15th April 2017

Visiting Fairfield, a mini walking project - Walk No 3 - From Deepdale Bridge via Deepdale and The Step

Time 8:40am to 3:15pm
Duration 6 hr 35 min
Distance 10 mile
Ascent somewhere around 3600ft
Walking with Paul, Tim, Rod
Deepdale Bridge - Wall End - Deepdale - Mossydale - Link Cove - The Step - Fairfield - Cofa Pike - Deepdale Hauae - St Sunday Crag - Birks - Thornhow End - Patterdale - Rooking - Deepdale Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking spaces, Deepdale Bridge, Patterdale

About half way between Patterdale and Hartsop, Deepdale Bridge is a lovely little spot providing access to the quiet and secluded valley of Deepdale. On the opposite side of the road a path crosses the fields to join up with the route between Patterdale and Hartsop.

Parking is free and there is room for about a dozen cars.

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


Today, I set off from Deepdale Bridge and I have company on the third of my Fairfield walks. This is one of just two routes which could be described as right out of the ordinary. A route which although being close to a very busy area, takes you through a little bit of the Lake District that must get very few visitors indeed.

Heading towards Deepdale Hall. Up there on the skyline is the Hartsop Above How ridge. From this angle you realise why it always feels like a long (but easy) walk across there.

Although this wasn't the reason we came here today, Deepdale offers a great place to find bit of seclusion and, if you're on your own, somewhere you might not bump into any of the other 7.5 billion people on the planet.

A view through Deepdale shows some of the places visited on todays walk (not Hart Crag).

Looking back out of Deepdale with a good view of the two tops of Angletarn Pikes.

Mmmmm, looks steep from here doesn't it.

With height gained on the route into Link Cove you get this great view through Deepdale.

On route we pass by a few small waterfalls.


Looking across Link Cove to the Hartsop Above How ridge. At some point I'll be coming back to Link Cove and then heading straight over the ridge into Houndshope Cove on the other side.

This gives some indication of the steepness.


It was here, on The Step, that the rain, hail and strong wind caught up with us. Initially I was thinking it could last for hours and bring with it a bit of negativity to the walk. As it turned out, it didn't last too long and one of the highlights of the day was the four of us standing on the edge of the ridge, backs to the wind and watching the hail falling in front of the crags above Hog Hole.


Looking across to St Sunday Crag.

Fairfield summit.

It was good timing for us today. Within minutes of arriving at the summit the cloud lifted and the rain / hail more or less stopped.

Heading down to Cofa Pike was too precarious for me today. It was blowing a gale and the rocks were just too slippery for comfort. So after getting to within about 20 yards of the bottom I turned around, came back up a bit and then cut across to the less rocky path. Had there been no wind I wouldn't have been bothered at all. So folks, if something doesn't feel right and you know there's an alternative never be frightened to turn around.

Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag.


And as if by magic - - actually it was sort of forecast - - the day began to improve from a brightness point of view. The wind on the other hand increased quite a bit. I recorded a maximum of 55mph on Birks.

Looking back to Cofa Pike, Fairfield, Seat Sandal and Grisedale Tarn.

From St Sunday Crag summit I look across at the sunshine on the crags below Dollywaggon Pike.

Dinner with a view down to Birks, Ullswater and all the fells between here and the Pennines.


Walking across to Birks summit. Blimey, the wind wasn't half blowing across here.

It was difficult to stand still never mind hold the camera still in a 55mph wind.

Can't complain about the view on this path eh !
On t'other side of the valley is Place Fell. Gowbarrow Fell and Great Mell Fell are in the distance and the big wet thing is Ullswater.

Looking across to Sheffield Pike.

It was still a bit breezy down here but you'd hardly think it was the same day as it was up on Fairfield. Yep - a day full of contrasts, from the differences in the terrain to the difference in the weather.

I've never been of the mind that once the fells have been visited a walk is as good as over and I need to avoid as much valley walking as I can to find the shortest route back to the car. I'm not saying YOU, have this view but believe me there are a heck of a lot of people out there do think like that. I think it's a real shame because, using today as an example, the last few miles of this walk took us through some of the loveliest countryside Lakeland has to offer.


And to finish, we walk through Beckstones Farm, across fields full of lambs and sadly, back to the reality of people, noise and speeding traffic. Most of which seemed to be hurrying along the road to experience the excitement of a drive over Kirkstone Pass.
Was I pleased to get back to reality? Dear God no – I’d be more than happy to permanently stay in my little bubble of fell walking and classical music and let the rest of the world get on with whatever it wants. The older I get the more I see a world which is changing to a point where I don't really like it if I'm honest. But, despite being able to talk on the subject all day long, there’s nowt I can do about that so with thoughts of how we’d spent a fantastic day walking to and from Fairfield, I reluctantly join the rest of humanity, , , , until next time.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks