Heughscar Hill and Cockpit Stone Circle

Walk date – 21st January 2023

Distance – 4 miles

Weather – sunny, dry, very light breeze

A few photos from our short walk over to Heughscar Hill and the Cockpit Stone Circle today. This morning was very sunny with only  a light breeze, a mere whisper compared to what we experienced on Souther Fell during our last walk a couple of days ago, so we decided a spend a couple of hours walking the moorland above Helton village with a wander over to Heughscar Hill and a stroll over to the stone circle. Its a popular place especially with dog walkers and lots of people were out walking the numerous paths which criss-cross the moorland up here.


Off road parking above Helton village – Heughscar Hill – Cockpit Stone Circle – Off road parking above Helton village

Knipe Scar from the off road parking above Helton Village …..

….. and the view towards Loadpot Hill from our parking spot. Still some snow lying around and deeper in some places than others.

The line of trees marking the top of Heughscar Hill.

Blencathra and some of the northern fells in the distance.

J returning from his inspection of an old lime kiln. Just by chance a seed found a sheltered spot in which to thrive and over the ensuing years it has developed into a fine tree. Just as well that seed found this spot, it wouldn’t have stood much of a chance otherwise on such wide open moorland.

Icy puddles across our path so we moved to the left and …..

….. found an even bigger one. You’ve never got your ice-skates with you when you could use them have you? Not a problem though, there’s plenty of snowy grass to walk on. Heughscar Hill is not too far ahead so we trek on over the slightly rising ground. There are plenty of paths to choose from to get you to your destination.

Arriving at the gale damaged signpost just below the top of the hill with Arthur’s Pike over on the left. We walked on past the signpost to take a look at the views from the crest of the rise. At the top there was a small group of people and a lady member of the group asked us if the hills she could see from there were the Pennines. Once we’d sorted that out she asked us if we knew the names of them so we identified the ones we could see, told her what their names were after which she thanked us and returned to the little group to pass on the information. Hopefully she remembered to mention that they were looking at the Lake District fells and not the Pennines.

On the skyline the first group we pointed out, the Northern Fells, namely Blencathra, Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell. Billowing cloud around Blencathra didn’t allow any of us much of a view of it.

A hazy view across Ullswater towards the Dodds and the fells around Glenridding …..

….. but a much clearer one towards Arthur’s Pike where all the various paths stand out clearly in the snow.

Surprisingly, for such a lowly hill, the top has two cairns, almost as if there was some uncertainty as to which was the highest point.

Looking down to Pooley Bridge and Dunmallard Hill from just above the path leading to Roehead.

From the top of Heughscar we made our way down one of the many paths to rejoin the main east/west path between Helton and Roehead. In contrast to over here in the east, to the south and west there was a mix of cloud. Some thin, high level stratus formations together with plenty of lower level billowing cloud of the cumulus variety.

Looking along Ullswater towards Glenridding where the clouds drift slowly by.

Looking towards the northern fells from the main path. We are about to leave it once again as we turn off to follow the path over to the stone circle.

The snow capped tops of Great Dodd and Clough Head stand out well enough but only the very tip of snowy Stybarrow Dodd is visible over on the left of the skyline.

A mix of stratus and cumulus over the south and west but nothing directly overhead here in the east.

The Dodds skyline.

A short break at the stone circle before we start heading back. Lots of people here today, both at the stone circle and on the various surrounding paths.

Most of the cloud has thinned out over Blencathra so there’s more of it on view just at the moment.

A moorland mound with trees on it, a.k.a. Heughscar Hill, from the stone circle.

Back at the junction on the main east/west path now and heading back to the car and then home for something to eat.

Knipe Scar just visible on the left as we head towards the left hand turn off to walk the path which passes by a couple of interesting stone markers …..

….. this is a very small stone circle, obviously made by human hands with large stones having been brought here for just that purpose and then …..

….. just a little further on a couple more just beside the path. There are quite a few of these stone arrangements between the farm access lane above Helton and the main stone circle. Were they just way-markers or did they have some other significance?

I’m pleased I wasn’t standing on top of this shake hole when it finally caved in!

Almost back at the car now so once again Knipe Scar is in full view.

Before getting back into the car I took this shot looking down towards Helton village and over towards Cross Fell and its neighbours on the northern Pennines creating a long snowy line on the distant and slightly hazy horizon.

This shot was taken from the car as we dropped down into Helton village on the way home. We didn’t bring anything to eat so we’re off home to put something or other on a plate and have a spot of lunch. As the photo shows there is very little cloud over here so we’ve had a very pleasant couple of hours of sunshine. I’ve just had a look at the forecast for tomorrow where apparently its going to be a low cloud day with strong gusty winds. If that’s what turns up then we’ll be confined to barracks, we’ve had our fair share of strong gusty winds this week I think.