21st April 2007

Two Mell Fells, one church and some lovely countryside


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 14.30
Duration 5 hr
Distance 9.1 mile
Ascent 2388 ft
Walking with On my own
Brownrigg Farm - Great Mell Fell - Matterdale End - Matterdale Church - The Hause - Little Mell Fell - Lowthwaite - Brownrigg Farm
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Brownrigg Farm

Generally used as the starting point for an ascent of Great Mell Fell, this is merely the end of a farm lonning which is wide enough the accommodate three or four cars. This is somewhere I've never failed to get parked.


Route Map

Walking along the initial section of the track from (near) Brownrigg Farm.

Rather than leave this track at the first National Trust sign where you'd be left scratching your head as to which way to go; continue for a couple of minutes more and cross the first stile you reach. After a short walk next to the fence take the path heading up hill to your right.


The majority of ascents of the two Mell Fells are probably done out of necessity for people who are trying to complete a Wainwright round, rather than as a desire to visit these fells for what they have to offer in their own right. What I find to be a bit of a shame is the outlook of people like the couple I met later in the walk. We said the normal hello and mentioned the weather, as you do, then one of them said they were here to "bag the fell" (I hate that expression) for their round, They then told it had been a waste of a weekend in the Lakes and the sooner they were away from here and back to some real walking the better. They then asked me if I was doing the same, unsurprisingly, they were quite taken aback when I said no, and that I was walking here because I actually enjoy the place.

Missing the point sums them up I think.

Greenbank Farm seen here at the end of the track in Mell Fell Wood.

Rather than adopt the normal out and back route on the Eastern side of Great Mell Fell, I thought I'd try something a bit different today. I did approach the fell along the same route as normal, but continued around the boundary fence almost as far as the disused rifle range before taking a STEEP off route path to the summit.

One of the many solitary trees found around Great Mell Fell.

Great Mell Fell summit with Little Mell Fell behind.

Heading back down the eastern side of the fell and into an area dotted with windswept and misshapen trees.

It was far from a good day today, with regard to getting any long distance views, so to help make up for this, I've included some close up shots I took along the way.




Fording Mellfell Beck on route to Matterdale End.

I'd intentionally kept this walk for a day like today when the higher fells were not exactly at their best, so I could get myself three birds with one stone or in this case, three places with one walk. The first of the proverbial birds was actually this section of path running from the bottom of Great Mell Fell to Matterdale End, the second was Matterdale End itself and the third was Matterdale Church, all of which are places I'd never included in a walk before.

The view across to Great Mell Fell taken a little further along the track.

Matterdale Church.
Matterdale was originally part of the parish of Greystoke, where a collage of Clergy was founded by William of Greystoke and licensed by the Pope in 1382. The history of the church itself dates from the 16th century where in 1566 the people of Matterdale made petition for having a church at the said Matterdale. The most probable date for the completion of the church is 1573; the date carved into one of the beams within the church.



The initials carved next to the date are thought to be those of the workers who built the church, but as yet no one has been able to trace exactly who they belong to.

Crawling over the door handle and up the outside door of the church; this Wasp was not very active at all and was seemingly oblivious to me getting so close to take some photos.

Ulcat Row taken from the roadside as I was walking to The Hause for an ascent of Little Mell Fell.

And a view across to Little Mell Fell.

The sigh at the bottom of Little Mell Fell.

Little Mell Fell summit.



David Hall -
Lake District Walks