Middle Fell, Seatallan and Buckbarrow.

Start. Greendale.

Route. Greendale - Middle Fell - Winscale Moss - Shooting How - Seatallan - Cat Bields - Cold Well - Glade How - Buckbarrow - Buckbarrow Moss - Greendale Gill - Greendale.

Notes. Discover the quieter side of the Western Fells, a trio of hills offering superb walking backed by jaw-dropping views over the West Cumbria coast, then inland to the bowl of mountains closing Wasdale. These three less frequented fells present very different characteristics, Middle Fell is rough and rocky, the summit cairn perched on a massive lump of bedrock gifts the walker with stunning views over Wastwater to the famous screes and the giants of Scafell and Scafell Pike. Seatallan after a lung buster of a climb welcomes with a wide grassy ridge, trig point and a large wind shelter, the views up and down the Cumbria coastal plane are staggering, on a clear day the Isle of Man can be seen other worldly rising through the sea mist. Buckbarrow in contrast has lots of rocky knolls guarded by boggy ground, many adorned with cairns marking viewpoints facing the Wasdale screes.

My day started next to the cottages at Greendale, directly north of the car park a wide green trod can be seen climbing the fell, this I followed. After the initial short climb I reached an obvious path junction, I turned right stepping onto the path that ascends Middle Fell. The path guided me upwards into stunning views, the summit welcomed me with a fine cairn and plenty of perches to sit and re-fuel.

I sat amongst Middle Fells rocky aerie ages, soaking up the views and drinking coffee, when I left it was via a narrow green trod heading north, this path guided me over boggy ground to Winscale Hows, when the path started descending, not wanting to give up to much height I left it, crossed pathless ground to access the narrow path ascending Seatallan’s northern slopes. Lets not kid ourselves this was a lung buster of a climb, relief came when the trig point and large cairn tilted into view, another chance to drink coffee and soak up the views, views even better than Middle Fell. Back on my feet a long easy descent followed, a good path ushered me passed Cat Bields and Cold Well depositing me on Glade How, where I sat and emptied my flask.

Problem with Buckbarrow, the descent routes can be difficult to find, especially this time of year with the bracken out, I was on tired legs and didn't fancy taking the wrong route, a forced ascent through bad navigation was the last thing I wanted. So on Glade How I studied the map. I opted to head north-east over Tongues Gills towards Greendale Tarn, when the slope eased I’d descend to join a path shadowing Greendale Gill. This I did and soon found myself descending back to Greendale and the parked car.

view route map.


Early morning light over Greendale, looking north to my ascent route from the parked car.

Buckbarrow seen from Greendale.

On the lower slopes of Middle Fell looking to Whin Rigg.

Golden light on Scafell Pike.

Illgill Head and the Wasdale screes as seen over Wastwater.

Lit by the morning sun, the green fields of Wasdale, in contrast the screes are grey and still in shade.

Breathtaking views through the mouth of the Wasdale valley.

This fine cairn marks summit of Middle Fell.

Magnificent views to the Scafell massif, drink them in from the summit of Middle Fell.

The grassy rolling summit of Seatallan, the promise of the challenge to come.

Seen over the shoulder of Yewbarrow, Scafell Pike, Sca Fell and Slight Side.

One of the grandest objects in Lakeland, Great Gable.

Dramatic rock scenery on the busy side of Wasdale.

The summit Seatallan with a stunning view over the Cumbria coast.

Enjoying solitude on the summit of Seatallan, squint you can just make out the Isle of Man on the horizon.

There are some wonderful views to be had over the Cumbria coastal plane from this little visited hill.

Glade How and another staggering view.

The summit Buckbarrow with Glade How rising behind.

Curtains of scree line the shore of Wastwater.

High and lofty, the Scafell massif seen from Buckbarrow.

Joss Naylor's cairn.

Whin Rigg rising from the dark waters of Wastwater.

Middle Fell seen over Greendale Gill.

Draining the mires above Greendale Tarn, Greendale Gill.

A wonderful play of light on Wastwater.

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