26th August 2007

A quiet walk East of Ullswater - Arthur's Pike to Loadpot Hill


Walk Overview
Time 09.00 to 13.30
Duration 4 hr 30 min
Distance 11.1 mile
Ascent 2550 ft
Walking with On my own
Roehead - The Cockpit (stone circle) - Barton Fell - Arthur's Pike - Bonscale Fell - Loadpot Hill - Fusedale - Howtown - below Bonscale & Arthur's Pike - Roehead
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Roehead, Pooley Bridge

Roehead marks the end of the road and the beginning of the track running over the moors between Pooley Bridge and Askham / Helton. Parking here literally is along the roadside and there isn't really that much room to be honest.

Speaking for myself, the fells around here bring with them some of my favourite walking. This is somewhere you can still walk for hours and not see another soul; if you know where to go that is.


Route Map

Taken a couple of minutes after the start of the walk and looking across to Barton Fell and Arthur's Pike.

The forecast was for a better day today and for once they were right. Already the cloud was clearing to give perfect conditions; sunshine and a nice cooling breeze.

The view down to the end of Ullswater and Pooley Bridge.

And looking a little further round to the plateau like Heughscar Hill. What a fantastic place.
Notice the dark shadow of the Pennines in the background.

A fine view across Ullswater to the northern fells in the distance.

The colours and the light were lovely today; not just the trees and the Bracken, but also the grasses which ranged from the greens in the valley to the different shades of brown on the higher slopes, and Ullswater itself; which I don't think I've ever seen looking so blue.

Higher up Barton Fell the view really opens up across Ullswater's middle reach and over to the Eastern fells, from the Helvellyn fells on the left to Clough Head on the right of the picture.

Ullswater, Pooley Bridge and Penrith beyond. Taken from the large cairn found above the steep crags and rocks which, if you stand close enough to the edge, can be seen spread out across the fellside below you. A stark contrast to the moor land on the opposite side of Arthur's Pike summit, it's almost as though someone has collected every stone and rock between here and Loadpot Hill and then gone to the trouble of throwing them over the edge of the cliff.

Looking across the expanse of fellside to Bonscale Pike.

When walking between Arthur's Pike and Bonscale Pike, a good pointer that you're in the correct place is this sheepfold, found next to Swarth Beck.

As does Arthur's Pike, Bonscale Pike has a numerous cairns on the Ullswater side of the summit where for the price of a short detour, you'll actually get the better view. This photo shows Hallin Fell behind the tiny hamlet of Howtown; one of the stopping points for the Ullswater Steamers.
Hallin Fell is generally regarded as one of the easiest fells to reach the summit of. A simple case of parking next to the "new" church and enjoying the gentle stroll to the large obelisk found on the summit. In fact the steep twisting road from Howtown to the church can be seen in this picture, to the left of the fell.

The Pooley Bridge end of Ullswater, taken from the same place as the previous picture.

Far from the madding crowd.
Bonscale Pike on the left, Arthur's Pike on the right and Loadpot Hill behind me.

Loadpot Hill summit.

Shortly after leaving the summit you pass "the chimney" which offers a tantalising glimpse of Lowther House Hunting Lodge.

After passing the chimney I headed off path to pick up the unnamed ridge next to Dodd Gill which I used as a route into Fusedale.

An enjoyable route with a continuous and fine view down to Howtown and Ullswater, but then, about halfway down the ridge, I encountered a sea of waist high Bracken. Progress was now at a snails pace, with rather more thought then normal going into every step.

This is much easier going, but time for something to eat first.


Mellguards. A beautiful house, but I'm glad I don't have to pay the window cleaning bill.

From Mellguards / Howtown I followed this lovely easygoing path which runs below Bonscale Pike and Arthur's Pike and eventually reaches the foot of Barton Fell and the path I'd used at the start of the walk at near Aik Beck.


One final view looking back along the track towards Ullswater and the Eastern fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks