31st January 2009

Loadpot Hill - although I never intended to go that far


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 14 30
Duration 5 hr
Distance 10.9 mile
Ascent 2100 ft
Walking with On my own
Roehead - Heughscar Hill - 3 sheepfolds above Heltondale - Knotts - The Dodd - Loadpot Hill - Bonscale Pike - Arthur's Pike - Barton Fell - The Cockpit Stone Circle - 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

Well, where to walk today.
All the weather forecasts predicted high winds, with one in particular warning of ferocious gusts. That was enough to put me off ascending too high. With that in mind I set off with the intentions of walking up Heughscar Hill, visiting some sheepfolds on the other side of the fell and than having a wander around Moor Divock.

Looking across to Arthur's Pike, Ullswater and the eastern fells.

Blencathra and the Mungrisdale fells seen from Heughscar Hill (not the summit).
I hadn't walked far at all, but I'd already decided it wasn't nearly as windy as I'd expected it to be, and perhaps it would be OK to walk a little higher after all. The next five minutes or so were spent walking along while trying to work out in my head how to include Arthur's Pike in the walk.

That's Arthur's Pike on the right hand side of the picture. Easy enough to go straight to from here, but first I had to head across towards Heltondale to get some photos of a couple of sheepfolds.

Cop Stone; just one of the many ancient sites in this fascinating area.

This was a bit of a boggy affair. There is a narrow path above the wall, although I'm tempted to say it was just a sheep trod. Whatever it was, it certainly helped me keep a little dryer.

One of the two sheepfolds near Mossy Beck.

Back on the fell road now, but not for long. I carried on until the end of the road (behind me) and then headed up to Knotts. I should point out that despite walking along a seemingly level road, I was actually walking at a height of about 1000 ft.
Notice the trees on the skyline ( left ) these are the ones on Heughscar Hill. (more about the usefulness of these later.

The view ahead, from the rocky summit of Knotts.

And now looking back down towards Knotts.
Up until this point I still had it in mind to walk across to Arthur's Pike. However, the wind was having little or no affect on me, so I decided to carry on heading uphill towards Loadpot Hill.


The northern fells seen from one of the large areas of semi frozen snow on Loadpot Hill. Most of it was thin enough to break under my weight ( no wise cracks please ), and even the more "solid" sections were easy enough to walk on. It was hard work though.

Loadpot Hill summit. It may have been a bit bleak and windswept, but at least it was all mine. In fact since setting out I'd still only seen one other person.

Mmmm, should I walk around it or straight across. I suppose if I do slip I'm not going to slide very far.

Digging my heal in seemed to do the trick.

Looking back to Loadpot Hill. Did someone mention it was bleak up here today.

Moving forward you have Ullswater, Little Mell Fell, Great Mell Fell and then the northern fells.

A view down Ullswater. Hallin Fell, Beda Fell and Place Fell on the left of the lake and the snowy eastern fells in the distance.

There's certainly plenty of space to explore here, and for those unfamiliar with the area, there's also plenty of space to get lost in. Something to keep in mind is: even if you do loose the path, despite the the area being wet under foot, there's almost nowhere that you can't walk through and as long as you head for the trees on the distant skyline, you will eventually reach the path running from Pooley Bridge to Helton.
This is an area I love to head off path and despite the number of times I've walked here, I still use those trees as a marker to tell me exactly where I am.


Looking towards the Pooley Bridge end of Ullswater from the ford at Aik Beck.
A fantastic walk in a fantastic place and I'd still only seen the one other person.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks