Place Fell from Patterdale

28th October 2017

As far as walks go I certainly needed this one, a walk that in actual fact should have seen us take in a route that David and I put together back on our Dodds walk some weeks ago which actualy seems like months ago now what with my house move and of course the shorter daylight hours.

About a week ago we set this day for our planned walk but of course the weather soon put a stop to that with two bright sunny days either side of Saturday; one of which I will certainly make use of but for now it looked like we'd be walking in not just rain, but strong winds too.

Our plan was to leave Patterdale for Boredale Hause and assess the wind situation from there, should the winds be to strong we would continue into the Boredale valley and make a circular walk around Place Fell but as it happens on reaching Boredale Hause the wind wasn't causing too many problems but that wasn't to say that beyond the summits those clouds were sure moving at some pace.

It's not very often I, or we would leave the house to walk in such conditions that we had today but once on the fell when the wind is blowing you sideways you're suddenly gripped and reminded at why we do what we do.

Wainwright Guide Book One
The Eastern Fells

-Place Fell

On a first visit to Patterdale, Place Fell should be an early objective , for no other viewpoint gives such an appreciation of the design of this lovely corner of Lakeland.


Ascent: 2,382 Feet - 726 Metres
Wainwrights: Place Fell
Weather: Overcast, Drizzle and Strong Gust for the Duration. Highs of 14°C Lows of 11°C
Parking: Roadside Parking, Patterdale Primary School
Area: Eastern
Miles: 7.6
Walking With: David Hall & Rod Hepplewhite
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 5 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Patterdale - Side Farm - Boredale Hause - Round How - Place Fell - Scalehow Force - Ullswater Shore Path back to Side Farm - Patterdale

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA11 0NW
Grid Reference: White Lion Hotel - NY 395 315 - Patterdale Primary School NY 394 516
Notes: Patterdale alongside Glenriddging acts as a hub for the eastern and far eastern fells yet unlike Glenridding Patterdale doesn't have a centralised car park. With this said parking in Patterdale, especially during the height of Summer can be a problem with only two main sites to leave your car. The first is very popular with fell walkers which is just opposite the White Lion Hotel, here you will find a short layby with room for up to five parked cars. Parking is free. The second place to park is found just outside Patterdale Primary School were you can park on the kerb right outside the School, here you will find spaces for around three to four well parked cars. Parking is free.


Map and Photo Gallery


Place Fell from a swollen Goldrill Beck 08:30am 11°C

Gloom was the order of the morning having completely missed out on the sunrise I drove over the top of Kirkstone Pass in cloud which only cleared halfway down the pass as Brothers Water and Place Fell came into view. The forecast was for low cloud for the duration of the day with rain arriving mid morning, the good news was that for now I could see the summit of Place Fell but as for the Deepdale and Dovedale valleys to my left flank, they were breached by low cloud.

We had arranged to meet alongside the farm track for Side Farm at 08:30am, I would have arrived first had I not missed the turn soon passing Rod coming in the opposite direction who beat me to the parking spaces. Just as we arrived it started to rain first lightly then heavily as we waited for David who unbeknown to us was already parked up outside Patterdale Primary School just around the corner. The heavy rain continued and wisely Rod opted to kit up on the passenger seat of his car while I ducked under my boot lid which kept me relatively dry while lacing up. The Farmer arrived with a huge bale of grass on the front of his tractor which he unloaded onto a waiting trailer close by, my car was obstructing his reversing manoeuver so I moved and parked my car behind David's while sighing across the car roofs "look at this rain"

Looking back over Rooking towards Patterdale, Birkhouse Moor and Sheffield Pike from the path below Boredale Hause.
Thankfully it had stopped raining by the time we reached Side Farm and it held off for the next hour or so which enabled us to catch up on gossip and in particular Rods visit to the Blencathra Centre where he had attended Alan Hinks movie premiere alongside guests such as Terry Abraham. It should have only took around half an hour to reach this point but down to stopping and chatting I reckon it was more like an hour.

Arnison Crag with Birks in the background.
Where the low cloud appears to pushing towards our direction.

The ruined remains of the Chapel, Boredale Hause.
We continued our ascent and passed over Boredale Hause only stopping to take a look at the summit of Place Fell which was still free from cloud "what do we reckon, should we go for it" After a slight pause we agreed to push towards the summit despite the cloud above passing at some pace, we agreed it looked like the 60mph plus winds forecasted!

The gully at the top of Steel Edge.
The flank of the fell side had up until now been protecting us from the worst of the winds but the higher we climbed the wind would grow in strength with sudden gusts which howled in from nowhere, it was time to batten down the hatches which what I actually mean is we put our hoods up and drew the cords tight, conversation from here on in, was neon impossible.

Place Fell summit Trig Point.
We shouldered Round How and made our way whilst being pushed almost sideways towards Place Fell summit which was always out of view due to the low cloud. David was slightly concerned about the sudden gusts as he is still receiving foot treatment from a recurring injury he picked up some years ago which has reared up again, the wind was strong and the gusts were certainly stronger leaving summit time very brief indeed.

High Dodd appears once we drop below the cloud.

By the time we dropped below the cloud and out of the worst of the summit winds we returned to conversation again and it was assumed that we would either head over High Dodd or use the path on its right flank before dropping into the Boredale valley, that was until David mentioned that rather than to drop into Boredale, why not descend (left) via Scalehow Force, Rod and I looked at one another and agreed this was a great idea, mainly because neither of us had descended this way in the past.

Up ahead, a solo walker heads towards us.

Ruined miners building found along the path close to a disused quarry with Gowbarrow Fell in the distance.

Descending alongside Scalehow Force as views of Ullswater start to open out.

On the back of yesterdays heavy rainfall care had to be taken during our descent alongside Scalehow Force due to how slippery it was underfoot, it was quite amusing to see the recovery efforts of previous walkers who had slipped leaving long skid marks in the mud.

Hallin Fell seen over Scalehow Wood.

From the lower slopes of Scalehow Force we reached the footbridge below and decided to stop for an early lunch, it was right about here did we start to see more walkers on the Ullswater shore path, most of whom were taking advantage of the sheltered bays which avoided the wind and rain. With no real place to sit we each took out our foam mats and ate lunch on a wet grassy bank alongside Scalehow Beck while doing a bit of people watching.

Windy Ullswater.
Once away from the seclusion of the bays we could clearly see the impact of the wind over the surface of Ullswater, the wash clearly visible stretched for what looked like miles.

Views towards Glenridding Dodd seen over Silver Point.

Glenridding Dodd over Ullswater.

Almost back at Side Farm.

The shore path continued to be busy with walkers and their dogs, children and fell runners most of whom where heading from the direction of Patterdale, the rain held off and the predicted rain never came with the exception of the heavy shower we encountered this morning before setting off, I guess if you look at the forecast on paper it would be enough to put the best of us off but as we saw today sometimes the forecasters get it wrong and a great walk can still be enjoyed which usually leaves you feeling more alive after those first Autumnal winds and rain give you a taster of what lies ahead.


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