9th July 2016

Rain rain go away come again another day - Mellbreak to Low Fell

Time 8:15am to 4:45pm
Duration 8 hr 30 min
Distance 15.2 mile
Ascent Somewhere around 5000 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey
Loweswater - Kirkgate Farm - White Crag - Mellbreak - Mosedale - Mosedale Beck - Hen Comb - White Oak Moss - White Oak - Gavel Fell - Fothergill Head - Blake Fell - Burnbank Fell - Jenkinson Place - Hudson Plave - Grange Lane - Mosser Road - Mosser Fell - Fellbarrow - Low Fell - Crabtree Beck - Mosser Road - Loweswater Road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking spaces, Loweswater
With room for only half a dozen cars or so the chances are that you'll find this parking area full. There is another car park found a little way past The Kirkstile Inn, but this one is even smaller. Should you be lucky enough to get parked however, you'll find this a truly beautiful area of the Lake District. Crummock Water and Loweswater are both within easy reach and of course there's Mellbreak, towering above this end of Lorton Vale.
Route Map


Had the weather been on our side we would have been in Wasdale today but some walks not only deserve, but need drier conditions, not only for the sake of comfort but for the sake of keeping safe. So as you can see, we're in Loweswater and not Wasdale. Here, our route would be mostly over grassy fells where there was little chance of slipping off anything or having to retreat because the route was running with far too much water.

As it's the middle of summer, full waterproofs were needed from start to finish. Not just jacket and pants (trousers), we even opted to include gaiters, which I really hate wearing unless absolutely necessary. Today, , , , , , I was glad of them; you'll see why.


Here at Church Bridge we look back at a somewhat obscured view the Kirkstile Inn. The morning is warm and although it wasn't raining yet, there was still a dampness in the air; no doubt brought on by the cloud which was not far above the valley bottom. The big plus for us was that it didn't feel humid at all. Setting off in full waterproofs for a long day in high humidity would have been torture. As it was, the conditions were quite comfortable albeit very wet.

Heading up the bottom section of Mellbreak and already we're walking in cloud.

Mellbreak summit.

As we loose height on the walk off Mellbreak I was surprised we ended up below the cloud. Down there you can see the Mosedale Holly Tree. I think I'm right in saying it's the only individual tree in the Lake District marked on the map.

After a VERY steep, wet and at times slippery walk up the side of Hen Comb from Mosedale we arrive at the summit.

This picture more or less sums up what conditions were like for most of this walk. Great walking but not very camera friendly.

For about 20 seconds the cloud parted and we enjoyed some fleeting views back across to Hen Comb and Mellbreak.

And, , , , behind up we almost get to see Great Borne - - almost but not quite.

Food was ate in the shelter on Blake Fell and because the long distant views were missing, this is the best I can offer as a way of recording the event. As we in sat here the wind whistled above our heads and the cloud and drizzle blew across the fellside just to make sure we didn't begin to dry out. The wind was also managing to find it's way through every chink & gap in the wall which made it a bit of a draughty affair, but, it did give us some shelter and it was nice to have a sit down for for a little while. To be honest you can only get so wet and once you reach that stage it doesn't matter anymore. More so because as Paul said at the time "we're walking in warm rain".

Heading across the wet ground towards Burnbank Fell.

Burnbank Fell summit.


After cautiously passing some cows and calfs we reach Hudson Place. The drops and smudges on the picture explain the conditions better than ever could.

This walk could easily be split into three separate sections or even three separate walks. Mellbreak and Hen Comb, then the middle bit over Gavel Fell, Blake Fell and Burnbank Fell; and to finish, we reach this spot to begin the walk over Fellbarrow and Low Fell.

It was here at the top of Fellbarrow that the weather decided to add something else to the day. Wind -- blimey, we could have done without this. It was so strong across here that talking was a waste of time and quite a few times I (we) were literally stopped in our tracks; unable to take a step forward for a couple of seconds.

Low Fell was visited but summit time was as brief as it gets. After no more than a minute we half spoke and half indicated that we need to get out of the wind and loose some height because it was getting a bit drastic.


Before setting off today we thought this route would work well as a two car walk. So, my car was left at the Waterend end of Loweswater while we went to the Kirkstile end in Paul's car. I've no doubt it would have worked that way but as it turned out, we ended up at the bottom of the Mosser Fell Road which is more or less half way between the cars. As we were like a couple of drowned rats by this point we thought it just a well to go in opposite directions and walk the last half mile or so to our own cars.

OK, give me blue skies instead of this any day, but I really enjoyed that, partly because of the conditions rather than despite of them. Because I have a certain amount of luxury as far as being able to choose which days I walk, I don't feel the need to set out if I know I'll get a day of almost constant rain. The 'warm rain' and comfortable conditions we had today prove that a rainy day can still be an enjoyable day.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks