The Uldale Fells from Longlands

23rd August 2014

The transmission between the two walks we had planned for today couldn’t have been greater. Today I’m walking with Tim after two weeks away I can whole heartedly say, it’s good to be back. Plan A for todays walk would have been the Snowdon Horseshoe via the Crib Goch ridge – a route that deserved respect & dry weather underfoot, the respect boiled inside from early on during the week as the days crept closer knowing full well that come the end of the week myself & Tim would be summiting one of the UK’s finest via a rather daring arête.

It looked like we had a green light right up to the death when in crept the showers for Snowdonia, it was there & then our walk looked in jeopardy as we had both previously agreed the weather had to be perfect or our Snowdon summit would be put off for another day.

This was Friday lunchtime & by the looks of things our Plan B now had to be brought into action, Tim text me a list of his remaining Wainwrights, five of which where included in this walk.

This is, The Uldale Fells from Longlands.


Wainwright Guidebook Five

The Northern Fells

-Longlands Fell

The simple, uncomplicated pyramid of Longlands Fell terminates the end of the north west ridge of Great Sca Fell. It marks the end of Lakeland in this direction: beyond is a pleasant countryside extended to the Solway Firth.


Ascent: 2,317 Feet – 707 Meters
Wainwrights: 5, Great Cockup – Meal Fell – Great Sca Fell – Brae Fell – Longlands Fell
Weather: Warm & Sunny Highs Of 18°C Lows Of 7°C
Parking: Parking Spaces, Longlands
Area: Northern
Miles: 8.4
Walking With: Tim Oxburgh
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken: 4 Hours 15 Minutes
Route: Longlands – Stockdale – Orthwaite – Orthwaite Bank – Great Cockup – Trusmadoor – Meal Fell – Great Sca Fell – Little Sca Fell – Brae Fell – Broad Moss – Top Of Charleton Gill – Longlands Fell – Longlands

Map and Photo Gallery


Great Cockup, Skiddaw & Ullock Pike as  we take in a detour towards Over Water.

If any image can set the tone of the morning, indeed the whole day this one comes very close. We decided to take a slight detour once we had spied Over Water glistening through the high hedges common to the narrow lanes around Orthwaite & Longlands.

Before we knew it we were trampling through dew covered grass under brilliant morning light to take a closer peak at Over Water.

Skiddaw & the Ullock Pike ridge from Over Water.

With wet toe caps we soon reached the weir where we realised that Over Water was looking very low, something that we hadn’t noticed from the car, here we stand in silence if not to take in the stillness of the place, I vividly remember it was also here that those work related stresses seemed to leave me filling my head with just the beautiful views around me.

A great start to a fine morning.

After five minutes stood on the weir we decided to head back after noticing that it was nearing on 08:30am; a time when usually we would be well under way with the walk. We walked back to the car as I toyed with the idea of Longlands Fell first or Longlands Fell last? I put it to Tim who left the decision to me, last it is then.

Despite our unusually late arrival we still managed to get first dibs on parking spaces, the car was left tucked in under a canopy of trees which would help to keep things cool upon our return. Today I am wearing long trousers, why? well it’s the forecasters fault because they told me that we’re in for a few showers come midday so I thought I’d better come prepared. Tim on the other hand is still in summer attire, I couldn’t help feel a little envious as we strode out under a scorching morning sun.

Heading for Orthwaite with Over Water in the distance.
It’s a two mile walk until boot would hit fell side as we took in the sunlit narrow lanes of both Stockdale & Orthwaite. Every now & again the tree lined lanes would break away opening views out over the surrounding countryside, the effect of the morning light & shadows made normal everyday objects into something really spectacular.

Strong sunlight intensified against the morning dew.

Powerful morning sun as Great Cockup come into view (R)
After passing through the farming hamlets of Stockdale & Orthwaite Great Cockup came into view, however, we still had quite a distance to cover before reaching the path that would lead us onto Orthwaite Bank seen here in the far right of the photo.

Skiddaw, Broad End & The Ullock Pike ridge from our Orthwaite Bank ascent.

After passing through Orthwaite Farm we soon picked up the track via a wooden gate which lead onto a wide farm track. To our immediate right a wide grassy path ascended steeply onto Orthwaite Bank which we initially hadn’t been looking out for as we intended to carry on a little further up the track & pick up the path from there.

