The Helm from the East.

Start. Oxenholme.

Route. Oxenholme - Helmside Road - Old Hutton Road - Station Inn - Underhelm Lane - The Helm - Castlesteads Fort - Burton Road - Oxenholme.

Notes. The Helm, a much-loved hill thus well used, however there is far more to this limestone ridge than meets the eye. It's backbone gifts the walker with some beautiful views, from the summit an Iron Age Hill Fort dating back to 800BC, the views are breath-taking. The Lakeland Fells, the Howgills, the Yorkshire Dales over the Lune valley, plus Farleton Fell and the salt water of Morecambe Bay. On the hills eastern slopes, the side I opted to climb rare breed fell ponies graze, native only to Cumbria. So if you wish to escape the crowds that line the summit ridge, ascend from the east, you'll have the hill and views to yourself.

I left Oxenholme via Helmside Road, once at the Railway Station Old Hutton Road guided me up hill, passed the Station Inn and the more popular route up The Helm, A couple of hundred yards further on a narrow lane emerged from the right, a sign clearly stated unsuitable for HGVS, I turned onto said lane. With tarmac under foot I strolled on to a field gate next to which a narrow pedestrian gate allowed access to the hill, after passing through said gate I climbed the hill.

The ground was hard, the grass close cropped, the gorse a vivid yellow, fell ponies lazily grazed completely ignoring me. I passed a small dried up reservoir before reaching another still containing water, I presumed probably wrongly these once supplied water to the farms in the valley. Now the summit of the hill was in sight, I'd had the hill to myself since setting out, that would change when I reached it's apex, I made a decision to stay on the east side of the boundary wall (and fence), which I did even though the top was quieter than expected. After paying homage to the summit I descended over steep ground, through scrub, a narrow trod guided me into woodland then onto the bridleway that cuts across the southern end of the hill, this guided me back to Burton Road a short stroll from home.

view route map.


The Middleton Fells seen from Underhelm Lane.

Dominating the view to the south, Farleton Fell.

Rising from the Lune valley the Middleton and Barbon Fells.

Gorse in full bloom, above which you can just make out the dry stone wall that marks the spine of the hill.

The small reservoir passed en route.

Farleton Fell on view over the rolling farmland I've been rambling around throughout lock down.

Heading towards the summit.

Making slow progress on this quiet side of the hill.

From the summit of The Helm a birds eye view over the Kent valley.

The spine of the hill, the usual route, I climbed through the gorse to the right.

From the site of the Iron Age Fort that adorns the summit fantastic views over Kendal to the High Street massif.

The trig point with stunning views to the hills of South Lakeland.

Stunning views over the valleys of St Sunday's Beck and Peasey Beck.

At the foot of the hill, wandering over a bridleway that is guiding me to Burton Road.

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