A Circuit from Watendlath.

Start. Watendlath.

Route. Watendlath - High Tove - Eddy Grave Stake - The Pewits - High Seat - Threefooted Brandreth - Bleaberry Fell - Falcon Crag - Ashness Bridge - Ashness Wood - Supprise View - Mossmire Coppice - Watendlath Beck - Watendlath.

Notes. Welcome to the wettest ridge in the Lake District, lets not guild the lilly, the high land between Thirlmere and Borrowdale is a bog trotting tramp. Sphagnum moss, peat hags, tussock grass, knee deep heather you'll cross the lot, what's too deep to ford diversions are required, reach Bleaberry Fell with dry feat you'll be elated. For all you potential list tickers out there, be it Wainwright's or Birkett's this is something to look forward to. I can't think of any other reason for any sane fell walker to grace this bog riddled tract of land, me, well I'm just stupid.

Watendlath marked my starting point, it's a bit of an adventure just getting there, a very narrow winding ribbon of tarmac leads from Ashness Gate to this oasis in the hills. Once safely in the car park a finger-post at the entrance invited me up the hill. Dry under foot at first, a tumbling gill my companion on this ascent, when the ground leveled slightly and the gill vanished the bog hopping begun. Squelching my way east I soon reached the 1,689ft summit of High Tove. With the weather closing in around me I reluctantly turned north, the bog trotting tramp begun. I'm afraid I've nothing nice to say about this ridge, except if the weather had been better the views would possibly make up for the discomfort, possibly, oh, and if the mist descends a reassuring boundary fence runs along the ridge.

On reaching High Seat I contemplated calling it a day, a good path descends Barrow Beck to Ashness Bridge, in the end I continued this self imposed torture. More bog hopping followed before reaching the summit of Bleaberry Fell, a sigh of relief, my feet were dry and I was heading down the hill. A good path guided me towards the head of Cat Gill, just before reaching said gill I swung left (south) to gain access to the path descending to Ashness Bridge. Once at this much photographed Lakeland landmark I selected a comfy rock, sat down and brewed tea. The road I'd driven in on then guided me to Surpprise View before a finger-post invited me to Watendlath. Through woodland I walked to reach a fine foot-bridge spanning Watendlath Beck, I crossed, turned left then let the waters of this delightful Lakeland stream guide me back to the tiny hamlet, as I rounded the farm buildings the first drops of rain fell, perfect timing.

Don't let this derogatory account put you off, yes it's wet, and yes it's muddy, and yes it's bloody horrible, but I seemed to recall the last time I ventured onto the ridge I made a vow to return in snow and ice, it's a pity the grey matter doesn't work quite like it used to. I may see you up there stuck in the mire or striding out over pristine snow, not a care in the world.

view route map.


Viewing Great Crag over Watendlath Tarn.

Looking to Watendlath Fell from the edge of the unnamed gill, my companion on this ascent.

Capturing the morning sun, looking down on the hamlet of Watendlath the rocky crown of Brund Fell.

Grange Fell above Watendlath.

High Seat seen from the ascent of High Tove.

Golden light on Grange Fell with a litany of lakeland favourites as a backdrop, we have Cat Bells leading to Maiden Moor backed by Causey Pike, with the ridge of Scar Crags guiding the eye to Sail, on the far horizon Grisedale Pike and the ridges leading to Hopegill Head.

Bad weather brewing in the south west.

The summit High Tove, looking to Helvellyn over Armboth Fell.

The way ahead.

Views over my ascent route

Views taken across the twin summit of High Seat, on the horizon Clough Head free of cloud, Great Dodd and Watson's Dodd.

Brooding mountains in the murk, a grey day at the head of Borrowdale.

Bleaberry Fell guarded by another expanse of boot sucking mud.

Above Cat Gill drinking in views over Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.

Cat Bells over Derwent Water.

The recipient of much attention, Ashness Bridge.

Enjoying the view over Derwent Water from Supprise View.

A spot of woodland rambling, I guess this is part of the original route to Watendlath.

Watendlath Beck backed by Reecastle Crag, seen from the edge of Mossmire Coppice.

View taken up the Watendlath valley.

As seen from the pack horse bridge at Watendlath, Great Crag over Watendlath Tarn.

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