Place Fell and the Ullswater Shore Path.

Start. Patterdale.

Route. Patterdale - Rooking Gill - Boredale Hause - Steel Edge - Round How - Place Fell - Hart Crag - Low Moss - Scalehow Force - Roscombe Rigg - Silver Point - Side Farm - Goldrill Beck - Patterdale.

Notes. Commanding a dominant position overlooking the head of Ullswater Place Fell stands proud, rising steeply from the dog leg of the lake, scree, boulders and birch adorn it's flanks, a perfect invitation to climb the hill.

Welcome to the overcrowded Lake District on the second day of December, there was plenty of parked cars but no people, I found a desecrate space, parked and paid the fee, £4.50 a bargain for a day in the hills. Little did I know this would be a lonely day, I'd be making my return on what is possibly the busiest path on the planet, I saw not a soul all day, I could pee where I wanted, drink tea wherever and whenever I liked, partake in no idle conversation, bliss.

I left Patterdale via a bridge just south of the Patterdale Hotel, once across the valley the twin paths ascending to the mountain crossroads of Boredale Hawes guided me onto the hill. So popular was this high coll the remains of a chapel can be found, perfectly positioned to convert weary travelers as they emerge from the Lakeland mist lost and bewildered. Talking of mist a hell of a lot of cloud was bubbling over the Helvellyn massif and the hills running south from Fairfield, anybody up there might be in need of some divine intervention.

I passed the remains of the chapel, a good path then wound up the south ridge of the hill, it seemed to take ages but I eventually popped out of a gully onto the wind swept summit ridge. No sign of the trig point, some of the cloud had escaped from across the valley and was now hiding the high point of the hill. I continued, the trig point soon emerged from it's grey shroud, a ghost on a rocky knoll, I ignored it swinging right to access Hart Crag, the start of a long descent to a sheepfold on Low Moss.

Once at the sheepfold it was brew time, toilet time and time to study the map, I decided to descent the valley cut by Scalehow Beck. The path passes under the steep slopes of High Dodd, through some old mine workings before joining another path that guided me to the Ullswater Lake Shore Path, usually the busiest path on the planet. I'm not joking, thousands every year take the Ullswater Steamer to Howtown then walk back. This popular trod is quite undulating, steps make the steep bits painless, it's obvious to see why this is such a popular walk, well the path was mine today mine alone and I enjoyed every minute of it. I stopped a couple of times until I ran out of coffee.

Under the cliff and scree of Low Birk Fell I passed, below the boulders and birch of Birkfell Earth then on to the headland of Silver Point with it's stunning views up the lake. From Silver Point the path left the lake shore, dry stone walls guided my to Side Farm, I followed the farm access road towards Patterdale before joining the banks of Goldrill Beck for the final push to the finish.

view route map.


Ascending to Boredale Hause looking to the head of Patterdale, to the left the steep slopes of Hartsop Dodd and Coudale Moor with Red Screes across Kirkstone Pass to the right.

A magical play of light over Glenridding.

Sunlight paints the steep slopes of Place Fell.

Place Fell as seen from Boredale Hause.

Ascending Place Fell with this fine view behind me, Red Screes, High Hartsop Dodd and the long ridge of Hartsop above How.

Same view as above, as I gain a little height Brothers Water tilts into view.

Sunlight on the spine of Beda Fell backed by by the long ridge linking Loadpot Hill and Wether Hill.

A wonderful stage set of Lakeland confectionery, mountain, lake and valley lit by shafts of sunlight cutting through rents in the cloud.

A slice of the picturesque, I sunlight the whale back of High Street, dark looming over Angletarn Pikes, Gray Crag.

When sunlight kisses the lowlands and a window opens up in swirling mist, any mountain can be a magical place.

Sunlight dances across the Ullswater face of Watermillock Common.

Frozen in time Place Fell Tarn.

An incredible view towards High Street taken from my descent route.

High Dodd rising from Low Moss, the sheep fold I'm descending to can clearly be seen bottom right.

Approaching the sheep fold on Low Moss looking to High Dodd, my route down was through the wide gap to the left.

Long abandoned quarry workings on the slopes of High Dodd.

Towards the head of Ullswater, from this wonderful green trod above Scalehow Force.

One of the most popular paths in the Lake District, not today there's just little old me dwarfed by the landscape.

On a coffee brake soaking up views to Sheffield Pike across Ullswater.

Near Silver Point looking to Gowbarrow.

Time for another coffee stop, time to drink in the views from Silver Point.

Kissed by cloud the rugged heights of St Sunday Crag with Birks just dipping it's head under the cloud base.

Seen over Ullswater the woodland and cliffs of Keldas.

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