A Circuit of Place Fell from Martindale New Church

7th July 2017

Continuing with my time in Lakeland this week today we were forced to ditch a high level route over Striding Edge and Helvellyn due to low cloud and rain which which had been forecasted to arrive mid to late morning if the forecasters were correct, although I must stress the mountain forecast conflicted and if truth be told it was all up in the air so in the end experience won and sadly our high level walk was shelved for another day, the good news was however, I didn't have to wait too long until it was back on track again.

We now had the choice on where to walk if we were to avoid the low cloud which was predicted to be as low as 300m so after time spent staring at the computer I came up with this route and asked David what he thought? Aye sounds good to me.

This route had the best of everything with the Lake path along the shores of Ullswater to extended views over Patterdale and Kirkstone Pass and the beautiful greenery of the Deepdale and Dove Valleys before ending our walk back to Martindale New Church where we had started via the Boredale Valley, right about the same time it started to rain.

Wainwright Guide Book Two
The Far Eastern Fells

Boaredale Hause is a well known walkers crossroads, and beyond this depression high ground continues to climb towards the principle watershed.


Ascent: 2,192 Feet - 669 Metres
Wainwrights: N/A
Weather: Mild and Overcast With Low Cloud Arriving Mid Morning. Rain In The Air. Highs of 18°C Lows of 19°C
Parking: Martindale New Church
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 8.5
Walking With: David Hall
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 4 Hours 15 Minutes
Route: Martindale New Church - Sandwick - Ullswater Shore Path - Silver Point - Side Farm - Boredale Hause - Boredale Head - Boredale Valley - Martindale New Church

Map and Photo Gallery


Beda Fell, Winter Crag, and The Nab seen shortly after leaving the carpark opposite Martindale new Church 09:15am 18°C

Despite today being a Friday morning the roads were busy on route to Martindale but soon freed up once the A66 was left first passing through a rather busy Pooley Bridge before driving through the narrow lanes alongside Ullswater through to Howtown and finally Martindale new Church after having negotiated the steep zigzags where the boy in me always rears. The car park opposite the new Church is relatively busy leaving room for around three cars before David and I leave that to just one.

The morning air is warm and muggy to start and the humidity doesn't seem to be touching that of yesterday, well for now anyway. We kit up making behind our cars wearing just shorts and short sleeve base layers before adding waterproof trousers and jackets to our packs just in case we get caught in the flash rain showers that haven't been away from the forecast this past twenty four hours.

With the cars locked we head out passing the new Church with walking poles extended all the while we are surprised to see quite a few of our surroundings summits completely free from cloud meaning we may have to chop and change our route as we go along, after all we've already changed one walk because of the low cloud and didn't really want to get caught out again.

Crossing Howgrain Beck.
It's always lovely and peaceful here and this morning was no different.

Long distant views into Long Grain towards Rampsgill Head with Beda fell towards the right.

What's going on here?

It was just like a scene from the Mary Celeste when after deciding to summit Place Fell later we dropped into Sandwick and came across five fully ladened packs dumped on the ground, there was even a radio playing and water bottles had just been left strewn across the path like who's ever packs these where had just been abducted by aliens.

As it turns out the packs belonged to a group of Duke of Edinburgh kids who later caught up with us close to Silver Bay which was great to see the youth of today out on the fell side but to just dump your packs straight off your back in the middle of a path leaving a radio blaring, come on kids, any unsavoury character could of had your gear and packs and been long gone before you got back from wherever you had been.

Views over Ullswater towards Gowbarrow Fell seen as we head towards the wooden bridge over Scalehow Beck.

Passing a herd of young Deer grazing in a field.
The Boredale, Martindale and Rampsgill Valleys situated east of Ullswater are quite common for Deer but we didn't expect to see them so early into the walk, it was a great sight to see the young Fawns grazing away before trotting off slowly to a far corner in the field.

Ullswater seen from Scalehow Wood.
Still no low cloud, it was at this point did we start to second guess our plans, I mean was it really necessary to change our walk because right about this point it was not only warming up but it appeared to be starting to brightening up too.

Views over Ullswater towards Glenridding Dodd, Birkhouse Moor and Sheffield Pike.
Mmm...I may have spoken too soon, that cloud over Birkhouse Moor appears to be lowering by the minute.

With the summit of St Sunday Crag not far behind Birkhouse Moor in terms of cloud cover.

The new Memorial.
Found alongside the path close to Side Farm.

The Artist.
I can't say I'm not partial to the work of J.M.W Turner.

And the view from the Memorial Seat.

Queue the low cloud right on time.

St Sunday Crag, Birks and Thorneyhow End are almost all below cloud now. Although low cloud certainly isn't a strange occurrence in Lakeland watching the cloud drop so low late into the morning was something that I hadn't witnessed before, yes on the hill but never so low into the valleys.

The good news was we could have been crossing Striding Edge right about now, it was agreed we had made the right choice at having to cancel that walk even if it did sting a-bit for yours truly.

Ascending the path from Rooking towards Boredale Hause.
I will always hold fond memories of this exact path which I ascended for the first time wearing jeans and an old pair of boots, that day we never made a summit but we did visit Angle Tarn and the rest is history.

Views over Beckstones towards Deepdale, Hartsop above How, Brothers Water, Hartsop Dodd, Caudale Moor and Red Screes.

Arnison Crag and Birks with the Deepdale Valley snaking off to the left.
There seems no end to the low cloud which now appears to be heading in our direction.

The view back along the path over Rooking towards Patterdale, Birkhouse Moor, Sheffield Pike, Glenridding Dodd and UIlswater.

Place Fell seen with a distant Hallin Fell from Boredale Head.
The humidity started to rise leaving the steady ascent onto Boredale Hause feel much more tiring that it should have, it was decision time again. With the cloud appearing to be heading our way and with rain in the air it was decided not to summit Place Fell and instead make the best out of the walk that we could leaving a return back to Martindale New Church via the beautiful and remote Boredale Valley.

Descending into the Boredale Valley from the Boredale Hause.

Red Deer are spotted on the opposite side of the valley.
It was agreed that we would stop for lunch somewhere along the valley floor before spotting movement in the distance on the opposite side of the valley, being so far away at this point the movement could have been coming from Cows until we got a closer look and spotted the white behinds of the Deer, there appeared to be at least fifty of them all grazing at their own leisure, what a fantastic sight, two herds of Deer seen in the space of just a few hours.

Passing through Boredale Head Farm and Cottages.
Where we spotted this handsome chap...


Who was as good on her back legs as she was on all four.

Views back through Boredale Head.
Having seen the Deer earlier we had completely forgotten about lunch so rather than stop now being so close to the cars we decided to wait until we got back but I think what really crunched it was when David said "I've got a couple of deck chairs in the back of my car" sealed! Lunch it is behind the cars on the comfort of deck chairs!

Garth Heads.
One of many Farmsteads in Lakeland still untouched by time.

More canine capers as we head back to The Hause at Martindale.

Almost back at the cars now as we cross Howegrain Beck once again.

Although Place Fell was still cloud free back at Boredale Hause and by the time we reached Martindale New Church the cloud we had seen earlier was hovering above the summit by which time those drops of rain in the air had started to fall as a light shower but it didn't matter because with lunch just up the hill and with two comfy deck chairs to eat it from it drew a great mornings walk to an end.


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