Place Fell

Walk date – 27th April 2024

Distance – 5.5 miles

Weather – a dry and sunny start, followed by a gradual build up of fair weather cloud, cool easterly light breeze


The weather forecast was spot on today and, as it included a build up of cloud later on, we decided to make the most of the sunny weather by taking a walk up Place Fell. Its close to home, doesn’t take too long to drive over to Patterdale and its been a couple of years since we were last up there. When we turned up onto the A6 from the Eden Valley we could see a line of white cloud building up behind the North Pennine range in the distance and concluded that it might be overhead somewhat sooner than the forecast had indicated. After a forty minute drive from home we arrived at the parking area of Patterdale Cricket Club where only a handful of cars were already parked. Some of their occupants were still there, getting kitted up ready for their day out on the fells. Having got ourselves ready and putting a few pound coins in the honesty box off we went, along the path from the car park around the back of the pavilion, past the tennis courts, behind St Patrick’s church, through the church gate and out onto the road through Patterdale. No traffic on the road so we walked in the chilly morning air through an almost deserted village, crossed over to the George Starkey hut and on to Side Farm to begin our walk.


Patterdale cricket ground – George Starkey hut – Side Farm – Hare Shaw – The Knight – Place Fell summit – Round How -Boredale Hause – Rooking – Side Farm – George Starkey hut – Patterdale cricket ground

On the path from Side Farm where we have reached our first turn off point just a few paces beyond the ladder stile. Here we turn off the path and make our way across the grassy path and the dead bracken heading for the terrace path some distance above us.

We reach the terrace path after a steepish climb where we take a pause to get our breath back and to take a look back at Arnison Crag, Birks Fell and Saint Sunday Crag at the southern end of Ullswater. For the time being we will be in Place Fell’s shadow as the sun is not yet high enough to have cleared the summit.

Just a short distance along the terrace path we come to our next turn off point where we begin the much steeper climb up to the little col at Hare Shaw.

A look back towards Glenridding and its surrounding fells as we begin the climb up to Hare Shaw.

This is a steep and rocky climb as J’s posture indicates, especially when the patch of gorse bushes is reached. Dealing with a steep, rocky climb while keeping clear of branches of prickly gorse can be challenging at times.  When we spotted a convenient boulder to perch on we took a break during which four young lads came along, Geordies we guessed given their accents. I think they were glad of a break too as they stopped to talk to us, when they got their breath back. Doesn’t matter how young, strong and fit you are everyone eventually has to pause and take a breather. They were all keen to find out how much more of this path they had to endure before they reached something less steep. We told them that they didn’t have much more of this particular path to climb and that they should turn right when they reached Hare Shaw and follow the path from there. How will we know when we’ve reached Hare Shaw they wanted to know, so we mentioned the less steep and more open ground they would come to eventually, adding that they would know it when they reached it. They went on their way and then, after giving them a couple of minutes to get themselves going again, we did the same. We saw them reach the Hare Shaw col and then disappear just a few minutes before we did so presumably they eventually reached the summit although we didn’t see them again. Nice lads, hope they had a good day.

A look back from the Hare Shaw col where we had the short break we’d promised ourselves. Its a fabulous view from this point and a great place to have a break and take it all in. We’re back in the sunlight again too.

The path from Hare Shaw leading up towards The Knight on the left skyline.

J searching his pockets for something or other as I take a shot looking back towards Birk Fell, one of Place Fell’s subsidiary peaks.

Still heading up to The Knight, on the left, over surprisingly dry ground. We had expected it to be a whole lot squelchier than it was. The path goes around and below The Knight but further on …..

….. branching off the main path is this one leading over to the top of The Knight which is only a short distance away. We didn’t go over but on reaching a group of rocks a little further along the main path …..

….. I clambered up them to take this view of it, plus a little bit of Ullswater thrown in for good measure.

We leave The Knight behind and further along the summit of Place Fell eventually comes into view. Every now and them we would see tiny figures appearing and disappearing on it.

A look back at The Knight, plus the two Mell fells, as we continue on towards the summit. Other than the four lads and a group of three who came by us from the Birk Fell direction a while ago we have seen no-one else so far. I took a few skyline views as we walked across …..

….. from L to R – Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield and Saint Sunday Crag …..

….. Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn and Catstycam …..

….. White Side, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd and Great Dodd. Below them, in the centre of the shot is Sheffield Pike, temporarily under a cloud shadow …..

….. a smidge of the Skiddaw group, Blencathra, Souther Fell, Bannerdale Crags, Bowscale Fell and Carrock Fell. Just before we stepped onto the summit I took the following views …..

….. looking across Place Fell’s rolling landscape towards Ullswater …..

….. Glenridding far below us …..

….. and the view eastward across Place Fell’s tarn towards Arthur’s Pike, Bonscale Pike and the North Pennines.

The summit area was busy so there was a bit of a wait until there was a view to be had. Once summit photos are taken walkers tend to move away to find somewhere a bit more comfortable to sit and have a break. A sneaky easterly breeze kept folk moving along quite nicely too.

