Wild Boar Fell

Walk date – 12th June 2024

Distance – 7.3 miles

Weather – cloudy start, brighter later, cool and breezy, dry


The weather forecasters got it back to front again. Having gazed into their crystal ball they predicted no rain (10/10 for that one), a bright sunny morning with cloud building in the afternoon (completely a**e about face as the saying goes) with excellent visibility (wrong again). We were prepared for all of that though having had just the same experience on our previous walk up to Green Gable and our packs contained all the necessary gear required for an autumnal walk. Yes, we know that summer is supposed to be upon us but, at the moment, it feels like one of those early autumn days when its best to be prepared for anything, including gloves. We had a bit of a hitch on the drive over to Ravenstonedale when we found the minor road to Orton had been closed on 10th June for 20 weeks! Not really a big problem as the Shap junction on the M6 was close by so it was off down the motorway to Tebay, which the Orton route bypasses, where we picked up the A685 and continued on to Ravenstonedale. After threading our way through the picturesque village the narrow road led us over to The Fat Lamb pub where we joined the A683 for a short distance before turning off to the left over a cattle grid onto the Fell End lane where there is an abundance of off-road parking. When we arrived this morning there wasn’t a single car parked anywhere along it. We parked near to the cattle grid, gathered our stuff and set off back along the A683 towards the turn off for The Street and eventually the Pennine Bridleway.


Fell End Lane – The Street – Pennine Bridleway – High Dolphinsty – The Nab – Wild Boar Fell – Sand Tarn – Clouds Gill – Fell End Lane

After parking the car over on the left we walked back along the Fell End lane towards the cattle grid and the A683  which we had just driven over a few minutes earlier. The A683 at this point runs more or less parallel to the Fell End lane. When we reached it we continued walking back down the road until we came to the turn off we needed. There isn’t much of a breeze down here in the valley at the moment but its quite cool and the sky above is looking very threatening.

We pass Street Farm as we walked back down the road and a little further down was the track leading over to it. I believe the farm has holiday cottages available for rent.

Here’s where we leave the A685 and follow the lane over to the right and make our way towards the little hamlet of Street, although the OS map has it marked as The Street. Out of shot on the other side of the road was a traditional and brightly coloured gypsy caravan, the two horses for pulling it along were happily grazing alongside it. We were to see it again later on. The road sign over on the left indicates the way to Street and Stennerskeugh and …..

….. there is also this old wooden signpost on this side of the road which also points the way. The amount of vegetation attached to the post suggests that it has been in situ for quite a few years. The blue sky behind it rapidly disappeared.

An imposing gateway complete with shield holding lions appears as we follow the track through the little hamlet of Street. The house at the end of the drive was not visible so we had no  clues about what it looked like.

At this junction we turned sharp right to join the Pennine Bridleway and followed the walled lane up through the rest of Street’s residences. A wooden sign post in front of the barn indicates the route to follow. The track beyond the gate leads only to a farm.

The lane climbs steadily as it weaves it way past the remaining houses in Street. The white one over on the right …..

….. also had a pair of sturdy gates topped not by lions this time but by a pair of stone dogs. Imposing gateways seem to be quite the thing around these parts.

Street and its surrounding farms are behind us now as we continue on the Pennine Bridleway. We hear the distinctive calls of curlews as we walk along plus the occasional sound of water trickling through tiny becks camouflaged by the long grass.

We met no-one at all coming down the path nor could we see anyone ahead or behind us. Around the next bend …..

….. we could see the ford crossing of Hashy Gill …..

….. so I when we reached it I thought it worth a close up shot. A simple channel between one level and another and paved with flat stones avoids the usual soggy mess which often accumulates where a beck meets a path.

We were accompanied by some local inhabitants on a few occasions before they scampered off to find some more tasty greenery to chew away on.

The large summit plateau of Wild Boar Fell from the Pennine Bridleway. The path has a good surface and is so well graded that you barely notice that you are gradually gaining height. If it had been sunny we would have enjoyed the walk up even more but those clouds are still hanging over us and casting a dull light over everything. Not a good day for landscape photography.