Said path could be difficult to spot I noted to Tim in all this bracken, lets not look a gift horse in the mouth.

The grassy path was steep-ish but easily cope-able even under a warming sun. After only ten minutes or so we reached a crest where the ascent grinded to a halt, the path continued in the direction of Castle How & eventually Trusmadoor, it was here we spotted a fainter path to our right leading away through waist high bracken which would ascend us onto the Great Cockup ridge.

The views over the Ullock ridge certainly took the mind off the wet & testing bracken.

Great Calva, Dash Falls, Bakestall & Skiddaw can be seen from Orthwaite Bank.
After leaving the bracken behind our path opened up onto open fell side where we could pick our own ascent to gain the subsidiary ridge for Great Cockup.

Here, Dead Crags, Bakestall, Broad End, Skiddaw & the Ullock Pike ridge dominate our morning ascent.

Great Cockup as we pass through the Grouse Butts.
From Orthwaite Bank a narrow grassy path lets you take in the full ridge over gentle gradient which sure feels a long way from Crib Coch, with views such as this as the sun heats up we are more than happy with our plan B walk for today.

With extended views towards our last summit of the day, Longlands Fell.

Here, distant views all the way back to Longlands & the Solway Firth beyond.

Ahead, Great Cockup.

After passing through a series of Grouse Butts which lined the gentle ascent before arriving at the summit shoulder from where we had the spectacular view of Burn Todd, together with Great Sca Fell, Little Sca Fell & Meal Fell seen here in the left of the photo.

Not wanting to confuse matters as Little Sca Fell seen far left looks much loftier than Great Sca Fell over to the right, it also has a much more established stone cairn & shelter too.

Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man & Bakestall seen behind Great Cockup stone cairn.

We hadn’t been walking long & the legs & lungs still felt as fresh as ever but this didn’t stop us downing packs & sitting down for a rather lengthy time if not only to take in the fabulous views over the Skiddaw fells.

Tim tucked into an early snack as I fed on Haribo’s here we both sat amongst the damp grass fell as the cloud slowly passed by, a truly wonderful ten minutes was spent before we re-shouldered packs & headed down towards Trusmadoor from where we would pick up the path for Meal Fell.

Burn Todd Gill with views extending over towards a distant Skiddaw.

Distant Scottish hills from Trusmadoor.
After descending Great Cock Up we momentarily dropped into the Valley of Trusmadoor before picking up the path towards our second summit of the morning of Meal Fell, the ascent is certainly steep but the views more than make up for it.

Here, looking back over Burn Todd Gill as Bakestall & Skiddaw still dominate our views.

Bakestall & Skiddaw seen from Meal Fell summit.

Meal Fell was soon reached as the cloud above at times blocked the suns warmth from getting through, it didn’t last long but when it did we could clearly see the cool air escaping our lungs which just goes to show just how warm the sun was when it wasn’t hidden by cloud.

We press on & make with our descent to the grassy col which separates both Meal Fell & Great Sca Fell.

Great Sca Fell from the base of the col.
After leaving Meal Fell behind we soon reached the grassy col with prospects of a rather steep pull before we were to reach Great Sca Fell summit, this time we hit the ascent in great spirit only stopping just below the summit for a quick photo looking back on Meal Fell.

A now distant Great Cockup & Meal fell taken just below the summit of Great Sca Fell.
We hadn’t seen anyone on the fells up until now when I spotted a walker descending Little Sca Fell for the grassy col seen below, from there I looked onto the summit as two more walkers glance by. We both mentioned that todays fell choice couldn’t have been any better for a Bank Holiday weekend.

Frozen Fell, Burn Todd, Meal Fell, Great Cock Up & Skiddaw seen from below the summit of Great Sca Fell.

The Skiddaw fells seen from Great Sca Fell summit cairn.

We soon crested the summit shoulder & made our way over a short grassy escarpment before reaching the summit cairn. Skiddaw seems to have adopted a bank of passing cloud which engulfed the summit before slowing making its way on, I couldn’t help but feel a little envious for anyone on Skiddaw this morning.

In the other direction…

High Pike & Carrock Fell.

With a change in temperature whilst at the summit I rolled down my sleeves on the base layer if not only to give the goose bumps a fighting chance, that’s right…the sun had gone in again!

The skies above looked vast from the summit of Great Sca Fell like fields of white slow moving cloud as far as the eye could see which despite the dip in temperature was a real highlight of the walk for me.

Heading for Brae Fell
After leaving Great & Little Sca Fell’s behind we took in the slight descent where we pass a couple of walkers heading up to Little Sca Fell, we pass on our good mornings with smiles before taking on a rather favoured section of path between the Sca Fells & Brae Fell, it’s not hard to see why I hold it in such high regard.

Here looking back on Little Sca Fell & the Skiddaw Fells over Broad Moss.
Brae Fell is just a few strides away.

Tim proudly takes in his 200th Wainwright summit at Brae Fell.

It was still only mid morning by the time we reached Brae Fell but this didn’t stop us downing packs once more for a early lunch.

We both picked our spots out of the wind as with our last previous summits we just watched the cloud go by. Soon after we were joined by fell runner who looked well past his retirement age, after passing on our ‘mornings’ the gent told us he hadn’t been up here for over ten years, the cairn back then was tiny & how it should be he explained.

What happened next left me a little speechless as he started to hand by hand, destroy the summit cairn by toppling the stone from top to bottom, its all within the guidelines of the Park Authority he explained which is indeed so, what I couldn’t get my head around was the fact the moments earlier he had mentioned that he hadn’t been here for ten years & thought it was his right to destroy the cairn of whom people had built up from their own summits IN THE LAST TEN YEARS!

I was always taught to respect my elders & I kept my mouth shut because that’s the way I am, respect for this elder however, had just gone out the window.


It is my belief that it is indeed true of the National Park Authority to reduce the amount of cairns in most cases that lead already well traversed paths & yes admittedly Brae Fell has a rather large cairn owing to the fact of its popularity, but to start to destroy it the way this guy did I personally thought was wrong.

I’m just happy I managed a ‘before shot’ because afterwards it looked nothing like it does now. 

Here, looking over to High Pike & the Caldbeck Fells.

Longlands Fell shortly after leaving Brae Fell.
Our route would now see us take in our last summit of the day in Longlands Fell, shortly after leaving Brae Fell we took a narrow path that branched away from the path that links the Sca Fells with Brae Fell, the sun had come back out & once I had calmed myself down again I could enjoy this section of path which soon passes over Charleton Gill seen lower right.

Longlands Fell shortly before we flank Charleton Gill.

Binsey & Over Water seen from Longlands Fell summit.

Hey do you fancy a run up Longlands? aye go on then.

In the age of the computer, IPod’s Mobile Phones & Xbox’s it was great to see these two young kids no older than eleven years of age arrive at the summit at the same time as us, within moments they had made their descent as their arms flared wide hammering the ground in what could only be described as a joyful run…a rare sight these days.

Not just that, they where alone which most probably made them local too, what a way to spend your Saturday morning.

The youngsters weren’t the only ones at the summit as we seemed to arrive at the same time as three adults & a dog, then another chap with a dog.

The solo chap touched the summit cairn, had a quick stretch then headed back down the way he had came which lead me to believe that like us, he was Wainwright hunting, the other walkers took time to read a map before setting off leaving the summit to just Tim & myself, I still hadn’t gotten over the kids who choose to run & up down Longlands for fun.

We make our descent under brilliant midday sun.

Binsey & Over Water from our descent.
We would soon be joining the Cumbrian Way once we reach the wall seen in the lower right, then it’s just a short walk back to the car parked at the far end of the trees in the foreground of the photo.

Clear views over Over Water & Binsey towards the north western fells.

Longlands Cottages.

After leaving Longlands Fell behind we took in the quaint Cumbrian Way before passing what I can only describe as a lottery wining converted farmhouse with manicured lawns & an outdoor dining table so large it would struggle to fit in my own kitchen at home.

We had the choice today in two walks, with a mass of contrast between them, Tim got his five new Wainwrights to bring his total to 201 which puts Tim in a rather special & unique place.

Would we have got this from climbing Snowdon on a Bank Holiday Saturday, I think not which leads me to believe that we got this one right. August has been a very busy month for me both fell side, work & socially, in between I have made a direct ascent on Pillar & climbed Scafell from Eskdale, every now & again, I included needs to be brought back down to earth, todays walk did just that.


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