Over Muncaster Fell.

Start. Muncaster Castle car park.

Route. Muncaster Castle car park - Fell Lane - Muncaster Tarn - Muncaster Fell - Hooker Crag (the summit) - Hooker Moss - Ross's Camp - Silver Knott - Rabbit How - Muncaster Head Farm - Horse Parks - Birks Coppice - Birks Plantation - High Eskholme - Ian's Wood - Chapel Hill - Muncaster Tarn - Fell Lane - Muncaster Castle car park.

Notes. This walks been on the to do list for as long as I can remember, I’ve just never got round to it, until now. Muncaster Fell a low steep sided ridge cutting deep into Eskdale, of some importance to the Roman Empire whom built a road over it’s length linking their port at Ravenglass to Eskdale Green, then on to the garrison at Hardknott Fort. Although the road has largely vanished over the fell it was this that roughly guided us, our return was made through Lower Eskdale on a forestry track cutting across the base of the fell. I’d say a quite charming, delightful and rewarding ramble over a quiet fell with stunning views for little effort.

After parking on the large car park at Muncaster Castle we wandered east along the edge of the main road, when the road swung sharp right we continued straight on between the dry stone walls of Fell Lane, an easy ascent followed depositing us at Muncaster Tarn, from this tranquil quite charming body of water we continued through mixed woodland before stepping out into stunning views onto the open fell. The main trod by-passes Hooker Crag the summit, we felt the need to conquer the very top so up we went a faint path to guide us. A trig point marks the summit perched amid a granite outcrop, granite makes up the bulk of the fell, being extremely abrasive it's a delight to walk across. The views into Lakeland and out over the Irish Sea Coast were just fabulous, we stayed a while, took some time to soak them in before heading for our next point of interest, Ross’s Camp.

After leaving the summit we slowly picked our way over and around quite a bit of boggy ground, the main trod seemed to elude us, we joined it again at Ross’s Camp. A small dolmen, stone age in appearance but on the slab is clearly etched 1883, it is believed to be a Victorian folly, it could be much older, the date carved by an imaginative Victorian etcher.

From this enigma we continued over more wet ground before joining an excellent track cutting through a cleft in Silver Knott, this deposited us at Rabbit How on the bridleway that was to guide us back. We descended to the farm at Muncaster Head before swinging west, with a good track under foot we headed back through Lower Eskdale. Along the edge of sheep pastures we wandered, all dominated by the steep facade of Muncaster Fell. Passed Horse Park, through Birks Coppice and Birks Plantation, at High Eskholme we stepped onto tarmac, this narrow lane ushered us to the start of a bridleway ascending through Ian’s Wood under the cliffs of Raw Crag.

This was steep, the leg burning climb that followed sapped the last of our energy, just as we thought our lungs would burst the slope eased and Muncaster Tarn tilted into view, we collapsed on a cushion of comfy moss, got our breath back and re-fueled. All that remained to re-trace our steps down Fell Lane, but first we spent some time enjoying the atmosphere of this delightful corner on a fell of many delightful secret corners.

view route map.


Hazy views across lower Eskdale from Fell Lane.

Summer flora Fell Lane.

The scene over Lower Eskdale.

The Esk Estuary on the Irish Sea coast.

Early morning reflections, Muncaster Tarn.

A rugged mattress of wild moorland.

On the slopes of Hooker Crag with a stunning view over the Cumbria coastal plane.

Fading into a pale grey distance the whale back of Black Combe.

Looking over Irton Pike and the Miterdale Forest to to the mountains bordering Wasdale.

From Hooker Crag wonderful views over a hazy stage set of Lakeland mountains.

My good lady tops out on Hooker Crag the summit of Muncaster Fell.

Views back over Muncaster Fell.

In the middle distance Irton Pike leading to Whin Rigg backed by Buckbarrow, Middle Fell and Yewbarrow.

Ross's Camp, Victorian folly, ancient burial site, whatever it certainly commands a stunning view.

A wonderful mix of landscape confectionery, appearing out of the morning haze, Harter Fell and the jagged profile of Green Crag.

Magical views from our descent route.

Silver Knott rising from the northern end of Muncaster Fell, across the skyline Scafell Pike, Sca Fell and Slight Side.

Muncaster Fell viewed from Silver Knott.

Again from Silver Knott wonderful views to the mouth of the Esk valley.

Across Lower Eskdale Raven Crag, Latter Barrow and Birkby.

Descending in the foot steps of Roman Legions, viewing the Green Crag Ridge over Upper Eskdale.

Looking over the Lakeland slate cottages of Eskdale Green to the vast bulk of Seatallan.

Raven Crag and Latter Barrow on view from the forest track through Lower Eskdale.

Most of the way back this track made for easy walking, well untill the ascent to....

....Muncaster Tarn which was then followed by a welcome rest bite after a lung buster of a climb out of Eskdale.

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