We’ve arrived at Long Gill and just a few paces further along …..

….. we cross the footbridge over it, negotiate the two gates which are beyond it …..

….. and continue on up to the little col at High Dolphinsty. I took a look back just before we passed through the gate and noticed that the cloud coming towards us looked as though it might be beginning to break up, there was definitely a lot more blue sky around than there had been so far.

The view ahead from the gate at High Dolphinsty. We have just seen a couple of walkers beginning their climb up towards the top of Wild Boar Fell and they were the only two people that we saw all the time we were up here.

The view from the gate at High Dolphinsty. The hill beyond the gate is Little Fell and the path curving alongside the wall eventually leads over to it. The North Pennines are on the left skyline, the ridgeline on the right is part of Mallerstang Edge which we walked on 1st June 2020. Here’s the link if you’d like to see what its like up there –


I also took a look at the eastern side of Wild Boar Fell which was the route we took the last time we were up here in September 2017. Here’s the link to that walk – https://www.wainwrightwalking.co.uk/wild-boar-fell/

The couple we had seen ahead of us at High Dolphinsty had disappeared by the time I had finished taking photos and we had got out the walking poles and gloves and were ready to get going again. The breeze is stronger and chillier now we’ve gained more height so the gloves went on just in case. Immobile hands wrapped around walking pole handles soon become very cold, well mine do anyway. Having reached the little tarn I paused to take a look at the steepish climb ahead and we know our walking poles will come in handy up there.

The summit cairn on The Nab which is just below the summit plateau. I don’t know if its true or not but there seems to be a suggestion that this is the site of an ancient burial mound.

A look along the escarpment from The Nab. On the skyline just to the left of the escarpment is the pointed peak of Whernside with Ingleborough just to the left of that. The third fell in the Yorkshire Three Peaks grouping, Pen-y-Ghent, isn’t in the shot.

The view back to High Dolphinsty and Little Fell from The Nab. The Pennine Bridleway which we walked earlier is coming in from the left, between Little Fell and Wild Boar Fell, and from the gate it continues on down into the Mallerstang valley. From The Nab we continued up the final steep section and eventually out on to Wild Boar Fell’s huge summit plateau.

We opted to walk along the rim of the escarpment before going over to the trig point which marks the summit. What looks like people in the distance are just tall columnar cairns known as curricks.

Looking back along the escarpment when we reached the area where the curricks are situated and where there is also a Y-shaped shelter.

The various curricks plus the fence and stile …..

….. and the curricks minus the fence and stile.

The view from Wild Boar Fell’s east top in the direction of The Moorcock Inn, and Yorkshire of course, that being our home county.

From the east top we set off over the plateau heading towards the west top which is only slightly higher than the east one with a few tarns and soggy sections along the way. Surprisingly though it was mostly dry underfoot.

Approaching the trig point and shelter which looks a lot different to what awaited us the last time we were up here …..

….. as both the trig point and the shelter have been rebuilt since our last visit in 2017. If you follow the link previously given you can see what a sorry state the whole thing was in. When we were back home after our walk in 2017 I found the email address on the OS website and wrote to them saying that the cairn and shelter were in need of attention and asking them if they would do something by way of repairs. These trig points may not be used very much any more but the OS does have responsibility for their maintenance so I thought perhaps they should know about the state of the Wild Boar Fell one. I did get a reply which thanked me for letting them know and that the matter would be attended to in due course. Now, I have no way of knowing whether the rebuilt trig point and shelter occurred as a result of my email, it could have been on their pending list already, although I doubt that, it could also have been the result of the actions of other walkers who also let them know about it. Whatever the reason I felt a certain amount of satisfaction that maybe, somewhere along the line, my little email had played a small part in getting the whole thing back together again. I really don’t like to see cairns, trig points or anything else left to collapse without somebody doing something about it. If anyone reading this comes across a trig point which is in need of repair just let the OS know about it. They have obviously taken notice in this case so if someone lets them know about repairs needed to other trig points they might just do something about it. Having said all that and turning to the rebuild itself it isn’t perfect, but then nothing ever is, but at the very least it is now repaired and serves its purpose. We took an early lunch in it and were protected from the chilly breeze, and the sun finally came out as we reached it.

A view of the Howgills to the west of us from the rebuilt shelter. Over on the extreme right below us are the limestone pavements of Stennerskeugh and Fell End. We took a walk over them on 21 March 2020 and here’s the link if you want to know more –


After our lunch stop we gathered our things together and prepared for our descent back to the Fell End lane. From the shelter this is a look back over to the currick area on the east top.

This wasn’t our return route on our last visit so we didn’t visit the tarn situated just below the west top of Wild Boar Fell. A narrow path from the shelter across the grass brought it into view …..

….. but that petered out above a steep drop so we wound our way through the crags and the various humps and bumps …..

….. and eventually down to the water’s edge. This is Sand Tarn although the sand around the edges is millstone grit which, apparently, local people used to sharpen their knives and no doubt other cutting implements. Whether that is true or not I have no way of knowing but that’s how the story goes. On a calm sunny day it would be a great place for a picnic and a paddle, or even a swim although it might not be deep enough for that.

The heavy grey cloud which hung over us earlier has broken up, the sun is shining and, although things have warmed up a little the breeze is still doing its best to spoil things. Our descent is off path but the ground is dry and springy as we make our way through swathes of cotton grass towards the limestone pavements of Fell End Clouds. Harter Fell is behind the Fell End pavements.

Views of the Howgill fells all the way as we follow the course of Cloud Beck down to Fell End Clouds …..

….. and even more Howgill fells to the left of the previous shot. Sunlight landing on them makes such a difference.

Approaching the end of Fell End Clouds and …..

….. in the dip between one pavement and another we spot this old sheepfold.

Rounding the bottom end of Fell End Clouds with a look up at the solitary sycamore tree, nice to see it in full leaf this time around. This tree is shown on the relevant OS map but isn’t shown on our route map.

Harter Fell comes into full view as we round the end of the limestone pavement …..

….. and a glance over to our left at some of the other fells in the Howgill group as we do so.

A look up towards Fell End Clouds now that we’ve rounded the end of the pavement …..

….. and further along we have the two lime kilns just ahead of us …..

….. the first lime kiln we passed below …..

….. and then the second lime kiln …..

….. and finally the walk back along Fell End lane to the car parked by the wall.

As we were stowing our packs and jackets into the car I heard the clip-clop of horse hooves and turned towards the direction of the sound. I had expected to see someone riding a horse so was surprised and delighted to see the traditional gypsy caravan we had walked past earlier now on the move, albeit less than a mile from where it was parked when we walked past it this morning. Looking at the sight of two heavy horses across a buttercup meadow enclosed by dry stone walls took me straight back to my childhood and the little Yorkshire village where I lived. Our house was next door to a farm which had a couple of heavy horses just like the ones in the photo only they pulled farm implements and carts not caravans. The farm did have an old tractor ,which was nothing like the ones you see nowadays, but petrol was still rationed at the time so horses were brought into use. They would pull ploughs, rakes etc, farm carts loaded with hay at hay-making time with us kids ‘helping’ to stack the hay on the cart, although how much help we actually were is open to question as I recall we spent a lot of time throwing hay all over each other. When it was time for the village gala the horses would be dressed in their finery for the occasion, with lots of ribbons and bows in their manes and tails. They would be harnessed to a flat bed cart on which us kids, dressed in our Sunday best of course, were seated on our little Sunday School wooden chairs ready to join the procession in the grand parade through the village after which we were deposited in the field beside the church, given an iced tea-cake and a glass of lemonade before settling down to watch the various competitions for the grown-ups and older children in the village sports. None of that seems to happen now which is something of a pity and it makes me wonder what today’s youngsters will have in their memory bank when they are grown up. Ah well, time to get back to the present day and the journey back home and remembering, of course, to leave the M6 at the Shap junction otherwise could end up in Penrith, Carlisle or even Scotland!