Walking the Birketts, Dodd

19th January 2019

Well it looks like Winter has finally arrived this weekend with snow lying on the fells above 500 feet and I for one wouldn't have minded being above that height but you see despite a covering of snow the Lakeland fells are also capped with cloud, well at least today they are so it's not quite the fairy tale start to Winter that we all expected. A couple of weeks ago David and I arranged to walk Birketts route of Dodd which officially starts at the Dodd Wood car park. We had a later start than usual partly to allow the mist and cloud to clear which never materialised but it is January and it's what can only be expected.

We left Dodd Wood five minutes earlier than planned and it kinda felt like we had the whole place to ourselves which can normally be associated with an early start. Birkett recommended to follow the path along the West flank of Dodd and soon we were over looking Bassenthwaite and clear of the tree tops. The snow line arrived at around 1,300ft but this was no more than a skittering underfoot increasing to a few centimeters once Dodd summit was reached where we had a brief chat with a couple who had arrived minutes previous. Not only did we have snow underfoot but the summit was below cloud which limited any views. With no real reason to hang around we descended and made our way to Long Doors then branched right keeping Skill Beck to our left and followed the footpath back to the Tea Rooms beneath while beneath a canopy of Scots Pines.

The Complete Lakeland Fells
By Bill Birkett

-Dodd Wood

Here the forest becomes more varied and open with Oak, Beech and Scots pine.


Ascent: 1,647 Feet - 502 Metres
Birketts: Dodd
Weather: Overcast, Feeling Wintery Over 1,000 Feet. Highs of 4°C Lows of 3°C Feels Like -2.4°C
Parking: Car Park, Dodd Wood
Area - Group: Northern - N/SKI
Miles: 3.5
Walking With: David Hall
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 2 Hours
Route: Dodd Wood Car Park - Skill Beck - Dodd Wood - Dodd - Long Doors - Longside Wood - Skill Beck - Dodd Wood Car Park

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA12 4QE
Grid Reference: NY 240 275
Notes: A popular Pay and Display car park owned by the Forestry Commission Dodd Wood car park offers access onto the popular Dodd and the Ullock Pike ridge. Charges apply.


Map and Photo Gallery


David checks out the confusing opening times for the Tea Rooms.
"I think it's back open in February Paul, but only when Jupiter is in alignment with Mars" Joking aside...it's February...we think.

Looking above the pines up towards the Ullock Pike ridge.
It's still pretty misty up there.

We follow the West path and pass the Osprey Look Out Station.
We tried our upmost to keep to Birketts original route but the forestry paths have changed so much over the years with old paths being lost and replaced with new ones.

Derwent Water comes into view as we round the south West flank.
Crikey not even Walla Crag has escaped the low cloud.

We continue along the South East flank above Lyzzick Wood tree tops.

A bench with no view.
Still, very mild for the time of year though.

Up in the cloud on Dodd Summit.
After a very brief chat with a couple who were just about to leave, we also kept our summit time to a minimum so after David checks out the windchill on his weather device (recorded at -2.3°C) we too descended and made our way down to Long Doors.

We take the right path as recommended by Birkett.
Taking the left path still brings you out right at the Tea Rooms...it's nice to have a choice though.

Above the Pines I pause to look up at what would be Carl Side.
Which is well below the cloud line as is Long Side and Ullock Pike.

Making our way back to the car park through Dodd Wood.

We were lucky in that we captured within the silence of Dodd this morning, a popular small hill within the shadow of Skiddaw except we never got to Skiddaw today, nor its parent peaks of Carl Side or any distant views which attracts people of all ages to Dodd, it was only two hours but two hours of eerie solitude broken only by the sounds of children's laughter from a distant path below.


Back to top