The rock outcrop on which the trig column stands has plenty of grassy areas below it to accommodate anyone who wants to take a break up here although the nippy breeze caused most folk to take shelter behind the crags on the Glenridding side of the fell.

Below the trig column now for a view across the tarn towards Ullswater and the Northern Pennines …..

….. below us and nearest the camera is Winter Crag and Beda Fell, behind is Steel Knotts and behind that are Bonscale Pike and Loadpot Hill.

Looking to the south east we have a skyline view of High Raise and Rampsgill Head below which are the notorious peat hags between The Nab (L) and Rest Dodd (R).

Looking across the summit plateau for a skyline view of Stony Cove Pike, Caudale Moor and St Raven’s Edge with Red Screes opposite them on the other side of the Kirkstone Pass.

The cloud was joining forces by now and sunny views became less frequent so only a shady view of High Street and Thornthwaite Crag was on offer at the time. To the right of them are Ill Bell and Yoke and on the extreme right of the shot is Stony Cove Pike.

Brothers Water and its surrounding fells. The Kirkstone Pass rising from Brothers Water and dropping down to Ambleside is currently closed until 30th April when the re-surfacing is scheduled to be completed.

Looking back from the plateau area at the trig column on Place Fell summit.

We decided to give the mini scramble on Round How a miss and take the path below it instead. Its been a while since we had breakfast and rumblings are beginning to make us aware of that so we’ll divert along that path and find a sheltered spot where we can take a break.

We only diverted a short way from the path to take a break but we weren’t on the sunny side of the street for much of the time we were there. Nevertheless we were out of the nippy breeze and the views opposite were constantly changing as the large clouds drifted over them. Directly below is Arnison Crag, in the shade, a sunlit Birks Fell followed by a shaded Saint Sunday Crag. Fairfield et al are to the left of that and on the extreme left are the two rounded tops of Little Hart Crag.

Looking directly into Grisedale with the Helvellyn group and Catstycam on the left skyline, while over on the right are White Side and Raise. Below them all is Birkhouse Moor, getting a good dollop of sunshine at the moment, and finally the little tree covered mound of Keldas immediately below us.

The west facing slope of Place Fell was preventing us from seeing much else but we got a mostly sunny view of Stybarrow Dodd below which is a partially sunny Sheffield Pike.

Break over and we take to the path around Round How again from which is this dizzying view down into Patterdale. In the upper right corner is the cricket ground, with a lot more cars in it now, the pavilion we walked around the back of, and St Patrick’s church where we exited onto the road. The broad white strip in the bottom right corner is the farm road running between the George Starkey hut and Side Farm.

Another dizzying look down, this time for a view of the green fields at the entrance to Deepdale.

Back on the main path now where the amount of people coming up the path gradually increases as do the ‘Hi’s and ‘Hello’s from everyone we meet. Layers of sunny and shaded fells on either side of us provide constantly changing views as the clouds drift by.

High Street dominates the centre skyline as we look across to our left.

Dropping down to Boredale Hause on the most well used route now. We don’t particularly care for it having used it once and not finding it to our liking. Its a long tedious trudge as far as we are concerned and we prefer the Hare Shaw route despite the rough, steep climb and the gorse patch.

The north top of Angletarn Pikes comes into view as we descend to Boredale Hause.

Down at the hause where we can take the brakes off and have a short stop for drinks.

While we were there we were treated to a clear and mostly sunny view of the eastern section of the Fairfield Horseshoe to the left of Gavel Pike and Saint Sunday Crag.

Time to put the brakes back on again as we descend from Boredale Hause via the upper path. Having used both paths in the past the upper one is our preferred route down. The lower path is stepped all the way down so it becomes rather tedious after a while, a bit like going down a never ending staircase. The upper path is stepped where it needs to be and left plain where it doesn’t.

An appreciative sigh from J as he stands on a flat firm surface again when we reach the gate at Rooking. Once through the gate we turn right through another gate and drop down the lane towards …..

….. Side Farm beyond the holiday rental cottages. Its very warm down in the valley so our jackets come off at this point. Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike look to be getting some sunshine at last, they seem to have been in the shade for most of the time.

Walking back along the Side Farm access lane towards the George Starkey hut where the farmer has just been driving a tractor pulling a heavy roller across the field closest to the farmhouse. We often see that happening but don’t know why they do it.

Back at the cricket ground where I had to squeeze myself through the line of parked cars to take a clear shot of the pitch, the church and Place Fell. The tennis courts are between the pitch and the church although a zoom in will help to see them more clearly. They also have a little pavilion with seating on its verandah from where a match can be viewed. What a spectacular setting for a game of cricket or a tennis match. With our walk at an end we packed our gear away and drove home along the shores of Ullswater where dozens and dozens of small sailing boats appeared to be taking part in a regatta. I can’t recall seeing so many sail boats out on the water all at the same time in all our previous drives along the Ullswater shore road, it can’t have been this year’s Lord Birkett Memorial Race as that doesn’t take place until early in July. Perhaps the sunny weather encouraged so many sailing enthusiasts to get their boats on the water after such a long, dreary winter and the first part of a dull, wet spring.