17th September 2016

All things considered - - a perfect walk as far as Loadpot Hill

Time 7:55am to 1:50pm
Duration 5 hr 55 min
Distance 10.9 mile
Ascent Somewhere close to 2100 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey and Rod Hepplewhite
Roe Head - Cockpit Stone Circle - Barton Fell - Arthur's Pike - Swarth Beck - Bonscale Pike - Lowther House Chimney - Loadpot Hill - High Street Roman Road - The Cockpit - Heughscar Hill - Roehead
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Roadside, Roehead, Pooley Bridge

Roehead marks the end of the road and the beginning of the track running over the moors between Pooley Bridge and Askham / Helton. Parking here literally is along the roadside and there isn't really that much room to be honest.

Speaking for myself, the fells around here bring with them some of my favourite walking. This is somewhere you can still walk for hours and not see another soul; if you know where to go that is.

Route Map


I had intended to do this walk the day before we went on holiday a couple of weeks ago but for no reason in particular I ended up on Seat Sandal instead (perhaps I was lost). Anyway: whatever the reason it's quite good the way things turned out. On that day I really didn't have a lot of time so I enjoyed a shorter walk at a normal speed. Today, I (we) had all the time in the world so enjoyed a leisurely 10 and a bit mile walk in one of my favorite areas.
If conditions are as good as they were today then some places deserve to be walked around at an easy going pace where you can 'take it all in'. This is such a place and this was that kind of day.

Once past the couple of hundreds of yards in the shade, I zoom in a little bit on Ullswater's middle reach to the fells beyond. Helvellyn still topped with cloud but not by much.

Here we leave the main Roehead to Askham track and turn right onto the path that takes you to the Cockpit stone circle. From here we could see a large group of people (we guessed they were youngsters) in and around the stones. It looked like they'd camped there over night and I couldn't help but think if anything was ever going to inspire them to return to the fells when they're older than a perfect morning like this would be it.

With autumn progressing as it is, even at this hour of the day our shadows are still long enough to find their way into the bottom of some photos.

Strolling towards Arthur's Pike.



By sticking to this path near the edge of the fell we were able to hold onto the views of Ullswater for much longer. This picture sort of hints at how easy going the walking is around here but, we were in absolutely no rush on a day like this so we stopped, started, talked, stopped some more and when we felt like it we walked a bit further.
To sum up this walk I'd use the word 'relaxed'.

Blimey, talk about peaceful. It was while we stood here that I said I'd be happy to walk no further and just sit here till mid afternoon. Then simply walk back to the car and drive home.
One of those magical fell walking moments if ever there was one.


Lots of wide open space around here. Absolutely brilliant place to walk.


Here are the two stone towers found just below the high point on Bonscale Pike. Very easy to reach on a day like this but in gale force winds, I'd probably stick to the higher ground above.

and a similar view without the towers. Hallin Fell looks much bigger from up here - not its height, I mean the amount of space it takes up.

Here's a close up of the road between Howtown and Martindale New Church.

After walking across from Bonscale Pike we join the Roman Road and make our way around to Lowther House Chimney.

And here it is; what's left of it. Sadly it's only a matter of time before it's gone completely.

Approaching the top of Loadpot Hill.

Time at the top of Loadpot Hill wasn't brief in these conditions. It was far too nice to hurry and in any case we didn't need to be anywhere else so, we admired the view, noticed the 360 degree circle of thin cloud that was around us and we mentioned that eventually the trig column would topple over when the ground around its base gets more eroded. (just like the one on the top of Crag Hill).

Just after leaving the summit we pass by this pair who we took to be farther and son. Unlike some kids we see on the fells this young lad seemed to be enjoying every second of it.

Lambert Lad - boundary stone.

Just across from our path is this stone circle which is quite hard to spot if you're unsure exactly where it is. The thing is, the only stones that are actually standing up are those three and they're in a straight line. The rest are more or less in a circle but as you see, they're all flat on the ground.


This one is definitely a circle (the Cockpit). I've never noticed before but one of the stones looks a lot like a sheep.

and as if by magic, we find ourselves on Heughscar Hill. A small fell with a big view.

This is the top but we're heading a bit further across to the actual scar in 'Heughscar'. As I said earlier, we'd stopped and started throughout the walk but, we still haven't had anything to eat and we were all admitting to being very hungry.

No, this isn't the scar, this is a short section of limestone pavement we passed between taking the previous and the next photo.

And to finish, we eat our dinners sitting on the flattest stones we could find on top of Hugh Scar.
And if you have time for more, I'll leave you with this thought - - - why is it you don't realise how uncomfortable a stone is until you stand up

David Hall -
Lake District Walks