30th January 2010

Far from the madding crowd on the Uldale Fells


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 14.15
Duration 5 hr
Distance 11.1 mile
Ascent 2730 ft
Walking with On my own
Peter House Farm - Dash Beck - Cow Wath - below Brockle Crag - Burntod Gill - below Burn Tod - Knott - Great Sca Fell - Meal Fell - Trusmadoor - Great Cockup - River Ellen - Longlands - Orthwaite - Peter House Farm
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Peter House Farm, Orthwaite

The half a dozen or so spaces here are found along some very narrow roads around the northern side of the Lake District. In places, you just hope you don't meet anything coming in the opposite direction. Even though there isn't a great deal of space, this is somewhere I'm always confident about getting parked.

This spot offers convenient access to the Uldale / back of Skiddaw fells, and the track leading to Skiddaw House.


Route Map

I've been waiting for a blue sky and sunshine day to head onto these fells since before Christmas. I had intended to walk here over the Christmas break, but as we all remember, the weather was somewhat extreme. There was so much snow and ice about that I couldn't even get here to start the walk. Anyway:
Today looked like it was going to be the perfect winters day so here I am.

Below Brockle Crag. Shortly after taking this picture I "climbed" over the gate and turned right to follow the path above the wall seen under the crag.

Taking a picture of myself, taking a picture of Binsey.

On my own in the middle of nowhere; fantastic.
It wasn't exactly a straight line route I was wanting to take from here, but I was heading up to the lowest point on the right hand skyline. Little did I realise I'd end up taking a bit of a de-tour to avoid an area of ice I wasn't prepared to walk up.


Well, this does present a problem doesn't it!
I have no reservations at all about walking on my own in out of the way places like this, but I'm not a fool, and walking across this would have been a pretty stupid thing to do. I don't think I'd have crossed this if I'd been with a crowd of people, never mind while I was by myself. The whole lot was frozen, and it was also much deeper and much steeper than it looks in this picture. Add this to the fact that I didn't have any crampons with me, then there was no way I was going to run the risk of breaking the ice and falling into the beck I could see running out from underneath the ice.

I didn't see the need to turn back, so I just headed straight up the fellside on the left hand side of the picture.

Did I mention it was deep.


Knott summit, in front of High Pike and Carrock Fell.

And again, this time looking across to Bannerdale Crags, Blencathra, Mungrisdale Common and Lonscale Fell.

Great Sca Fell summit.

A close up of Overwater and Binsey, with the Solway Firth and the Scottish hills in the background.

The view ahead to Meal Fell.
It looks quite flat from here, but it isn't.

Great Sca Fell.

Meal Fell summit.

Standing on the Great Cockup side of Trusmadoor and looking towards the aptly named Frozen Fell.

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

Great Cockup summit, in front of Bakestall and Skiddaw.

It seemed a shame to head back already so decided to make the walk a bit longer by heading down to Longlands (the white buildings in the centre of the picture) and then walking back along the road through Orthwaite. It did add quite a lot onto the walk, but it was such a nice day it was well worth the extra effort.

Little Sca Fell and Great Sca Fell, seen from the small sheepfold next to the River Ellen.

Lunch with a view across to Binsey.

Passing by the large sheepfold on route to Longlands.

Longlands; a really lovely spot. If it's peace and quiet you're after then this is the place for you.


On the way back to the car I passed by Chapelhouse Reservior.

I had the best of both worlds today, a decent walk on the fells and a walk through some lovely countryside to finish off the walk.

Binsey and Latrigg (not the Keswick one) seen behind Overwater.

Passing through Orthwaite.

And the final picture of the day, showing Mirkholme in front of the fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks