30th January 2016

A wintry walk from Whinlatter to Sale Fell

Time 8:15am to 2:10pm
Duration 5 hr 55 min
Distance 11.2 mile
Ascent 3200 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey
Darling How Farm - Aiken Plantation - Brown How - Whinlatter Top - Tarbarrel Moss - Barf - Lord's Seat - Broom Fell - Widow Hause - Graystones - Wythop Moss - Ling Fell - Brumston Bridge - Kelswick Farm - Sale Fell - Roadside near Wythop Church
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking spaces near Darling How Farm, Whinlatter Pass

With room for about a dozen or so cars, this spot proves handy for numerous different ascents of the group of fells usually referred to as the Lord's Seat fells. And despite them being grouped together under the name of a single fell, there is actually a nice selection of fells to choose from; including Whinlatter and Greystones.

Parking is free and this is a place I've always managed to get a space, regardless of the time of day or year.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map



There are three types of people in the world, those with more than an ounce of common sense that don't need told the glaringly obvious, and those with almost no common sense that do need told but take no notice anyway. Thirdly, and I guess the sign is aimed at them, there are people with no common sense whatsoever. These are the folk who would walk through the woods when it wasn't safe to do so, they'd get hit by a tree and then look around for someone to blame, because "nobody told us that trees can fall down".

I remember when I was in junior school and I fell off a tree swing in my mates back garden. I ran home screaming the place in because there was blood running off my elbow. Ten minutes later Mam had spat on a hanky to clean the wound, stuck on a plaster and sent me back out to carry on playing on the same swing. The point is, my Mam didn't go round and beat his Mam up, there was no long legal battle while we tried to get compensation, tree swings weren't banned if you were under ten years old and I doubt that any warning signs were put there to warn everyone of the dangers.

Then the 21st century arrived and we now see signs like this one pointing out, as I said above "the glaringly obvious". How times have changed.


Because of the forecast for potentially unsafe winds, todays walk needed options. The option to turn back, which to an large extent is always there and the option to cut the walk short which, depending on where you are, isn't always possible. The idea was to set off with the intentions of sticking to our plan of walking from here to Sale Fell via the Lord's Seat / Whinlatter fells. If the wind did turn out to be too strong we could drop back down here, admit defeat and drive back round for the other car.

Once we got onto Whinlatter the wind was very strong, but manageable enough by putting a bit of thought and effort into what we were doing. I should add that we had to work all that out for ourselves because the sign explaining what to do if it was windy was blown away in a recent storm.


Ahead of us we see Broom Fell and Lord's Seat. Both looking very wintry with a dusting of snow and a grey sky. Conversation now turned to the best route from the forest track up to Brown How / Whinlatter. As I said at the time, "the trees are growing so thick I can't see me being able to use this route many more times"

As we make our way steeply up alongside the wall, I look across to Lord's Seat.

Blimey, what a difference now that we were out in the open. I think we got here 5 minutes to soon as there was no shelter at all from the hail shower that passed over.

Looking ahead to Whinlatter Top.

Whinlatter summit with some angry looking skies above us.

For a while we benefitted from the shelter of the trees which made conversation easier. The shelter wasn't to last however, We're walking down to the bend in the track before turning onto that narrow path you can see running the trees.


Barf comes into view once we're out of the woods and it's here that we decide to cut straight across and head to Barf next.

Search lights on Derwent Water and Newlands Valley

Flooded Bassenthwaite seen from the top of Barf.


Looking ahead to Broom Fell.

And now looking back across to Lord's Seat.

It was very wintry indeed walking across from Lord's Seat to Graystones so time spent at the top of Broom Fell was brief. Photos were taken and as the wind was so loud there was no reason to even try to speak. A nod of the head from each of us indicated we were ready to make a move.

Broom Fell is left behind and next for us was, , , ,

, , , , Graystones, seen here beyond the area of trees.

Standing on Graystones summit and looking back across to Lord's Seat. Between there and here we'd had one hour of very enjoyable winter walking. I guess this isn't everyone's cup of tea but for us that enjoy these conditions, it just shows you don't need two feet of snow on the ground to have a good wintry walk.

Next, we had to negotiate Wythop Moss to reach Ling Fell. And although I've walked across the far end of the moss a few times in the past, this is the first time I've walked across this side of the area. Because of all the rain we've had in recent months I'd expected this to be a wet and muddy battle with nature but I was quite mistaken. It was far from dry, but the crossing really was straightforward.

We're all given the opportunity to be an individual so why choose to be another one of the crowd.

On the walk up Ling Fell we look back across Wythop Moss to Broom Fell. The odd thing is, when you look over here from Broom Fell, Wythop Moss seems to be almost perfectly level, which of course it isn't.

Ling Fell summit. The Skiddaw fells are behind the column and that's Sale Fell to the left hand side of it.

Looking back across to Ling Fell.

Kelswick Farm is passed on route up to Sale Fell. Whenever I walk up this side of the farm the place always reminds me of some bleak farmstead out on top of a lonely moor rather than a farm found only a couple of minutes drive from civilisation.

And again, in front of Ling Fell.

Sunshine and shadows on the field in Wythop Valley.

Sale Fell summit in front of the Skiddaw Fells.

Options were kept up our sleeves but thankfully they remained unused today. We stuck to our original plan and after an uncertain start to the walk we find ourselves on Sale Fell after a fantastic wintry walk over the Lord's Seat fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks