Low Birk Fell

Walk Date – 15th June 2016

Distance – 2.8 miles

Weather – sunny and humid, with a rain shower thrown in


Planning for a walk has been a bit of a problem these last few days as the Met. Office has been hedging its bets quite a bit. Something along the lines of – it’ll be cloudy, but there’ll be some sunny spells here and there, you can expect rain, some of it quite heavy, but we don’t know exactly where or when etc. etc. None of which is a great help when deciding on a walk. This morning was very gloomy and overcast with some rain showers, but after lunch things brightened up quite nicely so we decided to drive over to Sandwick, on the shores of Ullswater, and just have a short walk up Low Birk Fell.


We start off on the bridleway heading out of Sandwick.

Here and there along the path you have the occasional glimpse of Ullswater, seen here with Gowbarrow Fell on the opposite shore.

Not too far along the path is the Lowther Barn Tea Room, with this view of Gowbarrow from its pretty little tea garden.

A look back at the tea room as we carry on along the path. Its a very nice little place and there is seating in the indoor cafe if the weather isn’t good enough to sit in the garden.

Further along the path we get our first view of Low Birk Fell. Its really a subsidiary top of Place Fell but its nice enough for a short walk and a little scramble here and there through the outcrops.

Crossing Scalehow Beck where the path divides, the right hand path leads along to Glenridding at the far end of Ullswater, the left hand one leads on to Place Fell. We took the right hand path but left it at a wall corner as we wanted to try and follow a faint path which leads directly up the front of the fell.

A look back along Ullswater from the climb up Low Birk Fell. We found the start of the path easily enough and so far so good.

The long curved shape of Ullswater becomes more apparent as we gain more height. The bracken obliterates the path more frequently now so its ‘make it up as you go along’ time. It doesn’t really matter anyway because as long as we keep going up we’ll get to the top eventually.

Picking our way through the bracken and between the rocky outcrops was enjoyable but it was very humid up here.

We had a pause when we reached the top of this outcrop to look at this view along Ullswater.

We continue on up the bracken covered slopes with the peak of The Knight, another of Place Fell’s subsidiary tops, coming into view on the skyline. Over on the left is the footpath leading up to Place Fell summit. We could have just walked up that and then cut across Scalehow Beck over here to Low Birk Fell but it wouldn’t have been quite as interesting as making our way through the outcrops was.

Negotiating the last craggy section before reaching the top. The stones of the cairn can just be seen peeping out above us.

A good view of Ullswater from the top of Low Birk Fell, its a shame that the cloud came over and made everything look a little dull.

Looking in the other direction from the cairn the next top along is Birk Fell with The Knight just to the left of it. It is now beginning to rain.

Its now raining more heavily so a couple of quick photos and then down we go.

As well as the rain it became quite windy too so I had to hang on to the jacket hood as it kept getting blown off.

The very gloomy view ahead of us as the sunshine has completely gone for the time being.

We dropped down from the top and cut across the slopes over to the footpath alongside the beck. This is looking back at the top of Low Birk Fell.

Plenty of stones in the beck so no problem getting across, then its up the slope and onto the path.

A look back at the ridge of Low Birk Fell which was our outward route …..

….. and a closer look at some of the outcrops we threaded our way around. It has now stopped raining.

A view of Hallin Fell straight in front of us as we take the path back to Sandwick.

Another look back at Low Birk Fell as we descend and the sun is out again.

A look back from the lakeside path as we head for the tea room, hoping that it will still be open. It was but only just and there were no teas/coffees to be had so we had to make do with sharing a bottle of dandelion and burdock which was absolutely delicious. I haven’t had any of that since I was a youngster, I didn’t even think they still made it because I suppose it might be regarded as a rather old fashioned drink. Nice to know that its still available.

Today’s cute lamb picture, coming on a treat aren’t they?

Mum’s keeping a close eye on us as we pass by.

Back in Sandwick which is a very small hamlet of about four cottages and a farm. The car is parked behind me and its only a short drive home. By the looks of that cloud up there it won’t be too long before it rains again. Well it was suppposed to be ‘unsettled’ and that’s what it was so I shouldn’t really complain about it. Even so it was a nice little leg stretch and it was good to get out again if only for a short while.