Fellbarrow, Low Fell and Darling Fell

Walk Date – 30th april 2016

Distance – 6 miles

Weather – rain at first, cloudy with sunny spells later, windy


Its the last day of April, its a Bank Holiday weekend and the weather man said this would be the best day of the week. Well, it wouldn’t have to do much to improve on this week’s weather would it? The country has been in the grip of a bitterly cold flow of air from the Arctic all week with very strong winds, and rain, sleet, hail and snow falling in a variety of mixtures and densities. All the fells from east to west were covered in fresh falls of snow as we drove over to Loweswater this morning, and as we hadn’t packed the spikes I was hoping that the much lower Loweswater Fells would have escaped most of the blizzards.


We’re parked across the road in that lay-by over there, just at the head of Loweswater, and Carling Knott on the right only has a slight dusting of snow, while Mellbreak over on the left doesn’t seem to have any at all. Looks like we won’t need the spikes after all, but we do need the jackets because its raining.

Almost opposite where we parked is a small lane from where I took this shot looking over to Loweswater, with Mellbreak on the left and Carling Knott on the right. The lane, which is also a bridleway, leads up to Askill Farm and then turns on to the Mosser Fell road.

Higher up the bridleway and passing through the fields above Askill Farm. The distant higher fells have a lot more snow.

In the second field, a little higher up the bridleway, is this old piece of farm machinery, a Bamford Mower apparently. Its quietly rusting away and its been there so long that the wheels and cutters have sunk into the ground and the grass has grown over them. I think it adds a bit of character to what would otherwise be just an uninteresting field. At the top of this field the bridleway joins the Mosser Fell road. (The splodge over on the left is a spot of rain.)

A little further along the Mosser road this lane branches off to the right. We could have used it to go over to Fellbarrow, which is over there on the left, but it was waterlogged so we didn’t bother with it.

Just a short distance further on from the waterlogged lane is a better option, where a rough track going off to the right leads down towards Mosser Beck. The track crosses the beck, just out of shot, and continues over to Fellbarrow. It can be seen just appearing to the right of the photo. An old sheepfold sits on the opposite side of the beck.

A look back to Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell as we continue across. The snow covered fell between them is Blake Fell.

We’re almost on the ridge now, and just about on the very edge of the Lake District. Nothing much but flat land between us and the Solway Firth where some of Scotland’s mountains can be seen.

From left to right on the skyline are Great Borne, Carling Knott, Gavel Fell and Blake Fell.

Turning slightly to the left, the view now is of a snowy skyline. From left to right the fells are Red Pike, Starling Dodd and Great Borne. Hen Comb is the one with the snowy stripes, just peeping above the grassy area to the right of centre.

The dark mass behind Low Fell is Mellbreak with the snow covered peaks of Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag in the background.

Heavy grey clouds above Whiteside and Grasmoor, it has stopped raining but it is very windy up here.

The trig column and cairn on  Fellbarrow summit.

It looks a bit bleak but it wasn’t all that cold, just very windy.

Looking west to the coast from Fellbarrow summit and noticing that it looks like some brighter weather is on its way.

About to descend from Fellbarrow to head across the ups and downs of the ridge to Low Fell.

The stile is needed, but the gate is redundant as the fence leading to it is long gone. Fellbarrow and the fence we walked down beside is over to the right.

Looking to the coast from the stile, and the better weather is almost with us, hooray!

A look back at the route from Fellbarrow. The stile and redundant gate are hidden by the humps and bumps of the ridge. Walking this kind of terrain is great as you can really get tramping along quite nicely.

Crummock Water and its surrounding fells. Rannerdale Knotts is the little one jutting out into the water on the left. Behind that is Haystacks, and across the gap from Haystacks are High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike.

Heading over towards Watching Crag and being watched by two Swaledales, who seemed intent on maintaining possession but who were the first to blink.

The sheep hot-footed it elsewhere and I got a view of Lorton Vale with the Skiddaw fells in the distance.

Turning slightly to the right from the same spot the view is of Whiteside and Grasmoor. Behind Whiteside is Hopegill Head and the slope down to Ladyside Pike.

Turning a little further to the right and the view is a longer look along Crummock Water.

Straight ahead of us is the grassy route to the summit of Low Fell with Mellbreak to the left of it.

A close up of the snow covered Skiddaw fells. By ‘eck, it fair teks yer breath away. (That’s Yorkshire speak when viewing a magnificent sight.)

A look back across the stile to Watching Crag.

Over the stile, up a slight rise and now a look ahead to Low Fell and some blue sky at last.

It wasn’t half windy across here, blowing us sideways from right to left.

Low Fell summit and the view along Crummock Water.

Looking to the south west from Low Fell. On view from left to right are Hen Comb, Great Borne, Gavel Fell, Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell.

The big clouds are now playing havoc with the light, one minute bright sun and the next shadows everywhere. From this angle that cairn looks like some alien creature which has curled up and died.

A sunny spell on Low Fell summit, and a look back to Watching Crag on the right and Fellbarrow in shadow on the left.

The long view of Crummock Water from Low Fell.

Heading across to the lower end of Low Fell to find a sheltered spot for a short break and a little light refreshment. There he goes, one mention of food and he’s off like a rocket.

We found a nice little sun trap for our break with a view across to Low Fell and all the way back along the ridge to Fellbarrow. We’ve seen only two people up to this point and they were making their way towards us from Low Fell.

After the break we climbed just a very short distance for another view along Crummock Water.

A slight turn to the right and one end of Loweswater comes into view, and across the fields, from left to right, are Mellbreak, Hen Comb, Gavel Fell and Carling Knott.

Further to the right again and across Loweswater are Carling Knott and Burnbank Fell.

From this viewpoint a little more of Whiteless Pike appears, just to the right of Grasmoor there in the centre.

A longer view of Loweswater, and just to the left of Carling Knott we can now see the snow covered top of Gavel Fell.

We’ve dropped down from Low Fell to the crossing at Crabtree Beck. Now we have to regain the height we’ve lost to get up to Darling Fell, which is out of shot to the right.

Onwards and upwards to Darling Fell summit, with Crabtree Beck down below on the left.

Almost at the top now, so a look back at the route off Low Fell and up to Darling Fell. On the way down Low Fell we met another group of four walkers coming up who were having a bit of a struggle with the loose stony path. That’s six walkers in total we’ve met so far today, not a lot for a Bank Holiday, I thought it would be a lot busier than that.

Just beyond Crummock Water we get a glimpse of Buttermere.

The fells around Crummock Water from Darling Fell.

Another view from Darling Fell, this time turning slightly to the right from the previous shot.

A look back to Low Fell from Darling Fell.

Looking back to Fellbarrow, centre left in the shade, from Darling Fell.

A close up of the Skiddaw fells from Darling Fell.

Looking back at the route across Darling Fell, and still being blown sideways.

The view down to Loweswater from the Darling Fell ridge.

From the same place, a look back along Loweswater …..

….. and looking along Loweswater with Burnbank Fell opposite. The car is parked at the side of the road running through the fields over to the centre right, so we’re almost at the end of today’s walk.

The path off the fellside eventually joins up with the Mosser Road. This used to be a secondary traffic road but its now signposted as unfit for cars as it quite badly eroded, its fine for walkers though.

Looking up the road and the situation is even worse. When it did serve as a traffic road it must have been tricky for two vehicles to pass each other.

Twin lambs, newly born and still carrying traces of their recent birth, with their mother. So new that they don’t even have their numbers sprayed on yet. The one nearest the camera was just trying to get to its feet …..

….. and it had a wobbly time getting up and staying up. It was also looking for a feed but its mother looked a bit too weary to stand up so its feeble bleats were disregarded.

This is the little lane that we started out on this morning and there’s the road at the bottom of it. The car is parked on the right of the grey telephone box to the right of the second tree down. When we started out ours was the only car in the lay-by, now there are only a couple of spaces left, and the occupants are probably out on the fells enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and the scenery, just as we did. Now for the unexciting bit, the hour and a quarter’s worth of driving before we get back home again. ho hum.