25th March 2016

Great Mell Fell to Glenridding Dodd

Time 7:30am to 3:40pm
Duration 8 hr 10 min
Distance 14.7 mile
Ascent 4800 ft (ish)
Walking with Paul Sharkey and Rod Heppelwhite
Roadside near Brownrigg Farm - Great Mell Fell, and back down - Road to The Hause - Little Mell Fell - The Hause - Great Meldrum - Gowbarrow Fell - Park Brow top car park - wall along Watermollock Common - Brown Hills - Birkett Fell - Hart Side - Glenmcoyne Head - Nick Head - Sheffield Pike - Heron Pike - Glenridding Dodd - The Rake - Stybarrow Crag
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.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


So what would make on a memorable walk on a sunny Good Friday? Well, somewhere quiet is always a good choice, a route with lots of variety, a decent number of miles and as we'd planned today, a walk with two cars. Paul and myself met at the parking spaces at Stybarrow Crag to leave one car there before driving around to the bottom of Great Mell Fell to Meet Rod and begin the walk.
Here we head along the track which would take us onto the fell itself. As we would be coming back this was we chose to leave our bags in the car and travel light for the first section of the day.

Once we're on the fellside proper, the view stretches across to The Dodds and the eastern fells.

Heading up the fellside towards the area of trees that cut across the fell.


Great Mell Fell summit and strangely, as we look in al directions we notice Carrock Fell is the only fell topped with cloud.

A close up of Catstye Cam and Helvellyn. Still lots of snow in the east facing side of those fells.

Great Mell Fell seen from the road.

The road option was chosen as a route between the two Mell Fells and here, just below The Hause, I look back to see Gowbarrow Fell, The Dodds and Clough Head.

From the walk up Little Mell Fell we look across to Gowbarrow Fell. Our route there would take us along this edge of the big area of trees down there, just left of centre.

It's hard to describe how peaceful it was on Little Mell Fell this morning. No breeze to talk of, warm sunshine and the only sound was the skylarks. As I said at the time, "I could happily sit up here all day without walking any further".

As I said earlier, we'd be walking along the edge of the trees to get to Gowbarrow Fell.

Looking back to Little Mell Fell.

Gowbarrow Fell summit between Great Mell Fell (left) and Little Mell Fell (right).

The question is, how did we fancy getting to the wall that runs along the side of Watermillock Common. We had a couple of different options but the most straightforward was to make our way to the new(ish) bridge upstream from Aira Force, walk to the top Aira Force car park and join the wall from there.


It was nice to see lots of families out enjoying the area around Aira Force today. Given the forecast for tomorrow, I doubt the kids would be having quite as much fun in the pouring rain and gale force winds. This was definitely a good Good Friday to be out and about in the countryside.

It's a bit hard to tell on a photo but the main Aira Force car park was packed as we looked down from here.

And here you have - - - The Wall which we followed for a while along this side using what can be loosely described as a path. At this point I thought it was just me that was finding it much harder going along here than it should have been. But, thankfully (for me) it turned out that we were all finding it hard to gain any respectable rate of momentum.

Looking towards the Glenridding / Patterdale end of Ullswater.

A close up of Hartsop Dodd and Caudale Moor.

Stomachs are rumbling now and as the wind is also picking up we head behind a rocky outcrop for something to eat. Lovely view down Ullswater from here.

After refueling we press on and follow another wall up to Birkett Fell. From here you get a great view back across to Great Mell Fell, Little Mell Fell and Gowbarrow Fell.

Here's the cain on Birkett Fell. It's only a short, easy walk from here to Hart Side.

Hart Side summit in front of Great Dodd, Skiddaw (more or less) and Blencathra. This is somewhere I always get a lot of satisfaction from visiting; yet, Hart Side is a fell that's easy to not include in a walk because of it's slightly out of the way location.

As we walk around the edge of Glencoyne Head, conversations turns to the walk Rod and myself did in February along the traverse route found 400 to 500ft below where we're standing now.

Sheffield Pike summit.

We leave the summit and head across the wet(ish) ground to Heron Pike.

Looking down to Glenridding and Glenridding Dodd.

And here we are on Heron Pike which offers one of the few place where you can see most of Ullswater on one go.

Well folks, if you think it's a long way to Tipperary you want to try walking from Great Mell Fell to Glenridding Dodd.


Great day for having fun on the water.

We arrived at Paul's car a couple of minutes after taking this picture looking along Ullswater. Once there, I took advantage of the seat next to the carpark to change into 'fresh' footwear. Then, just as he was about to drive off, I asked if paul happened to have one of those foot spas in the car. He didn't, , , , , I mean come on, , talk about not coming properly prepared for a day on the fells.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks