21st December 2010

An Ullswater inversion on a walk to Loadpot Hill


Walk Overview
Date 21st December 2010
Duration 4 hr 45 min
Distance 11.6 mile
Ascent 2100 ft
Walking with On my own
Pooley Bridge - Roehead - Barton Fell - Arthur's Pike - Swarth Beck - Bonscale Pike - Loadpot Hill - Lambert Lad - Lord's Seat - The Cockpit - Roehead - Pooley Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Pooley Bridge

This is just one of a couple of large car parks found in Pooley Bridge, and for those simply wanting to look around the village, it couldn't be more convenient. For those wanting a much longer walk onto the Heughscar Hill / Arthur's Pike area it may not be quite as convenient, but it still offers a very pleasant walk from the village to the fells.

Needless to say there is a charge for the privilege of using this car park.


Route Map

Where to walk today? I've no idea. When I got up this morning I hadn't even thought about it so I let the weather man decide for me. I made breakfast last long enough for a forecast to come on the telly and it sort of hinted that the north east stood as good a chance as anywhere of staying cloud free. That'll do for me, and I headed for Pooley Bridge.

This is the road that leads to Martindale which felt just as wintry as it was looked. As I was walking through the village a lady was scraping the ice off her car and after saying our good mornings, she told me the car was showing a temperature of -14.3.

There are lots of wintry pictures on this walk and quite a few showing the cloud inversion over Ullswater. The inversion was a real bonus today as I really hadn't expected it at all.

Since setting off, the cloud had worked its way past the end of the lake and Pooley Bridge was now covered.

By the look of the cloud in the distance, the weather forecast could turn out to be right.

A sort of close up of Dunmallard Hill.

Bails of bracken below Arthur's Pike.

and again, this time with a view down to Ullswater and Pooley Bridge - both under cloud.

I had an email of someone recently who commented on how much I relish being "far from the madding crowd" and then went on to described me as being a "solitary soul". I couldn't agree more, and today I was certainly both of these. I never saw anyone else between leaving Pooley Bridge and reaching the Cockpit Stone Circle towards the end of the walk.

To state the obvious, if you're not too keen on being alone on the fells then this is a walk you might want to give a miss or perhaps take someone along with you for company, particularly at this time of year and even more so if the temperature is this low. There isn't really anything to fall off like there are on the more rocky and craggy fells, but this area really is like being in the middle of nowhere. Make a mistake here, and you could end up a heck of a long way from where you want to be.

Looking ahead to Arthur's Pike. Just after taking this picture I turned off to the right and headed across for a view down to Ullswater.

and there it is.


It makes you feel cold just looking at this picture.

Just across from Arthur's Pike summit and looking across to Blancathra and the northern fells. Also in the picture is Clough Head; the prominent fell on the left of the picture. There's actually quite a few more, but you can pick them out yourself if you like.


Wilderness in winter.

Crossing Swarth Beck; found a little more than half way between Arthur's Pike and bonscale Pike.

A view from Bonscale Pike.
The snow tends to make everything blend in together, but some of the fells in the picture which are easy to pick out are Stybarrow Dodd, Great Dodd, Clough Head, Hart Side, Gowbarrow and the closest one is Hallin Fell.

I took this picture on route across from Bonscale Pike.

A long shadow on route around Loadpot Hill.
You can go straight up Loadpot Hill from Bonscale Pike without the need to 'go around' as I did today.

Looking southwards from the ruins of Lowther House Shooting Lodge.

The boundary stone and Loadpot Hill summit.

Loadpot Hill summit in front of the eastern fells.

At Lambert Lad boundary stone and time to refuel.

Looking across to the distant Pennines.

Part of the Cockpit Stone Circle.

It looks a bit grim up there now. The cloud seems to be working it's way in this direction, thankfully I appeared to be walking faster than the cloud was moving and managed to stay in the sunshine for the rest of the walk.

Heading back down to Roehead; now without the cloud inversion.

Dunmallard Hill.



David Hall -
Lake District Walks