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.

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.

Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell

View from Grandsire over Windermere

Route Introduction

Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell are three small hills featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland, together with two additional minor tops. The walk is in the south east of the Lake District National Park. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Friday 7th August 2020. These were Outlier numbers 72 to 76 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell Route Stats

Fells: Orrest Head (238m), School Knott (247m), Grandsire (251m), Nameless Summit 806′ (247m) and Brant Fell (191m).

Total Distance: 14.3km / 8.88miles

Total Ascent: 390m / 1,275ft

Approx Walk Time: 4.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 404988

Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell Route Report

The Lead Up

A week earlier I hiked Latterbarrow and Claife Heights alone, but for this walk I was meeting my friend Andrew Dobb.

The False Start

It was the day after my 36th birthday and I met Andy in the car park at Millerground, Windermere. We reached the summit of Orrest Head together, but sadly that’s as far as things went for Andy as he slipped off a stile and broke his leg in two places! Read more about the Mountain Rescue call out here.

With Andy’s permission, I re-started the route alone and here’s how it went.

The Ascent

I left the car, mentally put on my big girl pants and re-started the walk. It was only 4 hours since I’d first done this section so it felt a bit weird but I was happy to be making the most of the rest of the day as the weather was improving.

I crossed the road from the Millerground car park and followed the finger post leading into the park opposite. The tarmac path was lined with a metal fence on the right hand side. The trail bent to the right to run uphill alongside a dry stone wall.

Getting to the base of Orrest Head
Getting to the base of Orrest Head

Tarmac merged into gravel and the trail led between two sets of houses before ending at a road. I turned right and walked uphill, passing the church on my right. I ascended up the main road until I reached the pedestrian crossing on the main road. Crossing to the other side, I continued in the same direction, before turning left at the big sign indicating the start of the footpath to Orrest Head.

Sign to Orrest Head
Sign to Orrest Head

I took this path which soon split at a fork. Taking the left fork I continued down the walled path into the woodland. I turned right at a fingerpost marked ‘Orrest Head 1/2mile’ and ascended steeply up the path, which was walled on both sides.

At the next path junction I continued uphill in the same direction. I followed the track around as it switched back in a series of hairpins up the hillside. There are various options where you can cut the corners, reducing the mileage slightly but making the approach much steeper. Following the longer route meant I stumbled across the Gruffalo statue.

The Gruffalo of Orrest Head
The Gruffalo of Orrest Head

I continued along the main trail before peeling off right alongside a wall up a series of steps. The path then flattened out and lovely views opened up on the right hand side.

Views on the ascent of Orrest Head
Views on the ascent of Orrest Head

I then turned left through a kissing gate by a memorial stone.

Passage in the stone
Passage in the stone

I then proceeded straight up to the summit of Orrest Head.

The Summit – Orrest Head

A couple enjoying the view from the bench atop Orrest Head
A couple enjoying the view from the bench atop Orrest Head

The highest point of Orrest Head is a rock just behind the stone bench.

The stone bench of Orrest Head
The stone bench of Orrest Head

There are a variety of benches to sit and enjoy the view, just as Andy and I had done 4 hours previously, blissfully unaware of the accident that was about to happen.

View over lake Windermere from the summit of Orrest Head
View over lake Windermere from the summit of Orrest Head

After taking a look at the Wainwright Society plaque, I left the summit to the east, following the trail into the woodland.

The Wainwright Society plaque on Orrest Head
The Wainwright Society plaque on Orrest Head

Linking the Fells

Following the woodland trail, I reached the stile at the bottom (the one which Andy had broken his leg on earlier that same day).

The stile in the wall
The stile in the wall

I carefully clambered over and turned right through the kissing gate.

Slippery trails through woodland
Slippery trails through woodland

Following the path downhill, it was very slippery underfoot. I passed through a gate which led into a field where I followed the wall on my right.

Following the wall with views over Windermere
Following the wall with views over Windermere

I passed through two more gates, ultimately emerging at the road. Here I turned left and crossed the road, following the road uphill. I crossed Thwaites Lane and turned right at the finger post which led over a stile and through another gate. The faint track of a farmers vehicle led me through the field along the right of way.

I passed through two kissing gates before crossing the railway line.

Crossing the railway line at east Windermere
Crossing the railway line at east Windermere

Passing through another two gate, I walked past some garages and down Ghyll Road. When Ghyll Road met Droomer Lane I went straight ahead down a tarmac path before crossing the bridge over Mill Beck and turning right following a finger post for School Knott. I followed the gravel path south, crossing over Mill Beck Close and I continued to walk south.

After passing through a large gate, I took the left of two options, a smaller grassy path that led uphill. I passed a couple enjoying their lunch on a bench and headed through a kissing gate.

Looking back at the view from the bench en-route up School Knott
Looking back at the view from the bench en-route up School Knott

From here I followed the trail uphill and slightly to the right, all the way to the highest point of School Knott – my second outlying fell of the day. The views behind me to the Langdale Pikes were lovely.

Views over Windermere to the Langdale Pikes from School Knott
Views over Windermere to the Langdale Pikes from School Knott

The Summit – School Knott

It’s easy to see why School Knott is a favourite quick jaunt for locals, dog walkers and tourists alike.

Summit views from School Knott, The Lake District
Summit views from School Knott, The Lake District

It was warm and muggy and the clouds were struggling to lift somewhat, but it was still very beautiful, especially across the lake towards Claife Heights.

View towards Claife Heights from School Knott
View towards Claife Heights from School Knott

The Summit – Grandsire

It didn’t take long to get to Grandsire from School Knott. I left the summit, continuing in the same direction heading for a large gate in the wall down to the south-east.

School Knott Tarn
School Knott Tarn

I passed through the gate and enjoyed the view across School Knott Tarn, before walking to the most northerly tip of the tarn and up to a gate in the wall ahead. Passing through the gate I continued up, following the grassy path to the summit of Grandsire.

Views to Windermere from Grandsire
Views to Windermere from Grandsire

There were lots of rocks to perch on so I enjoyed my lunch here.

Views from Grandsire
Views from Grandsire

The Summit – Nameless Summit 806′

I followed the wall from the summit down to the south.

Following the wall down from Grandsire
Following the wall down from Grandsire

This soon met the Dales Way, where I turned right for a very short distance before turning left to continue following the wall as it turned to the south-west and up to the next summit.

View from the summit of the Nameless Fell
View from the summit of the Nameless Fell

This summit was the least impressive of the four on the route as it was simply along the dry stone wall. This fell is also nameless, so in keeping with my previous habit of nicknaming the nameless fells, I named this one Dobb Dodd after my good friend Andy who should have been there with me if it wasn’t for his accident.

The summit of the Nameless Fell
The summit of the Nameless Fell

Linking the Fells

I left the summit of the nameless fell and followed an old wall down to the north to rejoin the Dales Way.

Joining the Dales Way
Joining the Dales Way

At the point where multiple paths converged, I passed through the gate to head west along the Dales Way. The route crossed Scout Beck twice and weaved through gorse bushes on gravel track before I forked left to head south along a grassy trail towards some large trees. I picked up a wide gravel track at the bottom which led past a small tarn on the right, passing through so many gates I lost count!

Passing the small tarn
Passing the small tarn

The track became tarmac before reaching a junction at the bottom. I followed the finger post for ‘Bowness via DalesWay 1 mile’ and headed right along the path running parallel to the main road. This soon rejoined the road but I forked right quickly afterwards, following another sign for the Dales Way.

Here there was a nice footpath on the right that avoided some of the road walking but it was intermittent.

The intermittent footpath
The intermittent footpath

Near the end of the road, I took a turning left through a gate and into a field. I followed the path along the wall through five kissing gates following the regular signs for The Dales Way.

At the fifth kissing gate I left the Dales Way and turned left to walk down Lickbarrow Road, walking in the same direction for 750 metres. Brant Fell came into view on the right over a gate.

Brant Fell is now visible
Brant Fell is now visible

I peeled off the road and followed a finger post on the right signed ‘Bowness 1 mile’ and went over a stone stile in the wall. A good track on the other side led north-west for around 80m until I peeled off to the left to head up Brant Fell following faint grassy paths. These paths led perfectly through the crags which from a distance seemed quite daunting.

The Summit – Brant Fell

Views from Brant Fell, the Lake District
Views from Brant Fell, the Lake District

The summit of Brant Fell is marked by a metal rod, protruding from the highest rock. The views across Windermere and down the length of the lake towards Gummers How are fantastic.

Looking south down Lake Windermere from Brant Fell
Looking south down Lake Windermere from Brant Fell

My favourite view however had to be over towards Langdale.

Views from Brant Fell over towards Langdale
Views from Brant Fell over towards Langdale

The Descent

I left Brant Fell to the north, descending over grassy slopes. At the bottom I went over a wooden stile and immediately over a stone stile to the right. I continued my descent through fields before turning left to rejoin the Dales Way again for the final time!

At the crossroads in the path after a kissing gate, I turned right. I followed the sign for Helm Road 1/4 mile and walked along the wide woodland path.

Woodland path
Woodland path

I passed through another gate and turned left onto a tarmac road. This led to another junction, where I turned left onto Helm Road. Soon after this, there was another junction, and I chose the left hand fork.

When the road split again, I turned right before almost immediately turning left up some steps following the sign for ‘Biskey Howe viewpoint 50m’ .

At this point I passed a chap with a metal detector who asked me “Have you lost an old penny and a new one?” Utterly confused, I asked him what he meant and he showed me a battered old coin he’d just found, together with a shiny new one. Leaving him to his hobby I I passed the Biskey Howe Viewpoint and headed down the steps.

Biskey Howe viewpoint over Lake Windermere
Biskey Howe viewpoint over Lake Windermere

These led down to Biskey Howe Road where I turned left and walked towards town. I crossed straight over Lake Road, on a side street which led to a path at the end. This overlooked a playground on the left before I turned right to pass in front of Windermere RUFC. I walked along Longlands Road for just over half a kilometre before I turned left into the woodland. I followed the path alongside a fence on the right, before turning left to drop down onto Rayrigg Road at the bottom.

The National Trust emblem on a gate post
The National Trust emblem on a gate post

I crossed the main road and walked south for a short distance before turning right following a finger post for ‘Low Millerground via lakeshore 2/3mile’.

Lake Windermere
Lake Windermere

The trail led through a field and a gate before I turned right to walk along the lakeside.

Rayrigg Jetties into Windermere
Rayrigg Jetties into Windermere

The trail led past the jetties where multiple families and groups of friends were enjoying the sunny day and when the path ended, I turned right, to follow Wynlass Beck back to the car.

Wynlass Beck
Wynlass Beck

Wrapping Up

Well that was my most eventful Outlying Fells of Lakeland walk by far! I never expected to hike Orrest Head twice, neither did I anticipate having to call Mountain Rescue!

A big mash up of four of Alfred Wainwrights classic walks was up next – my route for Burney, Blawith Knott, Tottlebank Height, Wool Knott, Yew Bank and Beacon Fell was a corker!

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.

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights

A beautiful mountain view over Wise Een Tarn in the Lake District
View from Latterbarrow, The Lake District
View from Latterbarrow, The Lake District

Route Introduction

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights are two of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They’re situated in the south 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 Wednesday 29th July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 70 and 71 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights Route Stats

Fells: Latterbarrow (244m) and Claife Heights (270m)

Total Distance: 12km / 7.48miles

Total Ascent: 304m / 1,000ft

Approx Walk Time: 4 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 379954

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights Route Report

The Lead Up

I’d walked all of my previous Outlying Fells of Lakeland with either my boyfriend James or with friends so it was refreshing to hike these two outliers alone. The previous week I’d hiked the Naddle Horseshoe in the far east of the Lake District National Park.

Starting the Hike

Donation point for the car park at Braithwaite Hall in Far Sawrey
Donation point for the car park at Braithwaite Hall in Far Sawrey

I parked in the car park at Braithwaite Hall and paid by donation in the box by the entrance. Heading left out of the car park I walked past the Cuckoo Brow Inn and then turned right to walk steeply uphill on a tarmac road.

The Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey
The Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey

It would be five and half kilometres of walking before I reached the summit of my first Outlying Fell – Latterbarrow.

View over the dry stone wall to beautiful English countryside
View over the dry stone wall to beautiful English countryside

The view over the dry stone wall was beautiful, overlooking rolling fields of green. I walked over the cattle grid and then followed a finger post onto a track, which led to a foot bridge over the Wilfin Beck.

Foot bridge over Wilfin Beck, the Lake District
Foot bridge over Wilfin Beck, the Lake District

Crossing the bridge, I picked up the rocky footpath on the other side which led to a gate. I then went through another gate before turning right onto a wider track which continued north with walls on either side.

After passing through another gate, I hopped over the Wilfin Beck yet again, this time on stepping stones.

Stepping stones over Wilfin Beck
Stepping stones over Wilfin Beck

The path then led up until Moss Eccles Tarn came into view on my left.

Moss Eccles Tarn, the Lake District
Moss Eccles Tarn, the Lake District

I carried on, following the finger posts, as the path wound through fields of calm cattle, until I reached another gate.

Gate on the ascent of Latterbarrow
Gate on the ascent of Latterbarrow

Beyond this gate was a wow moment. A simply stunning view of the higher Lakeland fells opened up in front of me over the top of Wise Een Tarn.

Sheep in front of Wise Een Tarn with the Lake District mountains as a backdrop
Sheep in front of Wise Een Tarn with the Lake District mountains as a backdrop

The Langdale Pikes looked sharp and jagged on the right of the skyline and the Scafell range loomed in the centre with Wetherlam off to the left. I was in awe!

Continuing the Ascent

Mountain bikers on the trail ahead cycling towards Latterbarrow
Mountain bikers on the trail ahead cycling towards Latterbarrow

After passing the Scale Tarn on my right, the path became grassier underfoot. I followed the path which soon ran alongside a wall on my left and then continued up and into the woodland through a gate.

Gate leading into the woodland
Gate leading into the woodland

I really enjoyed the woodland trails of this walk, they were so full of bird chatter, it was much cooler thanks to the shade of the tall tress and I found the earthy woodland scent to be so calming.

Woodland trails en route to Latterbarrow
Woodland trails en route to Latterbarrow

350m after passing through the gate into the woods I followed a finger post which branched off the main path to the left. This led to a crossroads at the bottom, where I turned left to follow a wider track.

Left at the crossroads
Left at the crossroads

At the next major crossroad I turned left again, and followed the path for another 200m before turning right, avoiding passing through the gap in the wall ahead and instead following the path north.

The right hand turn before the wall
The right hand turn before the wall

This part of the route was narrow and muddy at times.

I followed the trail downhill before it rose up again up some steps.

The steps on the trail towards Latterbarrow
The steps on the trail towards Latterbarrow

It weaved, twisted and turned for a while before I turned left at the next t-junction, surrounded by Christmas trees. I followed the trail over a large gap in a wall before it led to a stile. Over the stile, I turned right to start the final ascent of Latterbarrow.

I could see the summit of Latterbarrow from a distance due to the prominent summit obelisk
I could see the summit of Latterbarrow from a distance due to the prominent summit obelisk

The Summit – Latterbarrow

The summit of Latterbarrow is not the huge monument (that you’d probably expect it to be), it is in fact a small rock 3 metres away. But there’s no doubt about it, the tower on the summit of Latterbarrow is what draws the eye, both when you’re nearing the summit and from afar.

Summit of Latterbarrow
Summit of Latterbarrow

The obelisk is many metres tall and stands proud atop the 244m fell.

Summit of Latterbarrow, the Lake District
Summit of Latterbarrow, the Lake District

The walk from Colthouse is a popular one and I saw multiple families all arrive at the summit and sit down in their small groups to enjoy lunch on the summit of Latterbarrow. It was a glorious day to enjoy the views across the Lake District. As good as the views were towards the nearer fells like Wansfell Pike to the north east, I couldn’t take my eyes of the Langdale Pikes to the north west over the top of Black Fell.

Summit of Latterbarrow, an Outlying Fell of Lakeland
Summit of Latterbarrow, an Outlying Fell of Lakeland

Linking Latterbarrow and Claife Heights

I left the summit of Latterbarrow with a full stomach and retraced my steps.

View down to Hawkshead from the descent of Latterbarrow
View down to Hawkshead from the descent of Latterbarrow

I enjoyed a lovely view of Hawkshead as I returned to the stile at the bottom of the hill and continued back along the same path I’d taken earlier. When I came to the second of the two main crossroads I’d encountered earlier, this time I continued straight on.

As the main track bent around to the right, I took the footpath which led straight on following a finger post.

The left turn from the main track
The left turn from the main track

230m later the path forked again, and I turned right to head uphill on a forest path.

Forest trails
Forest trails

As I glanced to the right through the trees I caught a glimpse of Lake Windermere and the Fairfield fells beyond.

View to Lake Windermere through the trees on the Claife Heights section of the walk
View to Lake Windermere through the trees on the Claife Heights section of the walk

This section of the route was by far the quietest of the day. I didn’t see many people at all between here and the Claife Heights (High Blind How) trig pillar.

The path led me through the woodland, over a foot bridge, before leading me down onto another wide track.

Footbridge en route to Claife Heights from Latterbarrow
Footbridge en route to Claife Heights from Latterbarrow

I turned right onto this track for only a short distance before following another finger post marked ‘Far Sawrey 2 Miles’.

Finger post to Far Sawrey
Finger post to Far Sawrey

This section of the walk was really pretty, with established woodland and beautiful fox gloves popping up all over.

Foxgloves in the woodland
Foxgloves in the woodland

I forked right before the path started to dip downhill to continue uphill towards the summit.

At the next fork in the path, I turned left which led through bracken to the Claife Heights trig pillar (High Blind How).

The Summit – Claife Heights

Touching the summit trig point of Claife Heights (High Blind How)
Touching the summit trig point of Claife Heights (High Blind How)

Alfred Wainwright wrote in his book – the Outlying Fells of Lakeland – that this trig pillar was now lost in conifers and inaccessible, but it is possible now, you just have to follow the trail, weaving through a sea of shoulder-height bracken to get there!

The summit trig pillar of Claife Heights (High Blind How)
The summit trig pillar of Claife Heights (High Blind How)

I paused for quite some time on the summit rocks. It was so peaceful. There was nobody else around and it was so quiet. I just sat alone and listened to the breeze pass through the trees for what felt like ages.

The Descent

When it came time to leave, I continued along the bracken-filled path to rejoin the woodland path which was covered in pine needles and soft underfoot.

Woodland trails to start the descent
Woodland trails to start the descent

I reached the valley bottom and crossed a foot bridge over a stream which fed Three Dubs Tarn over to the west.

Bridge over the stream
Bridge over the stream

I picked up the path on the other side of the foot bridge and walked up past a finger post signed to ‘Sawrey Ferry’.

Signpost to Sawrey Ferry
Signpost to Sawrey Ferry

The trail led up and over lumpy terrain to reach a view point of Windermere lake and weaved around some large crags.

View towards Windermere
View towards Windermere

I continued along the trail, following the finger posts which were now very regular. At one point I stopped to give directions to Three Dubs Tarn to a Scottish couple who were away on holiday.

Signpost to Far Sawrey across with a Windermere backdrop
Signpost to Far Sawrey across with a Windermere backdrop

At a t-junction in the path I turned right, again signposted for ‘Far Sawrey’. Along this path I went through a gate and continued south, keeping the wall on my left.

Views from the descent towards Far Sawrey
Views from the descent towards Far Sawrey

At this point the track twisted and undulated beside some impressive dry stone walls and later, there were walls running either side of the trail.

Walled footpath
Walled footpath

At the next path junction I turned right to join the bridleway.

Right to join the bridleway at the finger post
Right to join the bridleway at the finger post

Keeping the wall on my right, I followed the bridleway down to meet the track at the bottom. Passing through the gate a beautiful view opened up on my right.

Final view of the descent of my Latterbarrow and Claife Heights adventure
Final view of the descent of my Latterbarrow and Claife Heights adventure

The path brought me out right opposite my car.

Wrapping Up

Next on the list was Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell, a walk where the phrase ‘break a leg‘ was taken quite literally!

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.

Naddle Horseshoe

Views from the Naddle Horseshoe across the far eastern Lake District fells
James Forrest descending Hare Shaw on the Naddle Horseshoe
James Forrest descending Hare Shaw on the Naddle Horseshoe

Naddle Horseshoe Route Introduction

The Naddle Horseshoe is a classic route featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The original route takes in 7 outlier fells in the east of the Lake District National Park. It is a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 18th July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 63 to 69 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Naddle Horseshoe Route Stats

Fells: Scalebarrow Knott (338m), Harper Hills (414m), Hare Shaw (503m), Nameless Summit 1427′ (435m), Nameless Summit 1380′ (435m), Hugh’s Laithes Pike (419m) and Nameless Summit 1320′ (395m).

Total Distance: 12.6km / 7.83miles

Total Ascent: 280m / 919ft

Approx Walk Time: 4 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 528156

Naddle Horseshoe Route Report

The Lead Up

A week earlier we’d hiked a mash up of three horseshoes in the Shap Fells – the Crookdale horseshoe, the Wasdale horseshoe and the Wet Sleddale horseshoe. Next on the agenda -the Naddle Horseshoe – was not too far away from those, in the eastern Lake District. Parking is on the road junction at NY 528156 and there is room for a few cars.

The Ascent

The ascent starts from the car park, heading north along the road for a short distance before peeling off left along a wide track.

Woman walks with her horse on the path at the beginning of the Naddle Horseshoe
Woman walks with her horse on the path at the beginning of the Naddle Horseshoe

We passed a woman with a horse and a dog along this trail. The path narrowed and became grassier as it led south-west towards the first fell of the day, Scalebarrow Knott.

Summit of Scalebarrow Knott, the first fell of the Naddle Horseshoe
Summit of Scalebarrow Knott, the first fell of the Naddle Horseshoe

The Summit – Scalebarrow Knott

The summit of Scalebarrow Knott was marked with a cairn and the views were of rolling countryside, dissected by dry stone walls.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Scalebarrow Knott
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Scalebarrow Knott

I really do love the quietness of these fells. They seem to be seldom walked. This was a sunny Saturday and we didn’t see another person for the rest of the day.

The Summit – Harper Hills

From Scalebarrow Knott, we continued over grassy terrain in a south-westerly direction towards our next summit – Harper Hills.

Adventurer Nic tapping the summit cairn of Harper Hills on the Naddle Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic tapping the summit cairn of Harper Hills on the Naddle Horseshoe

The summit of Harper Hills was clearly marked by a cairn. The views to the higher Lake District mountains became increasingly good as we approached the furthest end of the horseshoe.

The Summit – Hare Shaw

The path between Harper Hills and Hare Shaw
The path between Harper Hills and Hare Shaw

From Harper Hills we continued south-west towards the next outlying fell – Hare Shaw, following a path for most of the way.

As we got deeper into the walk the paths thinned out and we walked through long tussocky grass. At one point we passed a plot where lots of trees had been newly planted.

Newly planted trees on Hare Shaw
Newly planted trees on Hare Shaw

We reached the summit of Hare Shaw, and from here we enjoyed a great view to Selside Pike, Branstree and Harter Fell.

View towards Selside Pike from Hare Shaw
View towards Selside Pike from Hare Shaw

A small cairn marked the summit.

View from Hare Shaw
View from Hare Shaw

As we left the summit of Hare Shaw, we were given a opportunity to appreciate the remainder of the horseshoe.

James Forrest descending Hare Shaw
James Forrest descending Hare Shaw

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1427′

From Hare Shaw, we dropped down over lumpy bumpy grassy terrain to the north-west before Haweswater came into view.

Our first sighting of Haweswater on the Naddle Horseshoe
Our first sighting of Haweswater on the Naddle Horseshoe

We appreciated Kidsty Pike from this vantage point – the sharpest peak on the line of fells which also includes the bulk of High Street.

After navigating through a lot of thick bracken, we approached a wall junction.

Approaching the gate at the wall junction
Approaching the gate at the wall junction

We passed through a large gate and proceeded on towards the fourth of the outlying fells of the Naddle Horseshoe.

En route to the first of three nameless fells on the Naddle Horseshoe
En route to the first of three nameless fells on the Naddle Horseshoe

By this point I’d chewed James’s ear off incessantly about my recent trip to visit family in Lincolnshire.

James en route to the next summit
James en route to the next summit

He finally had a chance to contribute something to the conversation, whoops!

Adventurer Nic approaching the first nameless summit of the Naddle Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic approaching the first nameless summit of the Naddle Horseshoe

A small cairn marked the summit and the light was stunning by this point in the evening.

We normally nickname the nameless summits (generally based on the names of friends who have joined us on the summits) but there were just the two of us on this trip so I’ll nickname them after previous pets of mine. So the first nameless summit is hereby ‘Crixus Crag’ after my pet goldfish.

Views from the summit of the first nameless fell
View from the summit of the first nameless fell

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1380′

We tried to stay high on the ridge making our way through increasing amounts of heather and bracken.

James Forrest walking between the two nameless fells
James Forrest walking between the two nameless fells

We passed through another large gate and then progressed towards the second of the nameless fells.

Gate between the two nameless fells
Gate between the two nameless fells

The summit was marked by a small cairn. By this point, perfect fluffy clouds had formed on the bright blue sky and we were really enjoying the walk.

Adventurer Nic on the second of the nameless fells of the Naddle Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic on the second of the nameless fells of the Naddle Horseshoe

Following the earlier theme, the nickname of this fell is ‘Naevia Nab’ (after another goldfish of mine).

The Summit – Hugh’s Laithes Pike

From there we looped around to Hugh’s Laithes Pike.

James Forrest en route to Hugh's Laithes Pike
James Forrest en route to Hugh’s Laithes Pike

This summit was marked with a more established cairn.

The summit of Hugh's Laithes Pike on the Naddle Horseshoe
The summit of Hugh’s Laithes Pike on the Naddle Horseshoe

The views across Haweswater from here were wonderful.

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1320′

We then left, in long grass and bracken, in the direction of the final Wainwright Outlying Fell of the day.

James Forrest en route to the final summit of the day
James Forrest en route to the final summit of the day

The final summit of the Naddle Horseshoe was also nameless. So, following the earlier theme once more, the nickname of this fell is ‘Gannicus Gable’ (after my third and final pet goldfish).

Adventurer Nic on the final summit of the day
Adventurer Nic on the final summit of the day

Naddle Horseshoe Descent

It felt great to have got seven more Outlying Fells of Lakeland under our belts on such a fab horseshoe.

James Forrest starting the Naddle Horseshoe descent
James Forrest starting the Naddle Horseshoe descent

From the final summit we headed south over steeper terrain, avoiding the thicker vegetation and trees to the bottom track.

Reaching the bottom track
Reaching the bottom track

Once at the track, we followed it north-east, passing through a large gate before turning right at the finger post to pass through another gate and across Naddle Beck at the ford.

Trail back towards the car
Trail back towards the car

We then headed east, up a gravel stony path and through another couple of gates to rejoin the trail that we’d walked on close to the start of the walk. We took a bypass path around the right hand side of Scalebarrow Knott and back to the car.

Wrapping Up

What next? Latterbarrow and Claife Heights beckoned. These would be my next Outlying Fells, I would be continuing on alone without James.

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.

Shap Fells

James Forrest on High House Bank on the Crookdale Horseshoe in the Shap Fells

The Crookdale, Wet Sleddale and Wasdale Horseshoes in One Hike

James Forrest on the summit of Robin Hood
James Forrest on the summit of Robin Hood

Shap Fells Route Introduction

The Shap Fells are blissfully quiet and the Crookdale, Wet Sleddale and Wasdale Horseshoes are classic hill-walking routes featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. This route mashes the three horseshoes together to take in 10 outlying fells in the far east of the Lake District National Park. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 11 July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 53 to 62 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Shap Fells Route Stats

Fells: High House Bank (495m), Robin Hood (493m), Lord’s Seat (524m), Ulthwaite Rigg (502m), Great Saddle Crag (560m), Sleddale Pike (506m), Wasdale Pike (565m), Great Yarlside (591m), Little Yarlside (516m) and Whatshaw Common (485m).

Total Distance: 19.2km / 11.93miles

Total Ascent: 400m / 1,312ft

Approx Walk Time: 6.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 554061

Shap Fells Route Report

The Lead Up

A few days earlier we’d hiked Green Quarter Fell, a short walk from the Kentmere valley. Now it was time for something a little longer. I’d studied the routes for the Crookdale Horseshoe, Wet Sleddale Horseshoe and Wasdale Horseshoe. These three walks in the Shap Fells were very close together. Consequently, I saw no reason not to combine them into a nice 20km route. We started in a large layby on the A6, just 6 miles south of Shap.

There are three large laybys on this stretch of road so finding a parking space even on a Saturday in July wasn’t problematic.

The Shap Fells Ascent

James and I left our car and walked south down the road briefly. We then peeled off through two large gates to gain access to the hills on a track heading west.

James Forrest passes through another gate
James Forrest passes through another gate

After only 250m on this track we turned left through a gate and followed the path, through farmland and a kissing gate, to cross Crookdale Bridge.

Kissing gate
Kissing gate

It was at this early point in the walk that we noticed a large bird of prey taking off into the air from a fence post before hovering above the ground. A majestic sight.

The trail through farmland
The trail through farmland

We could see our first target – High House Bank in front of us.

The Farm by Crookdale Bridge
The Farm by Crookdale Bridge

Upon crossing Crookdale Bridge we turned right to walk up alongside a derelict wall.

Wall rising steeply up Hazel Bank
Wall rising steeply up Hazel Bank

We soon peeled off away from the wall over pathless ground to head south-west to a more established wall running up the side of Hazel Bank.

View from the ascent
View from the ascent

We followed this wall until there was a gap in it. Crossing it here enabled us to make a beeline for the 495m summit of High House Bank over tussocky ground.

The Summit – High House Bank

At the summit of High House Bank we admired views down to the Borrowdale valley with Borrow Beck running down the centre.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of High House Bank, the first of the Shap Fells we hiked that day in the Lake District
Adventurer Nic on the summit of High House Bank

In the distance, the most noticeable peak was Ill Bell of the Kentmere horseshoe, seen over the top of the fells of the Bannisdale horseshoe.

View from High House Bank
View from High House Bank

The Summit – Robin Hood

James Forrest on the trail to Robin Hood, vast and not another soul around, the Shap Fells are so quiet
The trail to Robin Hood

We left High House Bank to the north-west in the direction of Robin Hood following a small path.

Robin Hood looking towards the Bannisdale Fells
Robin Hood looking towards the Bannisdale Fells

After reaching the summit and posing for the obligatory ‘Robin Hood firing an arrow’ photo, we made swift progress towards Lord’s Seat, our third fell of the day.

Adventurer Nic as Robin Hood on Robin Hood
Adventurer Nic as Robin Hood on Robin Hood

The valley of Crookdale separated us from the fells that we’d walk at the end of the day.

The Summit – Lord’s Seat

We continued walking north-west on the clear path to Lord’s Seat, making good progress whilst we still had a path to follow.

Adventurer Nic approaching Lord's Seat, part of the Crookdale Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic approaching Lord’s Seat, part of the Crookdale Horseshoe

We knew we wouldn’t have the privilege of an obvious trail when we made our attempt to link the Crookdale Horseshoe to the next two sets of hills.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Lord's Seat
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Lord’s Seat

It was great to look back from the summit of Lord’s Seat to the fells we’d just hiked, plus we could see Whinfell ridge in the background.

Shap Fells – Linking the Crookdale Horseshoe with the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe

At this point in the walk we left the natural Crookdale Horseshoe in order to link up with the next horseshoe – the Wet Sleddale. This involved leaving the summit of Lord’s Seat to the west, before making our way over lumpy, bumpy, rugged terrain to the north.

James Forrest between Lord's Seat at Ulthwaite Rigg
James Forrest between Lord’s Seat at Ulthwaite Rigg

We stuck to our northern bearing almost all the way to Ulthwaite Rigg. The terrain was often wet, but I managed to keep my feet dry despite a few near misses. We passed a pair of large frogs who were jumping high through the grass.

Two frogs hopping though the grass
Two frogs hopping though the grass

The route led us uphill at first to the saddle between Harrop Pike and Great Yarlside at 560m where we crossed a wire fence, before heading downhill towards Ulthwaite Rigg (502m). This felt quite unnatural at first but there was a slight raise to the summit at the end.

James Forrest descending towards Ulthwaite Rigg, to pick up the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe part of the route
James Forrest descending towards Ulthwaite Rigg, to pick up the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe part of the route

The Summit – Ulthwaite Rigg

James Forrest jumping over boggy ground, which is common on the Shap Fells
James Forrest jumping over boggy ground

The summit of Ulthwaite Rigg is largely protected by a moat of swampy, saturated ground and a bit of bog hopping was required to get to the cairn. Once there, we had our first view of the Wet Sleddale Reservoir.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Ulthwaite Rigg
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Ulthwaite Rigg

The Summit – Great Saddle Crag

From Ulthwaite Rigg we headed down to the south-east to cross the Sleddale Beck where it forks. We sat on a rock while we ate our lunch before continuing uphill in the direction of Great Saddle Crag. At this point sitting in the valley it struck me how unbelievably quiet it was. Not only had we not seen another hill walker, we hadn’t heard anything other than bird song and the soft sound from the light breeze all day.

After lunch we ascended up alongside the stream before crossing the top of Widepot Sike and up onto the summit of Great Saddle Crag.

James Forrest en route to Great Saddle Crag in the Shap Fells
James Forrest en route to Great Saddle Crag in the Shap Fells

From this point in the walk, there was a notable change from grassy, boggy terrain to bouncy heather.

Adventurer Nic on Great Saddle Crag, the 5th of the Shap Fell we'd hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Great Saddle Crag

The Summit – Sleddale Pike

We left the summit of Great Saddle Crag and headed off towards Sleddale Pike to the north-east. It was slow going through the heather and there was one wire fence to cross en-route.

Wire fence amongst purple heather en route to Sleddale Pike
Wire fence amongst purple heather en route to Sleddale Pike

We happened across an area where some trees had recently been planted and tree protector guards were in place.

Recently planted trees between Great Saddle Crag and Sleddale Pike
Recently planted trees between Great Saddle Crag and Sleddale Pike

On the summit of Sleddale Pike there was a thick pole in the ground.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Sleddale Pike - Shap Fells
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Sleddale Pike – Shap Fells

Of all the hills on the Shap Fells route, this top had the best view to Wet Sleddale Reservoir.

Shap Fells – Linking the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe with the Wasdale Horseshoe

From Sleddale Pike we ventured on over pathless ground south towards Wasdale Pike. We were in the heart of the Shap Fells. This point in the walk marked our departure from the Wet Sleddale horseshoe and the beginning of the Wasdale horseshoe. The distance between the two fells though was negligible, a mere 1km.

James Forrest en route to Wasdale Pike
James Forrest en route to Wasdale Pike

It was as we were approaching Wasdale Pike that we noticed three deer – an adult and two red deer fawns. Naturally, they ran away as we approached but it was lovely to see them effortlessly bounding over the terrain.

Deer on Wasdale Pike
Deer on Wasdale Pike

The Summit – Wasdale Pike

This point in the walk marked the end of the pathless route-finding.

Adventurer Nic on Wasdale Pike, the 7th of the Shap Fells we'd hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Wasdale Pike

A high level path led from Wasdale Pike to the summit of Great Yarlside. This would mark the highest point of the walk and the third highest of all the Outlying Fells on the list at 591m.

Trail leading away from Wasdale Pike towards Great Yarlside
Trail leading away from Wasdale Pike towards Great Yarlside

The Summit – Great Yarlside

We followed the path alongside a fence up to a corner. Here, the fence met another boundary, just short of the summit of Great Yarlside. We crossed over this and marched the short distance to the summit.

Adventurer Nic on the 3rd highest of Wainwright's Outlying Fells of Lakeland - Great Yarlside
Adventurer Nic on the 3rd highest of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland – Great Yarlside

The Coniston Fells were just visible in the distance.

The old Ordnance Survey trig ring on Great Yarlside
The old Ordnance Survey trig ring on Great Yarlside

We spotted an old trigonometrical survey station in the ground just as we were leaving to head for Little Yarlside along the path to the south-east.

The Summit – Little Yarlside

James Forrest en route to Little Yarlside
James Forrest en route to Little Yarlside

There is some confusion as to whether or not the summit of Little Yarlside is on the left or right side of the wall. Alfred Wainwright himself placed it on the left side, while our hill-bagging app described it as a ‘ground by shallow pit’ on the right hand side of the wall. In all fairness, I don’t think it matters greatly.

Adventurer Nic on Little Yarlside, the 9th of the Shap Fells we hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Little Yarlside

From this part of the Wasdale Horseshoe we had a good view down to Crookdale Beck. The view to the fells we’d hiked that morning was also lovely.

The Summit – Whatshaw Common

James Forrest heading for Whatshaw Common
James Forrest heading for Whatshaw Common

From the summit of Little Yarlside, we continued on the right side of the wall to a col. It was from there that we continued uphill to the top of Whatshaw Common, our tenth summit of the day.

Adventurer Nic on Whatshaw Common, the tenth of the Shap Fells we hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Whatshaw Common

Shap Fells Descent

We proceeded to descend to the west alongside a fence and wall. There were paths on either side so we were uncertain which would be best. We picked the right-hand side. In hindsight, the left-hand side would have been better as we had one more boundary to get over towards the bottom which was a tad awkward.

Views on the final descent of the Shap Fells route
Views on the final descent of the Shap Fells route

This returned us to the three gates we’d passed through at the beginning of the walk and we retraced our steps back to the car.

Wrapping Up

I prioritised some family commitments before returning to hike more of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland a week later, starting with the Naddle Horseshoe.

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.