Lowthwaite Fell and Longlands Fell

Walk date – 14th September 2022

Distance – 4.1 miles

Weather – overcast, cool, slight breeze, no sun

Today’s weather was pretty much the same as we’ve been having for the past couple of weeks here in the east of the county, dull and gloomy. Yesterday brought an improvement but as the day was already spoken for we couldn’t take advantage of it. This morning began well enough so, as my back problem has started up again, we decided to have a shorter and gentler walk simply to get  a helping of fresh air and exercise. As we drove over to Green Head the cloud closed ranks, we were back to low light conditions once again and the photographs suffered in consequence.


Green Head – Cumbria Way – Charleton Wath ford – Longlands bridleway – Lowthwaite Fell – Longlands Fell – Charleton Wath ford – Cumbria Way – Green Head

Zooming in on the photo and squinting hard enough might just reveal the last little bit of blue sky disappearing rapidly into the distance. This is a look back  towards Green Head from the plentiful off road parking just below Holborn Farm. There’s more parking available down at Green Head too should it be needed although we’ve never seen nose to tail parking conditions along here. Maybe its just a little bit too far off the beaten track for the majority of visitors.

Jackets are on and hoods are up against the cool morning breeze which is creating its usual havoc regarding noses and eyes as we make our way along the Cumbria Way. Perhaps the cropped trousers I’m wearing might have been a little bit too hopeful although it was brighter than this to begin with. The Cumbria Way is straight ahead, the track to the right only leads over to a couple of farms.

One of these days perhaps we should walk along to the little hamlet of Longlands and check if that very precise mileage really is what is indicated.

Local walkers accompanied us for some of the way and several of them left their visiting cards too.

Our fellow walkers gradually peeled away from the track to wander the fell sides and we were left to descend to the ford at Charleton Wath by ourselves. They aren’t visible in the photo but we could see two walkers on the top of Longlands fell at this point. We haven’t seen anyone else so far.

After the ford crossing we kept to the Cumbria Way and wandered along until we came to this path which eventually leads over to the old bridleway above Charleton Gill. Between this point and the ford crossing another path also leads up to the old bridleway so it doesn’t really matter which one is taken.

Brae Fell above the gullies alongside Charleton Gill.

Walking along the bridleway with Lowthwaite and Longlands to our right. Hoods are off now as we’ve turned away from the cool breeze.

The intriguing gullies on either side of Charleton Gill. They look like scaled back versions of the ones in the Howgills. The path we’re on keeps to the flatter areas just above the gullies so you get plenty of interesting views into the gill as you walk along.

Little Sca Fell makes its first appearance as we progress along the path. We’re not too far away from the junction now and when we reach it we’ll turn right and begin to cross over to Lowthwaite Fell.

The familiar path heading over to Longlands Fell on the right of the shot. Behind J is Lowthwaite Fell. We headed across the Longlands path but eventually left it to cut across to the path up to Lowthaite Fell.

Brae Fell from Lowthwaite Fell. Everywhere looks deserted and for most of our outing that’s how it remained but, as we headed up Lowthwaite we actually met two people who were coming down it. They were lightly equipped and clad so probably more likely to be runners taking a breather than walkers.

Little Sca Fell and Great Sca Fell from Lowthwaite Fell top. Below us, to the right is Broad Moss and the path going across it. Here’s a few more shots from the top …..

….. in the bottom left hand corner is the path going across Broad Moss and with a zoom in you might be able to spot a lone walker on their way down it. Across the middle foreground is the little col between Great Sca Fell and Meal Fell and the high spot on the skyline is Knott with Frozen Fell just below it …..

….. the upturned pudding basin shape of Meal Fell is across the middle foreground although in the low light it looks as though it has merged with Frozen Fell, on the left, and Burn Tod on the right. A little sunlight would be a great help ……

….. Great Cockup now across the middle of the shot with the lower slopes of Meal Fell cutting across it on the left. Between the two is the gap known as Trusmadoor. Behind Great Cockup we can see Dead Crags and the summit of Bakestall but the summit of Skiddaw is hidden by heavy cloud …..

….. and lastly the view across to Over Water and Binsey.

A look back to Little and Great Sca Fells, Knott and Frozen Fell before we head over to Longlands.

Descending Lowthwaite and heading over to Longlands. We met the third person of the day during our descent, a cheerful solo chap who just popped up out of the dip between the two fells and wished up a hearty good morning. There’s no sign anywhere of the two people we met on the way up. So we’ve met three people so far, noticed another one walking over Broad Moss plus the two we spotted on Longlands from Charleton Wath ford, and that’s how it remained for the rest of our walk.

The view back to Lowthwaite from the path up to Longlands. The solo walker has disappeared too so we’re on our own again.

Up on Longlands summit now with a view across the Cumbrian coastal plain and the Solway Firth towards Criffel, the high point beyond the water. The view would be even better with a little sunlight. Perhaps it was this view that swayed AW to choose to include Longlands, rather than the slightly higher Lowthwaite Fell, in his 214 Lakeland Fells list. In Book 5 he wrote ‘As befits its position as the northern outpost of Lakeland Longlands Fell commands an excellent view over the declining foothills to the Solway Firth and Scotland’. ( Longlands Fell 5)

On the left skyline Skiddaw is still covered by cloud, immediately behind it is the darker shape of the Long Side/Ullock Pike ridge which we traversed on our last walk. On the distant and very subdued skyline to the right of that is the Grasmoor group of fells.

Our view across the coastal plain as we start to descend Longlands Fell …..

….. and a look back at it towards the end of the descent.

The ford at Charleton Wath which had just enough water flowing over it for us to have to resort to using what stepping stones were available.

After a pleasant stroll back along the Cumbria Way we’re back at Holborn Farm, and just a short distance further down from it is where we parked the car. All in all its wasn’t too bad a morning, at least it didn’t rain, and had the day not turned as dull as it did we might have carried on a little further. Usually after a walk in dull conditions I jokingly say ‘Never mind, it will be a lovely evening’ and as I was preparing today’s evening meal I looked out of the kitchen window and saw exactly that. The dull grey cloud had disappeared and blue skies, little white clouds and bright sunshine had taken their place! Still there’s always a silver lining – at least we won’t have to switch the lights on quite as early as we’ve had to do lately so at least the electricity bill won’t suffer too much.