1st June 2013

Lonscale Fell, Skiddaw and Skiddaw House


Walk Overview
Time 7.15 am to 12.55 pm
Duration 5 hr 40 min
Distance 10 mile
Ascent 2800 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Gale Road - Lonscale Fell - Jenkin Hill - Skiddaw Little Man - Skiddaw - Sale How - Skiddaw House - Lonscale Crags - Whit Beck - Gale Road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, at the top of Gale Road, Latrigg

This is a popular starting point for those wishing to take the so called tourist route up Skiddaw. Personally I feel that it offers far more choices than this. Not only is it handy for Skiddaw itself, but the adjoining fells are all within easy reach. If this isn't enough choice then you could also head onto Blencathra, Mungrisedale Common or the more adventurous could even head as far as the Back O'skiddaw fells.

The car park is free, but most of the time it does get pretty full.

A word of warning: This is somewhere to avoid during icy conditions. Those who have experienced this will know why!


Route Map

Before the walk   and after the walk

Passing by the Harwell monument. The monument remembers two Skiddaw Shepherds Edward Harwell and his son Joseph, both of Lonscale Farm. The monument describes them as "noted breeders of prize Herdwick sheep"

It looks like Jennifer couldn't wait to begin the steep walk up Skiddaw.

We didn't need to be a couple of geniuses to realise it would be very busy up here later in the day. So, we thought it a good idea to set off a decent time to catch the best of the weather and to enjoy a quiet walk up a popular fell. To our surprise, we hadn't gone far when we passed a lady who was on her way back down. "Morning" we all said to each other and then she added "it's freezing at the top".
Blimey, she must have set off early. I wonder if she walked past us thinking we were a lazy pair who can't be bothered getting out of bed in the morning.

A look backwards to see the gently rolling Latrigg in front of all the much rougher looking fells behind. Derwent Water is enjoying the sunshine on the right hand side of the picture and on the left, Helvellyn is still hanging onto the cloud.

Perhaps more than most, Skiddaw allows you to see a greater number of other fells. On the walk up this side of the fell there nowt to block the view and on a nice clear morning like today, this is the reward for your efforts.

Before reaching Jenkin Hill we left the main path and took a level route across to this point found just over from Lonscale Fell summit. Obviously we had to return this way, but cutting the corner make perfect sense to reach Lonscale Fell.

Skiddaw Little Man and Skiddaw seen (or rather not seen) from Lonscale Fell.

That's Jennifer giving me a head start. She opted not to walk over Skiddaw Little Man but to carry on along the lower path and meet me at the next gate. "Don't walk too fast otherwise you'll just end up waiting at the gate for me". Even with the head start I got there last.

Lots of Lakeland seen from Skiddaw Little Man.

Ullock Pike, Long Side, Carl Side and behind the heather clad slopes on Carl Side you can see the top section of Dodd.

The cloud was definitely on our side today. I really didn't expect it to have lifted of Skiddaw by the time we got there but it looked more than promising as I left Skiddaw Little Man.
The small dot on the path down there is Jennifer.

Looking back across to Skiddaw Little Man.

Heading across the higher section of the fell to reach Skiddaw Summit. The cloud may have risen but the temperature had gone the other way and dropped quite a bit.

10am and we had the place to ourselves. It was a bit too cool to be hanging about so after taking a few pictures and reacquainting ourselves with the view, we headed back across the ridge.

Bassenthwaite and the Cumbrian Coastal Plane. The band of cloud is just about blocking the view of the Solway.

This is a strange place to hear a hair drier, , , , then I looked up.


Rather than heading over to Bakestall or simply heading back to the car, Jennifer suggested heading straight down to Skiddaw House via Sale How. It's about a mile and a half of easy walking from here to Skiddaw House.

A close up of Skiddaw House.

This is normally the wet and muddy part of the route down here but it was almost dry today. It just shows how dry it's been for a while, despite the occasional day of constant rain trying it's best to disrupt things.
Up on the left hand side is Great Calva and in the far distance is Carrock Fell.

We're on the Skiddaw House track now. That way would lead us to Dash Falls and eventually to Bassenthwaite but we're heading in the opposite direction; past Skiddaw House, below Lonscale and round to the car.


Even on a sunny day like this Skiddaw looks somewhat bleak from this angle.

Shortly after leaving Skiddaw House you reach Salehow Beck (there's a bridge across it). Up on the skyline, the distinctive double top of Skiddaw Little Man can be seen.

Not too far from Skiddaw House you pass by the bottom of Lonscale Fell's long grassy ridge. I've no idea why, but the ridge is called Burnt Horse.

Our route took us along the side of Lonscale Fell. The path can be seen over there but the fellside it runs through doesn't look nearly as steep as it is when you get there. You're not exactly hanging on by the skin of your teeth, although I still wouldn't like to slip over the side of the path.

Looking back along the path with Great Calva in the distance.

See what I mean about not wanting to slip over the side.

I've seen more meat than this on Good Friday !!


The final view of the day is this one looking across to Clough Head and the Dodds. The two fells on the left are Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks