25th July 2008

A sunny afternoon on the Dunnerdale Fells


Walk Overview
Time 12.00 to 15.10
Duration 3 hr 10 min
Distance 5.8 mile
Ascent 1630 ft
Walking with On my own
Ulpha Church - Ulpha Bridge - Birks - Stickle Pike - Great Stickle - Great Stickle Tarns - Tarn Hill - Ulpha Road - Ulpha Bridge - Ulpha
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Ulpha church

I should imagine the only time you'd be unlikely to find a space here would be while a service was taking place in the church. If this was the case, simply carry on along the road, over the bridge and take advantage of the roadside parking spaces along the road.


Route Map

It was a lovely afternoon here in the southern end of the Lakes. Unfortunately the forecast was giving the possibility of thunderstorms by mid afternoon, so rather than set out on a longer walk I opted for an outing on the Dunnerdale Fells, which could be made longer or shorter as I went along. As expected, the area near Ulpha Bridge and also the picnic area a little further along the river were very busy with lots of people taking a dip in the cool water, and I don't blame them.

Heading onto the open fellside at Birks. From here until I got back to the road I never saw another soul.

The view down to the Duddon Valley.

The sheepfold next to Hollow Moss Beck was somewhere I wanted to visit on today's walk. To get there I needed to take a slight detour from the path, which is fine around these fells anyway. Once you've been here a couple of times, walking off path seems a natural thing to do. It doesn't really matter where you are, because you're never far form somewhere you know. It looks like I'll have to come back when the bracken is down to get some decent pictures.

A sort of close up of Ulpha. The buildings on the left is where you'll find the post office and village store. The buildings on the right are at the junction of the Duddon Valley road and the Birker Fell road.

Caw seen above the jumble of rocky outcrops which are so characteristic of this area of the Lakes.

Stickle Tarn is worth a visit at any time of year, but even more so at the height of summer when the tarn puts on its most colourful display.

Looking across to Great Stickle. This area always reminds me of the Dow Bank area near Silver How (Grasmere).

And the view back to Stickle Pike.

And again.

Great Stickle summit.

The route I did around the Great Stickle / Tarn Hill area looks like a total mess when you see it drawn out on the map. The reason being that there are about eight tarns, plus numerous other puddles to be found here. If, as I did today, you intend to visit them all then a nice neat route would be out of the question.







That's the road I was heading down to, but first I had to fight my way through an area of shoulder high bracken.

That was hard work. You can't see where you're putting your feet, the bracken tends to wrap itself around your ankles and then there are the insects.

The River Duddon was a popular place this afternoon.


No turning back now !



What a shame I forgot to bring a towel with me; he says sarcastically.

About ten minutes after taking this picture I was back at the car, the sun had gone and the forecast of thunder was looking like a real possibility.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks