Saturday, 2 March 2013

Routes in the Northern Fells–Part 3 of many

In my first post I mentioned that I nearly completed a challenge to run all of the Northern Fells of the Lake District by the end of 2012. The relatively unimposing Meal Fell still eludes me. Here are some brief descriptions of the routes I followed with some helpful tips. For the most part they are around 10km with varying ascent apart from the Old Crown Round which I would highly recommend as a whistle stop tour of the Northern Fells.

Obviously I do not provide any guarantee for the accuracy or current safety of these routes. They are simply a record of my own endeavours and if you decide to adopt them you do so at your own risk.

Ullock Pike, Long Side & Carl Side

I foolishly picked a windy day for this run. The route is fantastic and the views even better but the wind has a habit of howling down both the Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite sides of the ridge. In my opinion this is one of the best short runs in the Northern Lakes.

The route is a straight up and back to Carl Side however it is possible to carry on around the ridge to pick up Skiddaw and end up back where you started. This adds considerable ascent and distance but is a worthwhile challenge if you’re feeling strong at the half way point.


  • Distance: 9km
  • Ascent: 600m
  • Summits: 3
  • Difficulty: Medium-Hard
  • Comments: Picking your way through the farm land in the first few hundred metres is annoying and the route below seems involved. However you are aiming for the visible ridge which appears to run S and the jagged summit of Ullock Pike.


  • From the A591 towards Keswick take the sharp left towards Peter House Farm at High Side (NY234305) and park in the first layby on the right (NY236310). 
  • From the road take the track heading ENE.
  • Take the first perpendicular right (NY237311).
  • Follow the path as it turns sharply to the left due ENE (NY238308),
  • The path is always gently ascending at this point and you can follow it round and through the gap in the wall due S (NY241307).
  • Continue along the obvious path to Ling How (NY240299)
  • Now the real ascent begins and you will climb nearly 300m over the next 1km.
  • The OS map does not do this patch justice and what appears to be a gently curving patch around ‘The Edge’ is actually a rocky path which snakes its way up the ridge to Ullock Pike (NY245286).
  • Even when Skiddaw is engulfed in cloud you get a fabulous view of Bassenthwaite Lake.
  • Beyond Ullock Pike there is a brief reprieve in ascent until you start the relatively easy climb up to Long Side (NY248284).
  • Cross the saddle to Carl Side Tarn (NY256282).
  • A gentle push SW up to the final summit of Carl Side (NY254280).
  • Retrace your steps back to the car taking care on the descent after Ullock Pike which seems even steeper on the way down!

More to come…

Techy Geek Corner

I am still trying to work out a decent way of getting OS Map extracts on here without having to pay large sums of money for Memory Map or the like. If anyone has any ideas, please tweet me @mcinsley83.

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