Great Mell Fell Walk

Great Mell Fell Walk

Great Mell Fell Walk

Great Mell Fell Walk

Do you like a walk of untold mystery that makes you wonder who or what was here before us? How old is civilisation itself? How different are we to those who long ago walked these same hills?

Look to the heavens on a clear night here in the Lake District and you could be looking upon the same stars as someone did some 1,000 years ago.

Not too distant from the village of Dacre is the stone circle of Castlerigg not more than some 9 miles away and throughout the whole area is a wealth of tumuli, barrows, mounds and stone circles all of great antiquity, and not forgetting the strange stone Dacre Bears.

This walk is going to take us from Dacre to the summit of Great Mell Fell just of the road A5091 and back.

Great Mell Fell will be visible for most of the walk so we will start with some history and it is for you the reader to decide on fact or fiction?

Is Great Mell Fell an early pyramid built at the dawn of time and before history began ? There are some who consider this to be fact ! The question is, should Great Mell Fell be considered in the same context as Silbury Hill in Wiltshire to be some kind of earth mound ? Or is it just an uncanny resemblance with Silbury Hill ? Great Mell Fell is taller than the great pyramid of Giza. Great Mell Fell elevation is 537 m (1762ft)

An ancient tumulus or gravesite was discovered close to its summit and the area is full of Neolithic sites.

So whilst walking this easy to medium walk you may ponder the simple existence of Great Mell Fell, is it simply a fell or is it some strange ancient burial site ?

Leaving the village of Dacre and heading down the road towards the settlement of Sparket. Keep looking out for a sign on the right hand side for Hesket Farm and leaving the road firstly follow the farm road until you see on your left just before the farm a public footpath sign and follow this.

Great Mell Fell Walk

This path bends to the right around the farm buildings and heads across the fields and down towards a small wooded copse and you will be looking for a bridge that cross the stream which is flowing towards Dacre beck.

Panoramic View From Summit

Panoramic View From Summit

Reaching the farm road you turn right and follow the track all the way through the Hesket farm and aim for Sparket Mill. On reaching Sparket mill if you are lucky you might see the peacock that lives locally.

For approximately 30 minutes follow the Thackthwaite road until you have passed through the settlement of Thackthwaite and look out for a public footpath on your right. It is a little misleading at first as it does start as a very rough pathway of the road, which after approximately 10 meters bends out of sight to the right.

Following this public footpath across the fields you are heading towards 1 large barn and house in the valley below although this cannot be seen. Coming to the barn the style was broken and lying in the field as of 20.02.10.

On seeing the 2 Dacre Beck bridges take the one to the left and look on the left hand side for the public footpath that follows the edge of the Beck. You are then aiming roughly for the right hand side of the large farm of Walloway.

On reaching the road turn left and keep walking with Great Mell Fell now to your right. Keep walking along the road until you reach the first road / rough path on the left and taking this you will start to rise upwards. Looking for the second gate and taking this you will see the main footpath, which will take you all the way to the summit of Great Mell Fell. There are some amazing old wind thrashed trees on the fell and keep your eyes open for the wild life on the fell.

On reaching the summit after several false thoughts of having reached the top you will be rewarded with some fantastic far-reaching panoramic view of the Lake District and the Pennines.

Whilst having reached the top of Great Mell Fell it is only now that you will realise how curved and possibly tomb like it really is. Yes I agree it is not perfectly curved but then it was possibly made some 2,000 plus !! Food for thought as you walk home !!

Great Mell Fell Walk

Returning via the route up Great Mell Fell and returning to the road you now have a choice of routes. Firstly you can simply turn left and follow the road all the way back to your car at Dacre using Ordnance Survey map 90 or you can turn right along the road and look for the public footpath on the left which takes you across the fields towards Grenrow and on reaching Greenrow turn left and follow the road back to Dacre depending on your time scale and fitness levels?

This walk is good for families with children, dogs and individuals of all levels with reasonable fitness levels.

Please remember to keep dogs on a lead whilst on farm land although these roads are quiet and with a reasonably well behaved dog you might enjoy letting your dog of the lead whilst on the road, although this is entirely at your own risk and within your own responsibility.

I hope you enjoy your Great Mell Fell Walk.

Coast To Coast Walk

Coast To Coast Walk

Coast To Coast Walk

Coast To Coast Walk

By now your probably wondering what all the fuss is about with this so called Coast to Coast walk?

Let me try my best to now explain what all the hullabaloo is about and it starts with one of the Lake Districts most recognisable charismatic characters as the Coast to Coast walk was the brain child of Alfred Wainwright, the well known writer and hill walker. It is often referred to as Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk or even Wainwright’s Way. Wainwright him self recommends you dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea at St Bees, and at the end, dip their naked feet in the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.

Coast To Coast Walk

The Coast to Coast Walk crosses three of our contrasting National Parks and undoubtedly some of England’s finest scenery including;

The Lake District National Park

The Yorkshire Dales National Park

The North York Moors National Park

The walk starts besides the Irish Sea at St Bees on the Cumbrian coast and while Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk is not one of Britain’s official National Trails it is one of the most popular long distance paths in the country. Whilst crossing northerner England from St Bees the walk concludes in Yorkshire’s eastern coast at Robin Hood’s Bay.

While the walk is not as demanding as the Pennine Way, the Coast to Coast walk should be treated with respect as it does have some challenging sections especially in the west.

The Coast to Coast Walk is 190 miles in total (according to a recent re-measure the real distance is almost 220 miles) and if it was your intention to complete the walk in one go, its estimated it would take something like 12 to 14 days to finish depending on fitness levels and stop overs. There are some high and tricky ascents to negotiate along the trail, although alternative routes are available to avoid the worst of these if you don’t fancy the challenge. The route is mostly un-sign posted so good map reading is essential.

According to our Alfred Wainwright the coast to coast walk is split into 12 official sections, although some allow a little longer on the more arduous sections.

As with most long distant paths the route is split into manageable sections that are easier to navigate and become mini walks. When planning your walk these smaller section maybe between lodgings or even a small walk and a day out.

Due to the popularity of the area and the Coast to Coast walk it is advisable to book in advance if you are planning on staying in the hotels, pubs, Bed and Breakfasts or campsites along the route.

Coast To Coast Walk

  1. St Bees
  2. St Bees – Ennerdale Bridge 14 miles.
  3. Ennerdale Bridge – Rosthwaite 14 miles.
  4. Rosthwaite – Patterdale 17 miles.
  5. Patterdale – Shap 16 miles.
  6. Shap – Kirby Stephen 21 miles.
  7. Kirby Stephen – Keld 13 miles.
  8. Keld – Reeth 11 miles.
  9. Reeth – Richmond 11 miles.
  10. Richmond – Ingleby Cross 23 miles.
  11. Ingleby Cross – Clay Bank Top 12 miles.
  12. Clay Bank Top – Glaisdale 18 miles.
  13. Glaisdale – Robin Hood’s Bay.

The below Google map shows two points of reference, one being the starting point and one being the finishing point of the Coast to Coast Walk.


View Coast To Coast Walk in a larger map

However you decide to complete this walk, in one go or in sections for a weekend break, or simply a day out, remember your good walking boots, equipment and enjoy the Coast To Coast Walk.

The Countryside Code

Countryside Code

Lake District Footpath

Countryside Code


The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside. Most of it is just good commonsense, as it is designed to help us all to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside.

The Countryside Code, which applies in England and Wales, makes it clear what the responsibilities are for both the public and the people who manage the land.

There are 5 sections of the Countryside Code.

Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs.
Even when going out locally, it’s best to get the latest information about where and when you can go. For example, your rights to go onto some areas of open land may be restricted while work is carried out, for safety reasons, or during breeding seasons. Follow advice and local signs, and be prepared for the unexpected and follow the Countryside code.

• Refer to up-to-date maps or guidance books, for details of open access land and even call in at a local information centre. Buy an OS map on this website.
• You are responsible for your own safety and for others in your care, so be prepared for changes in the weather and other events.
• Check weather conditions with the local Met office where possible.
• Part of the appeal of the countryside is that you can get away from it all. You may not see anyone for hours, and there are many places without clear mobile phone signals, so let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
• Get to know the signs and symbols used in the Countryside Code.
• If you’re looking for ideas, explore our Lake District attractions page for things to do.

Countryside Code

Lake District January 2010

Countryside Code

Following the Countryside code leave gates and property as you find them.
Please respect the working life of the countryside, as our actions can affect people’s livelihoods, our heritage, and the safety and welfare of animals and ourselves.

• A farmer will normally leave a gate closed to keep livestock in, but may sometimes leave it open so they can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs. If walking in a group, make sure the last person knows how to leave the gates.
• If you think a sign is illegal or misleading such as a “Private-No Entry” sign on a public footpath, contact the local authority.
• In fields where crops are growing, follow the paths wherever possible.
• Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries when provided – climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.
• Ore heritage belongs to all of us – be careful not to disturb ruins and historic sites.
• Leave machinery and livestock alone – don’t interfere with animals even if you think they’re in distress. Try to alert the farmer instead.

Protect plants and animals and take your litter home as this is one of the main points of the Countryside Code.
We have a responsibility to protect our countryside now and for the future generations, so make sure you don’t harm animals, birds, plants or trees.

• Litter and leftover food doesn’t just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals and can spread disease – so take your litter home with you. Dropping litter and dumping rubbish are criminal offences.
• Discover the beauty of the natural environment and take special care not to damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees. They provide homes and food for wildlife, and add to everybody’s enjoyment of the countryside.
• Wild animals and farm animals can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they’re with their young – so give them plenty of space.
• Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property – so be careful not to drop a match or smouldering cigarette at any time of the year. Sometimes, controlled fires are used to manage vegetation, particularly on heaths and moors between October and early April, so please check that a fire is not supervised before calling 999.

Countryside Code

Sharp Edge Lake District

Countryside Code

Keep dogs under close control.
The countryside is a great place to exercise dogs, but it’s every owners duty to make sure their dog is not a danger or nuisance to farm animals, wildlife or other people.

• By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife. On most areas of open country and common land, known as “access land” you must keep your dog on a short lead on most areas of open country and common land between 1st March and 31st July, and all year round near farm animals.
• You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as it is under close control. But as a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience. By law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals.
• If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.
• Take particular care that your dog doesn’t scare sheep and lambs or wander where it might disturb birds that nest on the ground ad other wildlife – eggs and young will soon die without protection from their parents.
• Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections – so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly. Also make sure your dog is wormed regularly to protect it, other animals and people.
• At certain times, dogs may not be allowed on some areas of access lad or may need to be kept on a lead. Please follow any signs. You can also find out more by phoning the Open Access Contact Centre on 0845 100 3298.

Consider other people.
Showing consideration and respect for other people makes the countryside a pleasant environment for everyone – at home, at work and at leisure.

• Busy traffic on small country roads can be unpleasant and dangerous to local people, visitors and wildlife – so slow down and, where possible, leave your vehicle at home, consider sharing lifts and use alternatives such as public transport or cycling. For public transport information, visit the Traveline website at; http://www.traveline.org.uk/index.htm
• Respect the needs of local people – for example, don’t block gateways, driveways or other entry points with your vehicle.
• Keep out of the way when farm animals are being gathered or moved and follow directions from the farmer.
• When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse – riders on bridleways.
Support the rural economy – for example, buy your supplies from local shops.

Wherever you go walking or camping in the Lake District remember the Countryside Code.

Blencathra Walk From Threlkeld Village

Blencathra From Great Mell Fell

Blencathra From Great Mell Fell

Blencathra Walk From Threlkeld

Blencathra is a well known Lake District mountain which can easily be seen as you approach Keswick from Penrith on the A66.

There are several possible accents of Blencathra walk as you would imagine although for the first attempt at walking this famous peak. I would suggest starting from the village of Threlkeld and as you enter the village from the Penrith side look for a road on your right leading to the Blencathra visitor’s center. There is a small car park on your right as you travel upwards on this country road.

Blencathra Walk From Threlkeld

Leaving the car park in the village of Threlkeld you will follow the valley and start to climb a gradual slope and ultimately cross a stream. Then traversing the fields leftwards and following the stone wall you will see a track on your right that will start to climb sharply and this is your accent upwards to the summit of Blencathra.

This route is a lot easier than the world famous “Sharp Edge” route and a lot less dangerous. It is suitable for children as I have walked it with my children and the views from the top are stunning on a clear day.

There is a half way point on this route up Blencathra where you will be able to see Derwent Water and Keswick then the footpath takes on a slight zig zag as the path follows the contours of the steep gradient, thus making the walk a little easier than directly upwards.

On reach the relatively level part of the pathway the route is clearly visible to the summit. If you are thinking of taking a break at the summit and maybe even having some lunch, I will say that it can be windy here, therefore it might be advisable to enjoy 2 or 3 small lunch breaks during your walk. This also allows for you to take in the views easily.

Once at the summit you can see Sharp Edge and if you walk a little closer you will usually get some great photographs of people ascending via this route. The route down gives you plenty of choices, whilst having reached the top of Blencathra you can easily decide on your level of fitness etc which route back to take.

It is always good to take a map with you as detours are good if you know where you are going.

I hope you enjoy our video of our recent Blencathra walk.

Blencathra Walk

Enjoy your Blencathra walk.