Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike.

Start. Glenridding.

Route. Glenridding - Greenside Road - Blaes Crag - The Rake - Glenridding Dod - Heron Pike - Sheffield Pike - Nick Head - Bleabank Side - Glencoyne - Seldom Seen - Ullswater - Mossdale Bay - Stybarrow Crag - Glenridding.

Notes. Two fine hills standing high between the Glencoyne and Glenridding Valleys, Sheffield Pike and it's little brother Glenridding Dodd, both gift the lucky hill walker splendid views, particularly west to the Helvellyn massif and north the length of Ullswater. Be prepared these hills don't give up their secrets easily, it will cost you, a great deal of sweat, your legs and lungs will earn their pay, but the rewards are worth it. And it goes without saying this is the quiet side of the valley, the massive car park in Glenridding may be full to bursting point, you may have been forced to park on the grass, but apart from the Ullswater Ferry the majority of the occupants will be slogging it out on the Striding Edge approach to Helvellyn.

Parking is expensive at Glenridding, and if you need to pee it will cost you 30p. I dug deep into my pockets, paid the fee, refused to pee and headed out of the car park onto Greenside Road, it may be tarmac but the climb started in the streets of the village. Once across a cattle grid I left the road, a narrow path guided me up The Rake, the steep hillside rising behind Rake Cottages. After visiting Blaes Crag the climbing continued, steep a real leg burner, I eventually topped out on the coll linking Sheffield Pike to Glenridding Dodd, from this grassy coll I ascended the latter. Once I'd bagged the 1.450ft summit, enjoyed the stunning vistas I turned my attention to Sheffield Pike.

After re-tracing my steps to the coll another leg burner of a climb followed, steep hands on in places, the path clung to the Glenridding face of the hill with airy drops to my left. When the hill leveled out I traversed boggy ground, passing two small tarns before the final pull to the summit, 2.215ft I thought I'd earned a rest and a brew. I sat quite a while drinking coffee soaking up stunning views, there was no rush this was the last hill of the morning.

When I did move it was west a green trod under foot, an easy descent to Nick Head where I turned right, a narrow easy to follow path descends across Bleabank Side, this I slowly followed it's a stunning way off the hill. It eventual deposited me behind the minors cottages at Seldom Seen, a track then guided me along the edge of Glencoyne Wood gifting me with stunning views over Ullswater, when the track ended I found myself on the busy valley road, directly opposite access to a foot-path running parallel to the road and lake shore. This well used trod guided me passed stoney bays, above water washed cliffs and through lake side woodland all the way back to Glenridding.

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Sunlight on the Glenridding face of Birkhouse Moor with Little Cove to the left.

Stunning views up the Glenridding valley, taking centre stage Birkhouse Moor with Glenridding Common to the left.

Sheffield Pike seen from Blaes Crag across The Rake.

Early morning sunlight and long shadows, stunning conditions.

When sunlight paints the valley a wonderful pallet of greens, and the faces of Birks and St Sunday Crag remain in shadow, it's a stunning morning to be on the hills.

The sun decorates the hills closing the head of Glenridding, Catstye Cam just visible over the shoulder of Birkhouse Moor, Whiteside and Raise all seen from the summit of Glenridding Dodd.

The summit Glenridding Dodd looking to Birkhouse Moor.

Ullswater through the morning haze.

Breath-taking topography at the head of Glenridding.

Toiling up Sheffield Pike with this stunning view for company, Ullswatwer with the Pennines across the skyline.

Taking a breather before the final pull to the summit, viewing Gowbarrow Fell and Little Mell Fell.

Staggering panorama from the summit of Sheffield Pike, over Watermillock Common, the lesser heights of Great and Little Mell Fells and Gowbarrow Fell.

Descending the path over Bleabank Side with another very special view down Ullswater.

Wandering through dappled light under the tree cover of Glencoyne Wood.

A gap in the trees gifts us with another magical view down Ullswater.

The cottages at Seldom Seen.

Ullswater at it's very best.

Mossdale Bay and I have the place to myself.

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