wall. This was under the close supervision of a bunch of socially distanced Herdwick sheep!

From here we made a beeline for the summit of Hesk Fell to the north west.

The Summit – Hesk Fell

The view back towards The Pike
The view back towards The Pike

Our final fell of the day was here and we admired the views from the rather flat summit.

The Baines Family on the summit of Hesk Fell
The Baines Family on the summit of Hesk Fell

I realised how thankful I was to have met such lovely people through Instagram and peak bagging as we started to reflect on how much we’d all enjoyed the day.

The Descent

The Baines Family descending Hesk Fell
The Baines Family descending Hesk Fell

We descended over pathless ground to the north almost to the wall corner before following the boundary down to the Woodend Lane.

Reaching the lane at the bottom of Hesk Fell
Reaching the lane at the bottom of Hesk Fell

This led us to the main road, which in turn led us back to the car park.

Wrapping Up

Back at the cars, we had a good look at Ian’s awesome Munro diary which he’d had printed with accompanying photographs before going our separate ways.

My next Outlying Fells wouldn’t be ticked off until December due to my Walk Home 2020 adventure and the subsequent COVID-19 lockdown. But it would be the Top O’Selside Fells and Carron Crag that would be next up on the peak bagging agenda.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Potter Fell and Brunt Knott

View from the Potter Fell walk
Gurnal Dubs on the Potter Fell route
Gurnal Dubs on the Potter Fell route

Potter Fell and Brunt Knott Route Introduction

Potter Fell is a walk featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The original route takes in four outlying tops in the south-east of the Lake District National Park, including Brunt Knott and Ulgraves. This route is fantastic for anyone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 30th August 2020. These were Outlier numbers 83 to 86 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Potter Fell and Brunt Knott Route Stats

Fells: Nameless Summit 1262′ (395m), Brunt Knott (427m), Nameless Summit 1266′ (390m) and Ulgraves (333m).

Total Distance: 14km / 8.68miles

Total Ascent: 503m / 1,650ft

Approx Walk Time: 5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 471983  

Potter Fell and Brunt Knott Route Report

The Lead Up

Earlier that week I hiked Burney, Blawith Knott, Tottlebank Height, Wool Knott, Yew Bank and Beacon Fell.

After a tough week tracking my boyfriend James on his world record attempt – a continuous self-supported hike of the Wainwright fells in 14 and a half days, I was ready for a good hill day.

I arranged to walk with my good friend Katie and we met in Staveley Mill Yard.

Adventurer Nic with Katie
Adventurer Nic with Katie

The Ascent

We joined Main Street and turned left to pick up the footpath that leads over the bridge across the River Kent.

The slim footpath close to the beginning of the Potter Fell walk
The slim footpath close to the beginning of the Potter Fell walk

Once across the river we turned right to walk along the river bank before taking the first left along a slim footpath.

Passing between the two buildings and leaving the track through the gate
Passing between the two buildings and leaving the track through the gate

Passing between two buildings we headed through the wooden gate to walk north-east through the woodland.

Pretty countryside views on the Potter Fell ascent
Pretty countryside views on the Potter Fell ascent

Exiting the woodland trail through a gate we joined the tarmac road to walk uphill for just under a kilometre. Views over countryside were very pretty on our right.

The track leading down to the farmhouse
The track leading down to the farmhouse

At the finger post, we followed a tyre-track style trail to the east. The parallel tracks led down to a beautiful farmhouse where we were greeted by a pair of African geese.

African geese at the farmhouse
African geese at the farmhouse

Through the beautiful farmhouse garden, we crossed the stream and through the bottom gate, which led over slushy grassy ground. Keeping the wall on our right as it turned, we went through another gate and headed left.

View over the wall
View over the wall

Following the wall on our left we walked uphill. Over the wall, the fields were such a bright vibrant green. We went through the gate and followed the trail to the right, keeping the wall on our right.

Looking behind us on the ascent of Potter Fell
Looking behind us on the ascent of Potter Fell

As the wall turned sharply to the right, we left it and followed the faint path to continue uphill.

The faint path towards the first summit
The faint path towards the first summit

At the highest point of the pass we peeled off to the right to reach the summit of the first fell.

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1262′

Views from the first summit
Views from the first summit

This nameless summit could be described as a south top of Brunt Knott, which is clearly visible in the distance thanks to the trig pillar on top.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of the first nameless top of Potter Fell
Adventurer Nic on the summit of the first nameless top of Potter Fell

As is tradition, I nickname nameless summits with the name of people I’m with at the time of ascent. So this is now officially ‘Marston Moor’ for my friend Katie. Not to be confused with the actual Marston Moor, site of a battle in the English Civil War in 1644!

Following the wall towards Brunt Knott
Following the wall towards Brunt Knott

We left the summit to the west and walked back to the wall before following it north.

Over the stile
Over the stile

At the wall corner, we went over a stone stile in the wall and followed the trail north to the summit. But not before we stopped to eat lunch and set the world to rights!

The Summit – Brunt Knott

The summit trig pillar of Brunt Knott
The summit trig pillar of Brunt Knott

The summit of Brunt Knott is marked by an Ordnance Survey trig pillar. We enjoyed views across the Lake District, the closest hills were the outlying fells that make up the Bannisdale Horseshoe. In the distance we enjoyed views to the Scafell range and the Langdale Pikes. Closer to us were the fells of the Kentmere Horseshoe.

View to the Bannisdale Horseshoe from the summit of Brunt Knott
View to the Bannisdale Horseshoe from the summit of Brunt Knott

We chatted to a solo walker who’d hiked over from Kendal on the summit before leaving to the east following a faint path down to Black Beck. The path here became intermittent.

Curious sheep on the descent of Brunt Knott
Curious sheep on the descent of Brunt Knott

From here there are a few boundaries to pass over as carefully as possible. The first is a barbed wire fence, but there is a panel that has no barbed wire on it which is the best place to cross. The next has a handy stile.

Stile on the Potter Fell route
Stile on the Potter Fell route

After crossing the stile we followed the wall (keeping it on our left), passing beautiful purple heather on the hillside.

At the highest point of the pass we peeled off to the right to reach the summit of this nameless top of Potter Fell.

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1266′

The summit of this nameless top of Potter Fell is marked by a couple of large stones. I nicknamed this one ‘Katie Knott’.

The summit of the second nameless top of Potter Fell
The summit of the second nameless top of Potter Fell

We left the summit to the east and made our way to the next boundary wall. We crossed at the lowest part of the wall successfully and walked over pathless grassy terrain to the next wall. Crossing this wall at it’s lowest point too, we continued east to the final wall crossing of the day.

From here we approached the summit of Ulgraves from the south-west.

The Summit – Ulgraves

The summit of Ulgraves was unmarked, the highest point of the fell was simply a raised outcrop.

View from Ulgraves
View from Ulgraves

It did have a lovely cairn to the north though which was worth a visit for the lovely views down into the Longsleddale valley.

The Descent

Views as we left the summit of Ulgraves
Views as we left the summit of Ulgraves

We left the summit to the south east, over the easiest ground. However we were soon stopped in our tracks by a herd of 36 cows!

Cows on the descent of Ulgraves
Cows on the descent of Ulgraves

They were boisterous and kept gallopping from side to side very erratically. We paused and watched them quietly, in order to gauge our next steps. I’ve encountered cows countless times on my walks and I’m quite sensitive and receptive to them.

