The Mell Fells

Walk date – 6th July 2024

Distance – 3 miles approx

Weather – overcast with sunny spells and rain showers, very windy


Back on the fells again today after our break with just a short afternoon walk over the two Mell Fells which we haven’t set foot on since 2015. There wasn’t an opportunity to get another walk in before our holiday thanks to the gloomy weather up here and it has been much the same since we returned. At least we had plenty of sunshine while we were away. Lots of flat white cloud around today, which didn’t help the photography at all, plus a very strong wind which kept the temperature on the cool side. Our route map is a little different to what we normally have as J found that the gps route had gone awry so only a hand drawn route today. We are hoping that the issue has been resolved by downloading the latest update for it but we’ll have to wait until the gps is used again before we will know for certain.


Out and back to Little Mell Fell from The Hause followed by an out and back to Great Mell Fell from the back lane at Brownrigg Farm.

It was blowing a hooley as I stood in front of the car to take this shot looking towards Matterdale from the parking area at The Hause. As the shot shows the distant views were very hazy but we were having a sunny spell when I took the shot. No parking spaces were available when we arrived so we pulled in off the road as far as possible just beyond the gate and hoped for the best.

I didn’t take any shots on the way up Little Mell Fell and we just kept going until we reached the trig column. Its a steep climb but only a short one and we were soon at the top by which time I was wishing I had remembered to stuff my pockets with tissues and a pair of gloves thanks to the strength of the strong and very cool wind.

From the top of Little Mell Fell a look southwards across Gowbarrow Fell, along the middle foreground, towards Grisedale with Saint Sunday Crag on the left and the Helvellyn group over on the right.

I walked a little way from the summit for this glimpse of Ullswater. It was surprising to see no sail boats out on the water because as we drove along the lakeshore road not very long ago there were hundreds of them out on the water. This weekend the Ullswater Yacht Club are holding their 62nd Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy race and I had hoped to get a shot of the boats strung out along the water but today’s race seemed to be over. They will do the same thing all over again today, Sunday 7th July, and collate the results from both races to determine who will hold the trophy until 2025. If you’d like to know more about the race here’s a link to the yacht club’s website –

No sail boats at the other end of Ullswater either so I had to be content with a somewhat dull shot of Bonscale Pike and Loadpot Hill instead.

Long distance views weren’t good today but I persisted anyway and over on the left is Place Fell while over on the right is a skyline shot of Saint Sunday Crag and the Fairfield group.

The dip in the skyline just to the right of centre is the Kirkstone Pass on either side of which Caudale Moor and Red Screes stand guard.

On the south east skyline we had a very dour view of High Raise and Ramspgill Head with High Street curving over to Thornthwaite Crag just behind them over to the right.

The top of Little Mell Fell was no place to linger so we began making the descent back to The Hause. The path below starts at the gate below which we are parked and eventually leads over to Gowbarrow Fell.

A rain shower moving along the Vale of Keswick and partially blocking our view of Blencathra.

Beyond the Matterdale fields Clough Head and Great Dodd were also getting the same treatment.

The Hause comes back into view and where there are now parking spaces aplenty.

From The Hause we made the short drive down to Brownrigg Farm and began making our way up the rocky lane heading for the gate leading to the path up Great Mell Fell. This is the second gate along the rocky lane. The first gate is lower down and leads only to a path going around the base of Great Mell Fell.

A look back at Little Mell Fell as we pause for breath during the climb up a particularly steep section of the path.

Further up the path is a good view of the Matterdale side of Gowbarrow Fell.

No visit to Great Mell Fell is complete without a shot of one of the windblown trees which appear alongside the path.

Much higher now and a good view back of Little Mell Fell.

Approaching the tree line where the gradient eases off and …..

….. where walkers can have a bit of a breather and enjoy some level walking for a while.

Beyond the trees is Gowbarrow Fell with Place Fell right behind it. On the extreme right it looks as though another rain shower is passing below Red Screes and down the Kirkstone Pass.

Blencathra from Great Mell Fell …..

….. and moving the camera slightly to the right of Blencathra we have a view of some of the other fells in the northern group.

The Skiddaw group is hidden behind yet another rain shower passing along the Vale of Keswick but Clough Head remains in the clear.

From L to R we have a view of Stybarrow Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head across Matterdale.

Moving the camera slightly to the left to include the sweep down from Stybarrow Dodd over Sticks Pass to Raise, Lower Man and Helvellyn.

Looking towards the Kirkstone Pass again where Red Screes and its neighbours are now in full sun but, just to their left, the light has gone out on Place Fell.

This shot makes Great Mell Fell’s summit cairn look bigger than it really is, the true size of it is …..

….. rather on the small side when J does his modelling bit and stands beside it. He is also standing in front of yet another rain shower making its way along the Vale of Keswick. While we were up here a solo walker mentioned that she had been caught out in one as she was going up Little Mell Fell and was hoping she didn’t get the same treatment on Great Mell Fell. We were lucky in that respect and didn’t experience any at all although we saw plenty of them.

A sunlit Red Screes on the left skyline but over on the right the Fairfield group was not so fortunate.

At last High Raise and Rampsgill Head have some sunlight land on them although High Street and Thornthwaite Crag remained in the gloom.

Just to vary things a little we descended part of the way back down via an alternative path although it eventually joins up with the one we used on the outward journey. I just liked the way these trees were leaning away from the prevailing winds and how the sunlight was highlighting their gnarled grey trunks and branches so I took a shot of them. I hope it won’t happen but you never know, somebody might just decide they have had their day and chop them all down.

Sunshine over Matterdale and, at last, even the Fairfield group is in full sun.

Gowbarrow Fell is also back in the sunshine so I took a close up shot while it lasted.

This is the longer view of Gowbarrow as we saw it.

The narrow path beside the fence which leads back to the gate …..

….. which had an awkward fastening …..

….. but brute force won the day. We pass through the gate back onto the rocky, tree lined lane and eventually emerge …..

….. out of the tree tunnel back to the parking area and the end of today’s short walk. We haven’t covered a great distance but these two low fells have given us a good enough workout after our three week lay-off and, should the weather finally turn summery, we’ll be tackling a few more in future. Note to self – remember tissues and gloves next time, just in case!