4th May 2013

Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike, Hart Side and Glencoyne


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 15.35
Duration 6 hr 20 min
Distance 8.9 mile
Ascent 2900 ft
Walking with Jennifer, Neil and Maggie as far as Nick Head
Stybarrow Crag - Ullswater - Glenridding - The Rake - Glenridding Dodd - Sheffield Pike - Nick Head - White Stones - Hart Side - Birkett Fell - Glencoyne Head traverse - Nick Head - Bleabank Side - Glencoyne - Seldom Seen - Ullswater - Stybarrow Crag
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Stybarrow Crag, Ullswater

If Glenridding is full, as it often is during summer, this offers a somewhat convenient alternative. Despite its usefulness in this case the car park is a nice place to begin a walk onto Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike.

Parking is free.


Route Map

After a short walk alongside Ullswater we reached Glenridding where I took this picture looking over the rooftops. Originally there were only supposed to be three of us walking this morning; that was until Maggie pulled up next to us at the car park. Incredibly this was the third time this year Maggie and I have set off to do very similar walks at the same time and from the same place. Given the number of times we both get out walking and the number of places we could set off from, the chances of this happening must be very slim indeed.

What a tip. Given where it is, you'd think someone would tell them to tidy the place up a bit. If this were in the middle of a town somewhere, the neighbours would complain to the council, the council rep would call round and the owner would be told to get it shifted.

On the opposite side of the valley is Birkhouse Moor.

Glenridding Dodd summit cairn, , , rock, , , rock with a carin on it. There was lots of cloud about this morning, but the overnight rain has stopped and all the signs pointed towards it turning into quite a decent day. "did you hear how stormy it was last night" Neil asked "stormy, I never heard a thing"

Just across from the summit you get this great view down to Glenriddding and the end of Ullswater.
"this is often the case isn't it"
"what's often the case"
"the view, it's often better when you walk a short way from the highest point on a fell"

Leaving Glenridding Dodd, we retrace our steps back to the top of The Rake before we begin the climb up Heron Pike and Sheffield Pike.

A tree with a view.

A bit more height gained and Glenridding Dodd begins to show us how much lower it is than Sheffield Pike.

Over there is the unmistakable Catstye Cam, now free from cloud.

What a fantastic view. Glenridding Dodd, Glenridding, Place Fell dominating the left hand side of the picture and the High Street / Loadpot Hill ridge in the far distance.

Now for the boggy section of the walk.

Sheffield Pike summit. I'm not sure what you think, but I always find it a time consuming walk from Glenridding Dodd to here. The distance isn't really that great but it generally feels like a long way; possibly because the top is out of view for most of the route.
If you want one of those rubber stopper things you fit on the end of a walking pole, you can get one up here without having to pay for it.

From Sheffield Pike we got a good view of the next part of the route. It goes straight up the path you can see in the centre of the picture, onto the highest point on the skyline (White Stones) and then across to the right hand side.

As we ascended the path a guy passed us, we exchanged a "hello" to each other and then, from a little way behind I heard Jennifer shouting "David, stop" after she'd been asked "is that David". We had a good crack for ten minutes and Paul told me about his fell walking blog:-

Happy Birthday again!

Another picture of Sheffield Pike summit. This one showing Ullswater and the distant Pennines.

A big chunk of the route was on grassy terrain like this. Easy going with panoramic views in almost every direction.

It was here that Jennifer asked when we were stopping for something to eat. I suggested waiting until we reached the wall on the other side of Hart Side / Birkett Fell, , , , because it would be sheltered from the wind. "You're joking, I can't wait that long".
The point of the tale is, despite how far it looks, it only takes about 10 minutes to walk from here to Hart Side.

Jennifer approaches the scar along the ground near Hart Side summit. I've no idea what it's all about, but it certainly looks man made and if it is, it's a pity the man that made it didn't put the stones back where he found them.

Dark looking Blencathra, seen from one of the cairns on Hart Side.

And here you have Great Mell Fell, Little Mell Fell and the Pennines, taken from on of t'other cairns.
We're into May and still you can see small patches of snow down to relatively low level, , , unless it's just a big snow coloured plastic bag or something.

Birkett Fell summit, Ullswater and the wall we sat behind for lunch.

A far eastern fells view.
Apparently there's no such a thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as getting a free pair of gloves with your lunch. So, if it was you that left the pair of gloves behind the wall for me, I'd like to say thanks. Perfect fit and cleaned up nicely after I'd flung them in the washing machine.

This is the terrace route or is it balcony route or perhaps it's the Glencoyne traverse. Anyway: whatever you choose to call it, I'd certainly recommend you include in a walk sometime. It's easy, not quite level, you'd have to be pretty clumsy to fall off and although it offers no skin of your teeth excitement, you'd have to be hard to please if you don't walk away thinking this is just a fantastic place.

Looking across to Sheffield Pike.

Nearing the head of the valley now.

The path follows every contour of the fellside and on more than one occasion you suddenly come across surprises like this one.

A view out of Glencoyne to a tiny section of Ullswater and a big section of Place Fell.

Sheffield Pike and Ullswater. The path into Glencoyne can be seen running down the side of Sheffield Pike.

"Do you want me to move out of the way"
"It's a bit late now" (I mumbled to myself). "No you're okay, you can be in this one" (I said out loud).

Seldom Seen cottages, , , , especially when it's dark.

Often Seen cottages, , , , I reckon twice in one day counts as often.

Ullswater, taken from the lane which runs between the main road and Glencoyne. It was quite warm now that we'd lost all that height and were being offered shelter from the wind. I know I tan really easily but I didn't expect to catch the sun as much as I did today.

By the way, if you look over the wall you can see Glencoyne farm.
"which wall, there's two of them"
"are you trying to be funny or what. Obviously I mean the one on the left"

See, I told you the farm was over there!

"Right, , , right, , , I said turn right not left"
"It's not my fault the steering thing is on the wrong way round"
  "For God sake watch what you're doing, you nearly took my head off that time"

A southerly view down Ullswater, , ,

, , , and a northerly view up Ullswater.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks