An Afternoon On Sale Fell & Ling Fell

11th June 2011 - Walk 2

I was in great spirits as I drove along the A66 towards Wythop, still content & a little giddy from my ascent up Blencathra & Mungrisdale Common there was no way I was letting the day go so lightly. So I’d made up my mind for a cheeky walk up two of Lakelands smaller & what I would of thought to be lesser traversed hill tops, having done no research whatsoever I used my GPS to find a suitable spot to ditch the car which in my case I couldn’t have got any closer to the start of the walk at Wythop Church. I shouldered my pack once again which was now damp in sweat together with my mid-layer I probably smelt like something only another man would understand.

St Margarets Church was very close by & me being the budding historian that I find I am, I avoid entering its grounds as people are wondering about & on the assumption I may wake the dead with this deadly musk I now behold, maybe on the way back eh Paul?


Wainwright Guidebook

The North Western Fells

Sale Fell is the extreme corner-stone of the North Western Fells, with an outlook ranging far across the Cumberland plain to the Scottish coast. It is a familiar sight on the busy Keswick-Workington road, of which it has an oversight for several miles; going west along this road, Sale Fell marks the end of Lakeland.


Ascent: 1,965 Feet, 599 Meters
Wainwrights: 2  Sale Fell & Ling Fell
Weather: Warm & Sunny, Turning Cloudy Towards The Latter Of The Day, Highs Of 16° Lows Of 14°
Parking: Roadside Parking, Near Wythop Church, Wythop
Area: North Western
Miles: 4.5
Walking With: On my own
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



From the start of the walk St Margaret’s church.


And the steep grassy slopes of Sale Fell, there is no direct route up to the top, the path flanks its base in a easterly direction, it does make sense as Sale Fell is only at an altitude of 359 meters its slopes are somewhat steep.


Looking over Bassenthwaite Lake towards Binsey.


Sale Fell summit top & time for some much needed lunch, I’d more or less been chasing a couple of walkers  all the way up here, they had a good ten minutes on me & by the time I arrived they were just leaving, I said hello to them both & was replied by a grunt from the husband & a hello from his wife, they headed off in the direction of Ling Fell so I gave them the head start they probably were after & waded into my lunch.

Views towards the Ullcock Pike ridge, Carl Side, Dodd & Skiddaw.


Now heading for Ling Fell and leaving the grassy slopes of Sale Fell, unlike Sale Fell- Ling Fell is ever so slightly higher but a lot more in terms of bulk, It doesn’t differ that much from Sale Fell, in fact both paths up to both summits flank its base & then a sudden up-heave to the top, all fair on well on a beautiful summers afternoon, but when that same morning you’ve scaled Blencathra it kind of takes its toll as the afternoon heat takes its hold.


Looking over the patch work of fields towards Cockermouth & the Irish sea.


Sticking to the stone wall as I descend into Eskin.


After following the tarmac road & a number of turns I reach the wooden gate that will lead me onto Ling Fell’s grassy slopes.


I could be forgiven into thinking this looks identical to Sale Fell’s grassy ascent!


Looking back on ground covered & Sale Fell, it was here the tired legs started.


Ling Fell’s summit trig point with Graystones in the background, It was here I put one foot on the base of the trig point & one arm on the top, looking like a man exhausted with my head down panting slightly out of no where the couple I had been following appeared, a grunt again from the husband & sarcastically from his wife  ‘you’re following us today aren’t you’ why! I thought like saying, ‘have you climbed Blencathra too this morning!’ I kept my tongue, I kept my cool, I was tired & irritable.


Ling Fell summit cairn, & the couple who had previously escaped a tongue lashing, I decided not to follow them down off the fell, instead I made my own way down following some steep sheep tracks & within 10 minutes of leaving the summit I was back on tarmac & heading for Wythop Mill.


The bridge over Wythop Beck.


Wythop Sunday School.

This Sunday School was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 a as stone on the front of the building is inscribed ‘VR 1887′.


Back where I started at St Margaret’s Church, circa 1866.

My car is parked on the narrow lane in front of the church, as you can see the grounds were in much need of a cutting & doing this was a small group of local grounds men the eldest of whom wearing a white full grown beard came over as I photographed the church ‘walked far’ he asked? yeah I’ve done Sale & Ling Fell & this morning I was up on Blencathra, ‘Bloody hell he says, you’ve done quite a bit today mate’ I smiled & nodded your right there, my legs sure feel it too, do you know that Fiona Lewis bird of telly? I look puzzled slightly & reply yeah, thinking in my head she’s the fit news reader who I think won rear of the year once. no-no not Fiona I mean… I then quipped ‘do you mean Julie Bradbury’ yeah that’s her, have you seen any of her programs? Er, yeah I replied, I’m now thinking in my head, Julie Bradbury-the one I once had a slight obsession with & whom I hold an autographed photo, yeah I know of her.. she did loads a programs round here. Have you heard of err..what’s his name? here we go again I thought, he’s revising all the Wainwright books, he’s now stroking at his own beard, Chris Jesty you mean I replied? yes that’s him!! I gave him the nod I was fully aware of whom Chris Jesty & his plight to revise all seven Wainwright pictorial guides hadn’t gone un-noticed. Where are you staying? he asked-I’m going back to Wigan for a much needed bath & a beer I replied, blimey you’d better get off then, cheers mate, Nice talking to you I replied, with that I walked the 50 yards or so to where I’d left my car & began to gear down.

Blencathra seemed so far away & yet it was only four or so hours, its unusual how a day can turn out, I’d gone from having the biggest spring in my step to akin to a walking zombie.

Only a man with a white beard who knew no names & a fell I had traversed  that very same day changed my mood for the drive home, the smile was back on my face after our comical conversation & as I drove along the A66 & back past Blencathra’s outpost did the butterflies re-appear as I  said to myself, I was there & I will be back soon.


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