Angletarn Pikes, Beda Fell & Ullswater

5th April 2014

The 5th April 2014 will be remembered as a wet & misty day on the fells & most certainly not a day for picture taking, but most of all it will be remembered as the day I walked with not one but two heroes of mine without whom my fell walking career may not have progressed the way it has, explaining this to David & Andrew kinda put the poor guys on the spot so I kept it brief, I kept my self unusually quiet before the occasion ran away with me.

Todays walk had been planned by myself & David for our Kentmere excursion, I don’t want to say too much about the walk just yet if not only to spoil things but lets say it’s been planned for the best part of four months, each time we set a date the weather decides it’s going to chuck it down…no surprise there then…

During the week I received an email from David informing me that Andrew Leaney would be joining us on at that time would have been our Kentmere outing, David closed the email by saying ‘I didn’t think you would mind’ David was right, despite almost choking on the banana I was eating at the time I don’t think I checked the weather forecast after that email, it simply didn’t matter.

It’s fair to say that despite the odd few days up here in the north west of England we seem to be experiencing wave after wave of rain & low cloud making Fell Walking in particular a frustrating pastime, I can count on one hand the amount of high level walks I’ve managed to do since November & it’s pretty frustrating to say the least, more so when the drier spells occur during the week & the wet weather returns just in time for weekend. I like to spread myself across the park but with recent conditions it seems only the east & far east of the district seem to be encountering the fairer weather & I do use the term ‘fair’ cautiously.

This is making it as we go along on a cold, damp misty Saturday morning, this is Angletarn Pikes to Beda Fell.


Wainwright Guidebook Two

The Far Eastern Fells

-Angletarn Pikes

The distinctive double summit of Angle Tarn Pikes  is a familiar feature high above the Patterdale valley; the two sharp peaks arrest attention from a distance and are no less imposing as a close acquaintance, being attainable only by rock-scrambling, easy or difficult according to choice of route.

The crowning glory of the Pikes, however, is the tarn from which they are named, cradled in a hollow just below the summit. It’s indented shore and islets are features unusual in mountain tarns, and it has for long, and deservedly been a special attraction for visitors to Patterdale. The charms of Angle Tarn, at all seasons of the year, are manifold: in scenic values it ranks amounts the best of Lakeland tarns.



Ascent: 2,300 Feet – 702 Meters
Wainwrights: 2 Angletarn Pikes – Beda Fell
Weather: Overcast To Start With Rain/Drizzle Highs Of 11°C Lows Of 9°C
Parking: Roadside Parking, Patterdale School
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 10.5
Walking With: David Hall & Andrew Leaney
Ordnance Survey: OL7
Time Taken: 6 Hours
Route: Patterdale School – Rooking – Boredale Hause – Angletarn Pikes – Heck Crag – Bedafell Knott – Beda Fell – Beda Head – Winter Crag – Doe Green – Sandwick – Ullswater shore path – Patterdale School

Map and Photo Gallery


The Duke of Portland Boathouse.
I was running a little early for the meet time at 08:00 so I decided for a quick stop off at the Duke of Portland Boathouse. By now the forecast had predicted it to be chucking it down so I was more than surprised & thrilled that at least we wouldn’t be kitting up in the rain as first thought.

Patterdale C E Primary School 08:07am 9°C

The Primary School in Patterdale is a place I hadn’t parked before so I had to double check with David on its exact location which I know is odd & rather un-observant of me. I arrived on time with David & Andrew already there chatting whilst kitting up, even though I was on time I felt late & intrusive on having to split up the conversation between David & Andrew, my concerns were immediately laid to rest by the welcoming smiles & firm handshakes I received.

After a brief introduction I returned to the back of my car where I proceeded to kit up with dare I say butterflies doing loop the loop in my stomach.

I’m a man of 39 years of age & experience but I still had to ask myself, is this normal? Not wanting to embarrass both David & Andrew I kept those playground feelings hidden, until now.

Within minutes we were all ready for the off, with a quick check back on the cars saw us heading in the direction of the White Lion Patterdale.

The White Lion, Patterdale.
We all struck up conversation almost immediately whist walking through what felt like an almost deserted Patterdale, we pause & take brief photo stops such as this one when a pick-up drove past.

It’s not very often you would be spoilt for parking places in Patterdale at this time of year but this morning you could take your pick, which just goes to show what affect the wet weather is having on Lakeland.

Looking back over Rooking & Patterdale.
It didn’t take long for the rain to arrive right on time as predicted, with the rain came a low band of cloud obscuring what would be grand views over towards Brothers Water & the Kirkstone Pass fells, still spirits were high, at this point the route hadn’t been fully decided.

Boredale Hause.
With the rain lashing at my back I took this photo looking back on Boredale Hause just after crossing the beck by the old sheepfold, here we paused to decide on were we should go next, with Andrew & I smirking & shrugging our shoulders it was left to David who came up with Angletarn Pikes then round to take on the Beda Fell ridge. Happy with our decision we pressed on in conversation leaving Boredale Hause behind where we progressed higher into the mist as the rain pelted at our faces at which point David stated that he was ‘too hot’ now there’s a man with lava flowing in his veins…

Fell runners taking part in the Lakes Mountain 42 challenge.

As we headed up towards Angletarn Pikes we were met by dozens of competitors running in the Lakes Mountain 42 fell race, 42 is the miles they have to cover; I simply can’t imagine running that long over rugged terrain, as always my hat goes of to them.

Shortly afterwards we decided on a quick stop, David added his jacket whilst Andrew nipped up his laces, I used the brief stop to un-tie my new walking poles that I had brought with me, something of which I hardly ever use yet seeing as they wouldn’t be getting in the way of any serious picture taking I decided to give them both ago.


As mentioned I hardly ever use walking poles unless I’m in sharp descent where I would use my single waking pole as an aid. As of late I’m not too sure whether its just an age thing but I’ve noticed that my right hip ‘goes to sleep’ whilst on long journeys in the car, I’m not sure if it’s an age or just wear & tear on the joints but I thought I’d nip it in the bud early (or possibly to late!) which means if I have to use two walking poles whilst walking on a regular basis then so be it.

I’m not gerrin any younger you know.

Andrew heading up towards Angletarn Pikes summit.
We were in the thick of the cloud & had been for the last twenty minutes or so, adding to this was a band of driving rain coming in sideways causing that brain freeze effect, at this point hoods, hats & gloves were still packed away, that was until we reached the summit.

Not much to see here.

Sadly the views were non existent so we used the brief rest stop to add a few more layers which were hats & gloves to be precise, even David succumbed to adding his gloves which had a neat mitten stitched into them, I’m sure it wasn’t just me who looked a little jealous as David eased them on…I’m sure Mr Leaney felt it too!

We opted to give the twin summit peak a visit which is just a short hop south from the main summit…oddly enough its cairn has always been more substantial than its parent peak; this being the reason so many people get the two mixed up.


Angletarn Pikes south top.
After a couple of shots of the south cairn we headed east to try & pick up the path for Heckbeck Head, in doing this we had some small bog negotiations to do first.

Andrew went first, then David.

The standing water was up to two feet deep in places so we had no choice than to find an alternative way around, hats off to both Andrew & David who at their peril balanced their way around the wet rock, me, I went over the craggy bit rather than risk my chances of an early soaking!

We followed faint paths through the mist towards Beda Head & Heckbeck Head, the cloud was so low we couldn’t see thirty yards ahead although we were lucky enough to see the briefest of glimpse of Angle Tarn through a break in the cloud at which point both David & I went for the cameras simultaneously, only for the cloud to roll back in before we had chance to get the cameras out.

We followed the faint grassy path in hope of seeing some views over into Bannerdale Valley from Heckbeck Head where we waited silently for up to five minutes for the clouds to give us the briefest of views, every now & again the long stout of The Nab would faintly appear only to disappear seconds later, waiting & watching for the cloud to part almost in pure silence with the exception of a far tweet from a bird or a gust of wind is something that I took away & will remember with great fondness.

Traversing the top of Beda Fell Knotts.

I was delighted to hang back a while if not only to see the views open up before me, the ridge ahead almost took on a ghostly affect the fainter it got.

Good times.

The Nab.


Beda Fell summit ahead.
I’ve always had a particular fondness for this area of the ridge notorious for being boggy here on a clear day you will often find great views into the valleys of Boredale (L) or Bannerdale (R) if your really lucky you may even spot the wild deer that roam these valleys.

The small stone shelter found west of Beda Fell summit.

‘Didn’t that used to have a roof on it’ Andrew asked David, we took a walk over to the remarkably well constructed stone shelter which sadly now has lost its stone roof, if you look in the foreground you will see what was once part of the roof lying in the grass.

After leaving the stone shelter behind we descended down towards Winter Crag from where we would descend the whole ridge – something that I hadn’t done whilst traversing the Beda Fell ridge.

Here & there the sun shone spilling light into the valleys on both our flanks, meanwhile overhead a deep grey sky clung on as the sun tried to shine through creating dramatic colourings of the grasses which was another small highlight of the walk, sadly my camera was unable to record them.


I hadn’t noticed until I viewed my pictures back home that not all of them had turned out the way I wanted them too, I’m putting it down to my wipe cloth being wet causing a constant smear across the lens. The next pictures are the only ones I managed to salvage from the rest of the walk.

Descending Winter Crag with distant views of Ullswater & Sandwick.
We soon found ourselves heading in the direction of Sandwick before a swift ‘double back’ path that Andrew found which saw us flank Sandwick Beck all the way towards the Ullswater shore path, here we were treated to lanes of Daffodils set upon acres of Farmland, a true & beautiful corner of Lakeland that I had never visited before.

Sandwick Beck.

After passing a sign post stating Patterdale was three and a half miles along the shore path we mingled with the tourist’s who despite the damp weather seemed to be out in their dozens which was nice to see. Here the path is pretty muddy underfoot which then proceeds to stone, a popular destination with the Mountain Bikers but not the one who fell off right behind David & myself.

‘Why do I have to fall off near people!’ the guy joked…more embarrassed than anything I could only look down at his knee pads & think, good job you were wearing them or you might not have been in the joking mood.

Andrew takes time out as we stop for a bite to eat.

Lunch is eaten to feed our hungry bellies, well mine & David’s to say the least, walkers pass us & we pass on our good mornings even though it’s well past lunch time, the rain comes & goes more so in the form of sun showers spilling sporadic light across the water again illuminating our shore path.

With lunch eaten I pack my poles away as it seems I have been carrying them in my left hand rather than walking with them ‘had enough of em’ David laughs, something like that I quip back!

With packs shouldered we set off again along the shore path, sometimes through shower others not, Andrew leads out at the front while David & I bring up the rear where we encountered one heck of a rude fellow along the path.

How far?

Looking puzzled David & I ask? how far is where?


Well Hallin Fell & Martindale is back that way.

How far he asked?

David looks at his watch.

It’s about an hours walking David replies.

An hours walking! tekes me an hour! one mile an hour! he sarcastically replies.

We leave before more is said, David is not happy at being asked for advice only to have it thrown back in his face….. I however, hopes the guy falls flat on it.

Sleet Fell & Gowbarrow from Silver Point.

With that said we press on along the shore path greeting more walkers along the way until we reach Silver Point, a place I have come very close to but not actually set foot on. I am more than impressed by its fantastic views up the length of Ullswater, so was the group of youngsters enjoying the same view who asked would I mind if I’d take a group photo.

Of course not.

On my behalf we absorb the views as I unwittingly snap away from my eye piece not knowing half the photos I am about to take will not turn out, we have yet to flank Place Fell to our left but right now time is not at the essence. We scour round to the lake shore path as it navigates Silver Bay & back into woodland where David ponders how & why those trees so high up the side of Birk Fell have managed to stand the test of time.

We leave Silver Point behind looking back to take the odd photos depicting one of thee finest bays that Ullswater has to offer, soon after, it is gone.

Andrew takes on the fascinating conversation of how to handle a Skidoo from his experiences in Norway, David being an ex-biker listens carefully & is more interested in the braking system & the throttle than the top speed of over 120kmh I listen because anything that has an engine & a throttle will always avert my attention.

We pause to take more photos not far from Side Farm where we pass fell runners which I’m not sure were part of the Mountain 42 race…I regrettably should have asked Andrew.

After passing through Side Farm we are less than a quarter of a mile from Patterdale, here more runners pass us still having the politeness to pass on their nods & good afternoons despite running well into the afternoon now. Patterdale School is soon reached as we pass on a few jokes about our time on Heckbeck Head, a few laughs together with hearty handshakes are shared. I thank both David & Andrew for our time spent on the fells & in their humbleness I get a thank you in return.

Andrew heads of first as I pour myself a luke-warm coffee when I get a tap on my window…it’s David, you’ve dropped your gloves behind your car…I was gonna nick them then I thought nahh! we share a laugh as David returns to his car & follows Andrew back in the direction of Penrith.

I  decide to make my journey home via the Kirkstone Pass seeing as my car is already pointing in that direction, I want to take in as much as Lakeland as time will allow & if that means getting stuck begind the number 508 bus over the Kirkstone Pass then so be it.

I couldn’t have thought for any better reflection time as I inched my way over the pass at 10mph as the cloud dropped & the drizzle came down on what can only be described as a truly remarkable day in Lakeland.


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