The steps I go through in my mind are –

a) Where is my escape route? In this case there was a low barbed wire fence to our left and the fell we’d just descended to our right.

b) Stand still – walking (or worse) running, could either spook the cows or encourage them to chase. More often than not, when you stand still, they will also stand and watch you calmly. Watch out for mums and calves specifically as they can be very protective of their young.

c) Consider the best way around them – on this occasion, we kept to the high ground before giving them a wide berth – taking a wide loop to the gate at the bottom of the field that we needed to pass through.

d) Check your friend is OK….. I noticed them first and said to Katie – “Erm….how are you with cows?” Her face was a picture!

Avoiding the cows
Avoiding the cows

We made our way to the gate to safety and followed the trail to the south.

The gate to safety from the cows!
The gate to safety from the cows!

Gurnal Dubs came into view and we made our way to the stile beside the track and followed the track anti-clockwise around the water.

Over the stile to Gurnal Dubs
Over the stile to Gurnal Dubs

The Swim

As we reached the western end of the tarn a woman was exiting via the stone steps after a swim.

Gurnal Dubs
Gurnal Dubs

We got chatting and I encouraged Katie (a regular wild swimmer) to don her swimming costume for a dip.

Katie taking a short swim in Gurnal Dubs
Katie taking a short swim in Gurnal Dubs

Katie always tries her best to get me in the water but I’m a ‘dry land only’ kinda gal! After Katie dried off we continued following the trail to the west.

We passed across the dam at the bottom of Potter Tarn and continued west.

Crossing the dam
Crossing the dam

The trails led down to the farm that we walked by earlier in the day and we re-traced our steps back to the car from there.

Potter Tarn
Potter Tarn

Wrapping Up

What next? Great Worm Crag, The Pike and Hesk Fell beckoned. These would be my next Outlying Fells.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Blawith Knott

View from Wool Knott over Beacon Tarn

…Burney, Beacon Fell and more!

Blawith Knott Route Introduction

Blawith Knott is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. This hike links Blawith Knott to 5 other outlying fells in the south of the Lake District National Park over a distance of 20km including Burney, Tottlebank Height, Wool Knott, Yew Bank and Beacon Fell. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Monday 24th August 2020. These were Outlier numbers 77 to 82 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Blawith Knott, Burney, Beacon Fell and More Route Stats

Fells: Burney (298m), Blawith Knott (248m), Tottlebank Height (236m), Wool Knott (223m), Yew Bank (207m) and Beacon Fell (255m).

Total Distance: 20km / 12.4miles

Total Ascent: 770m / 2,525ft

Approx Walk Time: 7 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 262849

Blawith Knott Route Report

The Lead Up

Previous to this walk, I’d hiked Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell which involved a broken leg and an encounter with Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team. I was hopeful that this day of walking would be much less eventful!

The Ascent

I parked in the big layby on the A5092 on a sunny morning in the southern Lake District. I had just dropped my partner James off in Keswick to start his walk of the 214 Wainwright fells in a single round and I was feeling emotional! A hike alone in the outlying fells to clear my head was just what I needed.

I walked west along road for a short distance before turning right to follow a sign which read ‘Woodland 3 Miles’. I walked over the cattle grid and continued along the tarmac single track road.

Over the cattle grid at the start of the walk
Over the cattle grid at the start of the walk

After 400m I turned right to head steeply up a grassy path.

The grassy path up Burney
The grassy path up Burney

To the left in the distance I could see over towards Duddon Sands.

View towards Duddon Sands from the ascent of Burney
View towards Duddon Sands from the ascent of Burney

The navigation to the first summit was easy as the grassy path led right to the top of my first fell of the day – Burney.

There is a trig point on the summit of Burney but the grassy lump 10 metres away is actually the highest point of the fell. So I deviated there for a photo.

The trig point for Burney
The trig point for Burney

The Summit – Burney

The views were absolutely outstanding at this early stage and I knew I was in for treat for the rest of the walk.

View from Burney with Black Combe on the left
View from Burney with Black Combe on the left

I could pick out Black Combe, Buckbarrow, Whit Fell, Stickle Pike, Caw and Walna Scar up and onto the Coniston Fells along the skyline and it was stunning!

View from Burney to the Coniston Fells and beyond
View from Burney to the Coniston Fells and beyond

I suppressed a pang of sadness that I was experiencing such beauty alone.

Blawith Knott and the route ahead from Burney
Blawith Knott and the route ahead from Burney

Blawith Knott was visible up ahead and I followed the grassy path from the summit of Burney which headed off to the north-east.

As the ground became a little slushy underfoot, I took a small detour to visit Burney’s sibling – Little Burney. I went over the summit of Little Burney and headed north-west over pathless but easy grassy ground until I picked up an established path. If you’re not keen on visiting Little Burney, you can stay on the path the whole time and cut out this pathless section.

The path became a little steep and loose as it descended towards a crossroad in the path.

Path crossroad between Little Burney and Blawith Knott
Path crossroad between Little Burney and Blawith Knott

I continued straight on and the path led over a stream, weaved through bracken and then navigated across boggy terrain to gain higher ground onto a tarmac road.

Here I turned left and walked along the road, ignoring the first right-hand fork. Instead I turned right at the main junction, following a cycle fingerpost.  

Junction in the road en route to Blawith Knott
Junction in the road en route to Blawith Knott

From this junction I continued along the tarmac road uphill before the road started to descend giving me a clear view of my route of ascent up the south-west ridge of Blawith Knott.

View to Blawith Knott from the road section
View to Blawith Knott from the road section

The turn off for the grassy path up Blawith Knott came after around 1km of walking on the road and was just after a stream crossing.

I followed the path directly to summit of Blawith Knott.

The Summit – Blawith Knott

The summit cairn of Blawith Knott
The summit cairn of Blawith Knott

Blawith Knott was marked by a cairn.

I saw one other hillwalker approaching the summit just as I was leaving.

I left the summit to the east with Tottlebank Height in my sights. Again, I followed a grassy path, this time down through some bracken.

Small tarn between Blawith Knott and Tottlebank Height
Small tarn between Blawith Knott and Tottlebank Height

There wasn’t much of a drop between these two fells. I passed a small tarn to the left.

Then I continued on before taking a right-hand fork in the path up to the summit of Tottlebank Height.

The right fork up to Tottlebank Height
The right fork up to Tottlebank Height

The Summit – Tottlebank Height

It didn’t seem like five minutes since I was atop Blawith Knott but here I was on Tottlebank Height!

View from the summit cairn of Tottlebank Height
View from the summit cairn of Tottlebank Height

I paused for a short while on the summit to enjoy the view before heading down to the north/north-west.

Adventurer Nic on Tottlebank Height
Adventurer Nic on Tottlebank Height

In hindsight it probably would have been easier to retrace my steps to the path junction and turn right as it was a little bit of a tricky initial descent over grassy tufts and bracken with a few hidden boulders to navigate over before I reached the bottom path.

View from the bottom path towards Wool Knott
View from the bottom path towards Wool Knott

I passed a small group of people with binoculars before crossing a stream. At the next path crossroads I continued straight on towards Wool Knott.

Path crossroads between Tottlebank Height and Wool Knott
Path crossroads between Tottlebank Height and Wool Knott

I crossed another couple of streams as I followed the trail uphill. The path snaked through the bracken towards Wool Knott. I peeled off the path to the right as it bent left at the top of the pass in order to reach the summit of my fourth outlying fell of the day – Wool Knott.

The Summit – Wool Knott

The views from Wool Knott summit are simply beautiful. Not only was it my favourite fell view of the day, it is certainly in my top five of outlying fells so far.

View from Wool Knott towards Beacon Tarn
View from Wool Knott towards Beacon Tarn

Wool Knott overlooks Beacon Tarn which was shimmering in the sunlight. It was also a great vantage point to see the remaining two fells I was going to hike that day – Yew Bank and Beacon Fell.

I paused and had lunch on the summit of Wool Knott so that I could enjoy the view for a little longer.

As I left the summit of Wool Knott I initially retraced my steps, but then I headed north west to a grassy trod which led down to the main path.

Views en route from Wool Knott to Yew Bank
Views en route from Wool Knott to Yew Bank

I turned left on the main path which was wide and grassy and followed it until it crossed Mere Syke. From there I forked right to follow a smaller trail through bracken, traversing the northern flanks of Woodland Fell.

Taking the right fork in the path
Taking the right fork in the path

I forked right twice more, heading downhill passing a large tree on the left. This led through more bracken and to Green Moor Beck, which I crossed at a ford.  

Green Moor Beck
Green Moor Beck

After crossing the stream I walked north, keeping the wall on my left.

Following the wall
Following the wall

The path continued to lead north loosely following the wall.

There were a variety of options here but all trails meet together further up. I chose to cross Hodge Wife Gill near the wall.

Hodge Wife Gill
Hodge Wife Gill

The grass was often wet underfoot so I chose the driest of the interconnecting grassy pathways to follow uphill through the bracken. As long as you’re going north-east on one of the grassy paths uphill, you can’t really go wrong.

The Summit – Yew Bank

My trail led me to the col between Yew Ban and Rattan Haw, so I turned left at the top to bag Yew Bank.

Views from the large summit cairn of Yew Bank
Views from the large summit cairn of Yew Bank

The summit of Yew Bank was marked with a big cairn. I was surrounded by lovely purple heather which was still in bloom on this late August day.

From the summit I followed a faint path to the east over Rattan Haw. I passed a wind shelter and soon the path disappeared and the heather and bracken thickened.

The wind shelter
The wind shelter

I headed ‘off piste’ to the right heading towards what looked like a path that ran parallel that was slightly lower down. This path soon too disappeared so I picked the path of least resistance through the tufty grass and heather towards Beacon Fell in the west.

Pathless walking through heather and tufty grass towards Beacon Fell
Pathless walking through heather and tufty grass towards Beacon Fell

These fells were definitely the most problematic to link up as it involved around a kilometre of tough pathless walking, but that’s part of the excitement of executing four of Wainwright’s routes in one day. You’re probably doing a route that few people have done, so it makes it extra special.

When I made it to the main path I turned left and I only had one more ascent to go. I walked north on the path immediately below Beacon Fell and turned right to follow a steep path up the side of the fell to the north-east.

Coniston Fells from the ascent of Beacon Fell
Coniston Fells from the ascent of Beacon Fell

Half way up the ascent the path disappeared but it was easy to make a beeline to the summit on a compass bearing, easily avoiding the crags and steep ground.

I tried not to get too distracted by the brilliant views of the Coniston fells (and I failed).

The Summit – Beacon Fell

I arrived at the summit of Beacon Fell to a father and son flying a drone together.

Beacon Fell is marked by a large cairn and from here I could see the Top O’ Selside fells on the other side of Coniston Water.

Views from Beacon Fell to Top O'Selside fells
Views from Beacon Fell to Top O’Selside fells

I could also see as far as Helvellyn to the north.

View from Beacon Fell towards Helvellyn over Coniston Water
View from Beacon Fell towards Helvellyn over Coniston Water

The Descent

I left the summit of Beacon Fell following an established trail to the south-west.

The start of the descent from Beacon Fell
The start of the descent from Beacon Fell

The tarn came into view and was just as sparkling and magical as it had looked from the other side on Wool Knott. By the time I reached the edge of the tarn I realised I was now on the Cumbria Way.

The beautiful Beacon Tarn from Beacon Fell
The beautiful Beacon Tarn from Beacon Fell

I walked south along the Cumbria Way which soon ran alongside a dry stone wall on my right beside some woodland which offered some much appreciated shade.

The path then weaved through bracken, through a gate, crossed over Greenholme Beck and led uphill into woodland.

Through the gate into the woodland
Through the gate into the woodland

The path then did a u-turn to the right to run alongside a wall. This led through another gate and along a path with walls on either side of the trail. This opened out into a field where I kept the wall on my right. I passed through another gate at the end. After this gate I turned left. When the path forked beside a large boulder in an opening I kept right. Keeping right kept me on the Cumbria Way where the grassy path rose.

Heading uphill on the Cumbria Way
Heading uphill on the Cumbria Way

I glanced behind me on this section to see the most beautiful view of the fells to the north.

I passed to the left of Tottlebank Height. And at the end of the footpath I turned left onto a farm track which soon merged into a tarmac road. I walked down the road until I saw a fingerpost for a public bridleway.

Public Bridleway sign
Public Bridleway sign

I took this right fork and walked down the grassy track. When the track split I took the right-hand fork which led over a stile.

Ladder stile over the wall
Ladder stile over the wall

I continued across the field following the trail, which ultimately bent east to run alongside a dry stone wall.

The Home Straight

I passed through a series of gates keeping the Kiln Bank farm buildings on my left. At this point I left the Cumbria Way by continuing south. I passed through a metal gate and peeled off the track following the right of way down to the stream. Crossing the stream using the small stone bridge, I continued heading south.

Stone bridge over the stream
Stone bridge over the stream

I then crossed over the wall using the stile. Then, I headed across the field to the stile in the next wall. After this, I continued on passing through a gate in the bottom right of the field. From here I turned right to walk along the track at Raisthwaite.

I passed through the farm yard and through a gate to a tree-lined path. I crossed the stream and went through another gate. Hiking across the field, I went through the gate in the top right of the field and walked straight on following the grassy trail.

I crossed a road and continued straight on, and then crossed a track to continue uphill. I passed a big boulder with a tree growing out of it which boggled my mind.

Tree growing out of a boulder
Tree growing out of a boulder

The final challenge was to make it over the boggy ground to the col to the east of Burney. My legs were tired at this point and I was craving a cold drink! There were no real paths to follow here due to the terrain. This meant it was hard going, but I kept sneaking peeks behind me at the stunning views. Once at the col the path reappeared and I walked downhill to the right of a wall.

Walking alongside a dry stone wall towards the end of the walk
Walking alongside a dry stone wall towards the end of the walk

I dropped down onto the road and retraced my steps over the cattle grid back to the car.

Wrapping Up

Potter Fell would be my next Outlying Fells of Lakeland walk.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

My Lake District Mountain Rescue Story

Ambleside/Langdale Mountain Rescue Team getting Andy Dobb to the ambulance

Introduction

This is a first-hand Lake District Mountain Rescue story. I think it’s wise to share it so that other’s might learn from it. I might not have done exactly the right thing but I certainly did my best and the rescue had a good outcome, which is of course the main thing.

In August 2020 I had to make the call that I’d always feared. After walking thousands of miles and ascending hundreds of thousands of metres up the UK’s mountains, it was a much smaller obstacle that caused me to have to ring Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue.

That Morning

Let’s start at the beginning. I met my friend Andy in the small car park by Millerground on the morning of 7 August 2020. It was a Friday and it was the day after my 36th birthday. Andy had just arrived in the Lake District and had taken a swim in Windermere before I’d arrived. He was excited for his week long Lake District adventure.

At the time, I was hiking the 116 Outlying Fells of Lakeland. These are a wonderful collection of fells on a list put together by Alfred Wainwright, the legendary guidebook writer. Alfred Wainwright also created the list of Wainwrights, the more popular hills of the Lake District National Park. Generally, taller and gnarlier, the Outlying fells are considered more suitable for, in Wainwright’s own words, ‘old age pensioners’. So today’s outing was more than within the abilities of two fit mid-thirties ramblers!

The fells on our radar were – Orrest Head, School Knott (3 tops) and Brant Fell. This was a circular hike of around 14km.

We set off heading east from the car park before weaving our way up Orrest Head through the woodland. Our pace was high despite the heat of the morning. It was a warm but cloudy summer day. I was relieved to reach the summit and have a short rest on the cool stone seat.

After a good chat on the bench overlooking Windermere, we left the summit to the east following the woodland trail. At the end of the trail was a stone stile through the dry stone wall. Andy went first and I waited while he descended on the other side.

Our first impression of the stile
Our first impression of the stile

The Accident

All of a sudden Andy disappeared from view. He’d slipped off the bottom step (red arrow), only inches from the floor and his ankle hit a rock that was jutting up from the ground (blue arrow). He didn’t cry out or yelp, but he winced and immediately told me he’d heard a crack.

The stile that Andy fell from. The bottom step (red arrow) and the rock that his ankle hit (blue arrow)
The stile that Andy fell from. The bottom step (red arrow) and the rock that his ankle hit (blue arrow)

We waited a moment, hoping that maybe he’d been mistaken. But it became apparent very quickly that Andy wasn’t going to be able to stand up. So I checked my phone to see if I had signal to call for help.

Calling for Help

Dialling 999 on mobile phone
Dialling 999 on mobile phone

I didn’t have any signal so I made Andrew as comfortable as possible. Thankfully, he assured me he hadn’t hit his head. I offered him painkillers and water. I checked he was warm enough and and headed back up Orrest Head to make the call. There was no visible bleeding so I didn’t touch Andrew’s leg. To investigate further would feel like I would be causing him unnecessary pain.

As soon as I had signal, I rang 999. If you’ve never called 999 in England before, the first person you speak to is the BT operator. They ask what service you require. As the BT operator doesn’t have the ability to put you straight through to Mountain Rescue, it’s actually the Police that you ask for first. You might be tempted to say Ambulance but they’re only equipped for urban areas and it’s the Police who are best placed to dispatch Mountain Rescue.

I gave details to the Police call handler, including Andy’s name, how he’d sustained the injury and what the extent of the injury was. At this point I didn’t know his home address or date of birth but that didn’t matter. The emergency services wouldn’t have wanted me to delay the rescue by writing all that down in advance of my call.

The Police asked me for a What 3 Words reference but I don’t have that app so I gave them a grid reference. If you go out regularly in the hills and don’t know how to take a grid reference from a map you should definitely learn how to. There are many outdoor education providers who offer basic and advanced courses (and everything in between). My last course was with Team Walking.

Text from Mountain Rescue
Text from Mountain Rescue

I received a text message from Ambleside/Langdale Mountain Rescue with a link on it. Clicking the link validates my GPS position and reassured me that help was on its way.

The Rescue

I then returned to Andy, kept him chatting and distracted as much as possible while help arrived. Standing up helped Mountain Rescue to see me over the wall.

When they first arrived they asked Andy what his pain was on a scale of 1-10 and Andy said it was a 1 or 2. At this point I worried that I was going to be the person who called Mountain Rescue out to a twisted ankle! But Andy was putting a brave face on it.

They snapped into action and it was all go. Mountain Rescue volunteers got all the details from Andy and myself and set to work isolating his foot, carefully removing his shoe and sock, checking he had a pulse in the top of his foot and preparing the stretcher. They offered him gas and air plus other pain killers but Andy was keen to have as little pain relief as possible.

Half of the team studied the map to ascertain the easiest way to get him down and access the ambulance. They were also in touch with base on the radio giving status updates.

They managed to get Andy’s leg in a fixed splint and load him onto the stretcher.

I found the whole thing to be hugely slick and reassuring. There was great camaraderie amongst the volunteers.

You can read their summary of the incident here.

What would I have done differently if circumstances were different?

If Andy had been bleeding or had a head injury, I wouldn’t have left him. I would have used my whistle – six blasts per minute – and shouted to get attention from other nearby walkers. It wasn’t a hugely busy path but we saw a couple of groups of hikers pass while we were waiting for Mountain Rescue. Having one person to give first aid while the other went to raise the alarm would have been useful if it was more serious.

If I was in a more remote place, I would have used my Garmin InReach Mini. This has an SOS button which, when pressed, would have automated the process of calling for help and would have automatically sent my grid reference to Mountain Rescue. I didn’t press it on this occasion because –

a) We were under tree cover and the satellite might not have been able to pick up the alert quickly

b) I was able to relay more over the phone and the Garmin wouldn’t have given me good quality two-way conversation

c) Andy was stable and happy to be left while I went away to raise the alarm by phone.

Had the weather been bad, Andy would have found it difficult to stay warm, so I would have put us in my 4-person emergency shelter that I carry with me when on long exposed routes, and I would have covered Andy with as much spare clothing as possible.

Key Points

Here are some of the key learning points that I’d pass on to those new to mountain hiking and hill walking (it might even serve as a reminder to those who are more experienced) –

a) Make sure you have simple but potentially lifesaving items in your rucksack when you go hiking, including a first aid kit, emergency shelter, extra clothing, a reasonable amount of water and food.

Adventurer Nic's 4 person emergency shelter - the Vango Storm Shelter 400
Adventurer Nic’s 4 person emergency shelter – the Vango Storm Shelter 400

b) If you hike a lot, particularly in remote areas where you don’t come across others for many hours/days at time, consider investing in a personal locator beacon (PLB) or similar, with an SOS button.

Adventurer Nic wearing her Garmin In Reach Mini which has an SOS function in an emergency
Adventurer Nic wearing her Garmin In Reach Mini which has an SOS function in an emergency

c) Refresh your knowledge on how to flag down help through use of a whistle, bright clothing, arm signals (for helicopter) etc.

d) Always make sure you have enough phone battery (I carry a power pack and charging wire so that I can top up my battery if required).

Portable power bank and phone charge wire
Portable power bank and phone charge wire

e) Make sure you know (off by heart) the procedure for calling for help.

f) If you’re hiking alone, tell someone where you’re going and when they should expect you back.

Adventurer Nic on a Team Walking Hill Skills NNAS navigation course

g) Walk within your abilities. Accidents happen and sometimes there’s nothing you could have done to prevent it. But other times, incidents occur which were entirely preventable had the person not done too much too soon and became crag-fast or lost.

h) Take a navigation course and ensure you know how to use a map and compass.

i) Donate to Mountain Rescue. I donated to Ambleside/Langdale Mountain Rescue as soon as I got home. Over 10 volunteers were involved in Andy’s rescue and they’d all given up their spare time to come to his aid when he needed them. They rely on donations to provide the much needed service.

j) Check the weather! Many accidents are preventable because people shouldn’t have been out in the conditions in the first place. Don’t forget to check the wind speed. It’s not just rain that makes it difficult to navigate in poor weather, wind speeds can exceed 60mph in the mountains and most people would struggle to stay upright if hit by strong gusts.

k) In the event that you no longer require the services of Mountain Rescue after making a call out, make sure you make contact back with the Police to let them know. They can alert the Mountain Rescue that they can stand down.

So What Happened Next for Andy?

Andy Dobb recovering after surgery on his broken leg
Andy Dobb recovering after surgery on his broken leg

Andy is on the long road to recovery now. He was taken by ambulance to hospital and after an x ray revealed that he’d broken his lower leg/ankle in two places, he had to undergo an operation to pin his bones back to their rightful place.

He started off by resting at home with his leg above his hips for the majority of the day and it’s taken a number of months for him to get out of the cast. Andrew is now working towards weight bearing and rebuilding strength with the aim to reach full fitness again.

Andy Dobb enjoying the sunshine in recovery
Andy Dobb enjoying the sunshine in recovery

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.