A round around Hallin Fell
28th November 2008.
Map: Landranger 90
Weather: Overcast, with a little sun late on.
Copyright OS-Click on map to enlarge, then hit the back button to return to blog
A gentle walk today as my walking compatriot had a bunch of new gear on and was testing out how 'hot or cold' she would get. The forecast was iffy today so we took a chance and drove up through
Come by then..
Looking along Ullswater, Hallin Fell to the left.
There wasn’t any parking at Howtown, unless you use the hotel, and I drove further along, crossing a cattle-grid before parking just before the zigzag road. After getting kitted out for a cold stroll we set off up the road and ahead of us we could see the snowline high up on High Raise. As we got higher the rain started and continued until we had got the waterproof trousers on, and then it stopped for the rest of the day – typical. Out of the sun it was chilly, so I had my four layers on and for a change today I didn’t break sweat (or wind). Up the road ahead was Martindale Hause (more car parking space) and from here the views open up a little with Fusedale ahead and Steel Riggs prominent. The head of the valley was covered in stormy cloud that was rolling in from the Helvellyn range to the
Fusedale to the left, and Martinsdale to the right
Further around now looking to the north – Gowbarrow Fell
The holiday cottage at Hallinbank
The walk took us gently around the contours through sheep grazed fields, with an ever changing vista ahead as we swung around the hill. We passed by the holiday cottages at Hallinbank, with there bright green mossy roof tiles – they look up towards Martindale, but they don’t have a pub to walk to at night (locally I mean). Across Ullswater I could see Goatbarrow Fell and Little Mell Fell, and the colours of the bracken and grass were splendid when the sun shone. Further around we could almost see Helvellyn, but it was hidden from view (just for a change) and I only had an occasional glimpse of Catstye Cam. The path took us down the hillside to cross a small beck by a stone bridge and then on to Sandwick – a remote hamlet of a few houses and no pub. There are signs saying ‘Private’ dotted along by the path to keep out trespassing picnickers at the weekend. It would be idyllic here in the summer to be beside the lake resting in the sun – no rest today though as it was too cold.
Sandwick Beck runs down to Ullswater
The shoreline at Ullswater
Approaching Hallinhag Wood
The shore side path reminded me of the path by
Cruising along towards Glenridding
A lunchtime view to the west
Looking to the north east end of Ullswater
The north side of Hallin Fell provides the steepest aspect and there don’t appear to be any paths to the top, but it doesn’t look inaccessible, just a little steep. As we moved around the hill the views now were up to Loadpot Hill across the valley and along the shore to the ferry point at Howtown Wyke. There wasn’t much wildlife out and about today, just the usual mix of crows, ravens, robins and dunnocks – no squirrels in the woods – probably too noisy. The route left the circular of Hallin Fell and moved down to the shoreline, passing the ferry point. It was empty today, but by the looks of the rails in place it must be busy in the summertime. I suppose you could park up at Glenridding, take the ferry across here, walk up Hallin Fell, have a picnic, and be back down to catch the ferry back – that would be a nice relaxing day, assuming the sun was shining. I got a couple of good shots across the bay that was sheltered from the wind, and then walked on past Howtown Outward Bound centre.
The path makes its way around the north east side of Hallin Fell
Hallin Fell from near the pier
A lovely peaceful scene looking across Howtown Wyke
Hallin Fell – the south side
A very green Fusedale
The route took us uphill to a path beyond the wall, and then cut back to the north along the base of the fell. I still couldn’t see the summit trig point from here as it is on the far side of the fell, but having done the full round Fusedale came back into view, still looking stormy on the higher ground. I was getting a bit fed up of a level walk so we made for Martindale Hause and crossed a few boggy fields back to the car. Here we had the luxury of dumping the bags in the car and walked back up the road to the broad grass path that leads up Hallin Fell. There are several routes up to the top, all of them grassy and not too taxing. As we ascended the views away to the west were ever improving, with Helvellyn still in the clouds, but Catstye Cam making an appearance now and again.
Looking up to Martindale Hause
Ullswater with Hallin Fell on the left
Atmospheric clouds around Beda Fell
More drama above Place Fell
Catstye Cam peeking through in the background
The first view of Hallin Fell summit
The unfeasibly large summit cairn
A very peaceful view of Ullswater
The higher fells looked dramatic with their cloud cover and the sun trying to shine through, and once we were closer to the top we felt the chill wind blowing once more. The gradient eases towards the top and there aren’t any false summits really, as it’s not high enough. It was a gentle walk along grassy paths to finally come to the summit cairn which is out of all proportion to the size of the hill – marked as an Obelisk on the OS map! Wainwright said it was 12ft high, but now it is probably a little less, and I’m sure people have scrabbled up to the top of the cairn from time to time, dislodging stones as they go. You don’t need to climb to the top as the views around are great, and on a cloudless day you would need a map to name all that is in your vista. The late afternoon sun gave a lovely golden glow to the summit area and was a fitting end to a great little walk.