19th July 2006

Blencathra and Skiddaw, on the hottest day of the year.


Walk Overview
Time 06.45 to 15.45
Duration 9 hr
Distance 14.2 mile
Ascent 4783 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Blencathra Centre - Blencathra - Mungrisdale Common - Skiddaw House - Dash Falls - Bakestall - Skiddaw - Skiddaw Little Man - Lonscale Fell - Blencathra Centre
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, behind the Blencathra Centre, Threlkeld

At almost 1000ft above sea level this is a popular starting point for those wishing for an easier ascent of Blencathra.
Parking is free, but it is quite a popular spot. If you find this car park full you'll need to back track to the car park a little further down the road or even in the village itself.


Route Map

Early morning sunshine on the fields between Blease Fell and High Rigg.
It wasn't even 7am yet and already the sun was quite warm. I was beginning to think it would be too hot to do the walk we set out to do, but as we gained height the breeze got cooler and a little stronger. Once we were above 1500ft or so it was actually quite comfortable; blue sky and sunshine, but without the oppressive heat of the previous weeks walks.

a wider view looking in the same direction as the previous picture.

Footpath repairs on Blease Fell. I wonder how many people have a job with a view as good as this one.

And again form above.

The view down to Threlkeld and the end of St Johns in the Vale taken from the ridge to Blencathra summit.

Sheep in the tarn between Blencathra and Atkinson Pike.

Mungrisdale Common with (right to left) Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man and Lonscale Fell. The reality of how far we had left to walk was starting to become evident, it was also starting to warm up again, now that we were out of the breeze.

A little hazy, but on a clear day this is one of the finest views back into the lakes from the Northern Fells.
A couple of things to point out are:-
The lake is Derwent Water and the dark fell to its left is Walla Crag. The Highest of the pointed fells (directly above the cairn) is Great Gable.

A close up of Skiddaw House from our route off Mungrisdale Common.

Lonscale Fell (just to the right of the dark pointed crag).
This short section between Mungrisdale Common and the Skiddaw House track is usually very wet and not at all the easiest place to cross, but it was almost totally dry today. Hardly surprising considering the lack of rain lately.

The place marked on the map as The Stake.

The approach to Skiddaw House.
I don't think the house is in use again, but looking through the windows was like looking into a building where time has stood still. The book shelf is still well stocked with books; no doubt brought in to occupy the people who stayed there when it was a youth hostel. One of the rooms (the office ?) still has a tape measure, pen and a large note book on the desk. The kitchen still had pots and pans laying around, as though someone had forgot to wash up before they left and there was even a good supply of logs next to the fire place. It was a little eerie to say the least, but if it had been a dark day with the cloud down to this level I should think it would have been a bit un-nerving.

Just above Dash Falls. After walking from Skiddaw House in scorching sunshine we were glad to reach the point where we would start to gain height again, (fingers crossed the breeze was still there).
At the gate we turned left and followed the wall / fence up to Bakestall. The same fence actually continues all the way to Lonscale Fell. It runs just below the summits of Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man, but the same fence is then re-joined and can be followed across to Lonscale Fell.

This little (very little) bridge is found just above Dash Falls.

Bakestall with Binsey on the left, Overwater in the middle of the picture and Brockle Crag just in front.

Looking down to Barkbethdale (below the scree) and Bassenthwaite Lake.

Skiddaw summit. A little hazy, but the cool breeze was well worth the long walk.

Looking back along the path I was following from Skiddaw to Skiddaw Little Man.

Derwent Water and Keswick taken from Skiddaw Little Man.

The way to Lonscale Fell. The path running across the picture is the so called "tourist route" up Skiddaw. We walked down to this path and the continued across the grassy path to Lonscale Fell.
The large fell behind is Blencathra.

And looking back towards Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man.

Walking down from Lonscale Fell. The fells in the background are Great Calva, Knott, High Pike and Carrock Fell.

Crossing one of the becks on the last section of the walk (below Blease Fell). It was scorching hot now and we'd been walking for almost nine hours, at this point and it really was time to get out of the sun.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks