12th September 2010

Steel Knotts, Beda Fell and Hallin Fell


Walk Overview
Time 10.25 to 15.00
Duration 4 hr 35 min
Distance 9.3 mile
Ascent 2900 ft
Walking with On my own
Martindale new church - Birkie Knott - Steel Knotts - Martindale old church - Winter Crag - Beda Head - Beda Fell - Bedafell Knott - Freeze Beck - Boredale Hause - Boredale Head - Boredale - Garth Heads - Howegrain Beck - Martindale new church - Hallin Fell - Martindale new church
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Martindale new church

There are plenty of parking spaces next to Martindale's new church and what a fantastic area this is. Found on what I'd call the back side of Ullswater this is as close as you're going to get to unspoilt.

The sheer quantity of walks that can be done from here would rival any other area in the Lake District, it may take a little more imagination and inventiveness than some places, but there really is something to suit everyone.

Parking is free.


Route Map

Hallin Fell and Martindale's new church, taken from the path up Birkie Knott.

Approaching Steel Knotts summit.
I have to admit, at this point I hadn't much hope of seeing a lot of sunshine today. What little there was at the start of the walk had almost gone and I was resigned to having a somewhat overcast day out. How wrong I was!

Steel Knotts summit.

And again, looking in the opposite direction to show a small section of Ullswater.

A close up of Martindale old church, Christy Bridge and Winter Crag Farm. That's where I'm heading next.

Leaving the summit and looking down to Ramps Gill (left) and Bannerdale (right), both separated by The Nab.

To get to the old church I followed this diagonal path down the side of Steel Knotts. It was a bit overgrown with bracken (and nettles), but it must have been easier than the route straight up the wall which I saw another group of people using.

Hallin Fell, taken from the path leading from the back of Winter Crag Farm to the northern end of the Beda Fell ridge.


A look back down the ridge shows Hallin Fell with a section of Ullswater on each side.

Another close up of Martindale old church, Christy Bridge and Winter Crag Farm. To state the obvious, this one was taken from the opposite side of the valley from the earlier picture looking down here.

Place Fell seen from the small shelter found near the cairn below the summit.

A view back to Beda Fell summit.

My intention today was to walk across the ridge and then head down to the left to Dale Head farm in Bannerdale. While I was walking across here, I had a change of mind and decided to turn right, walk across to Boredale Hause and then pick up the diagonal path you can see on the right hand side of the picture. This one leads down to Boredale which may have made the walk marginally longer, but just as enjoyable.

After standing for five minutes waiting for the sun to light up the whole of the ridge instead of just this end of it, I finally gave up, took this picture and carried on walking.

Looking down to Boredale.

Heading across / down to Boredale Hause; the area on the right with the patch of sunshine.
There are lots of fells in the background here, including Fairfield, St Sunday Crag, Helvellyn and Catstye Cam.

Ready to drop down into Boredale now.
From this spot there's a short steep section which is a bit rough under foot. The good news is it soon gives way to an easy going gentle path down to valley level.

Time for something to eat I think, and I'd struggle to find anywhere as deserted and peaceful as this.

A view back up to Boredale Hause. With the sun in my eyes this picture doesn't do the place justice at all. You'll have to believe me when I say it really is much nicer than it appears to be.

A very small waterfall, found behind Boredale Head Farm.


Cat Crag seen over this semi permanent pool at the northern end of Boredale.


Just follow the sign for Howtown and Penrith.
Be careful though, if you happen to find yourself in Howtown you know you've walked a little too far, , , if you end up in Penrith, you deserve an award, quickly followed by a lesson in navigation.

I'm sure most people will agree that this is such a gorgeous place, yet the lack of people I meet whenever I'm here shows that this simply isn't every ones cup of tea. Obviously the higher, grander, more adventurous fells have a lure that these ones can't compete with.

As I crossed the bridge over Howegrain Beck, I took this picture looking across to Gowbarrow Fell in the distance.

Now I did one of the hardest things you can ever do when you're out fell walking. I passed within a few feet of the car and started to head up hill again. Whenever you do this, it doesn't matter how big or how small the fells are, they always seems much steeper then they actually are.

Looking across to Beda Fell, the one in the centre of the picture.

The northern end of Ullswater and in the distance you can see Penrith and the Pennines.

Hallin Fell summit 'obelisk'.

And again, looking towards Little Mell Fell in sunshine (centre) and the top of Great Mell Fell (left).

A view into one of the Lake District's quieter corners.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks