Walking the Birketts, Ling and Sale Fell above Wythop

20th January 2019

Part two of the weekend saw David, Jennifer and I on another low level walk following Birketts route of Ling and Sale fell starting from Brumstone Bridge. Birkett devised the walk into not collecting just the two summits but also added Burthwaite Heights, Lothwaite and Rivings making a total of five summits to a walk that can be covered in a little over than three and a half hours.

Dawn had just broke but the light was still very low and moody, it had started to rain lightly as we crossed Brumstone Bridge and it didn't stop until we were below Ling summit. In the distance between a tangle of cloud Criffle could be seen while closer to home, Binsey's summit poked out above the valley mist. We descended easterly from LIng Fell and picked up the track which lead us along the outskirts of Wythop Moss which was nothing more than a tad wet underfoot. We gained Burthwaite Heights easily and feasted upon the Lord's Seat fells and a snow capped,cloud topped Skiddaw which still looked inviting. We descended north easterly and passed through the hamlet of Old Scales before passing through the fields sign posted Chapel Wood. Dead ahead Sale Fell below Chapel Wood and further right, our next summits of Lothwaite and Rivings, not before taking the half mile through Chapel Wood before a steady ascent which brought us out between our next two summits.

Lothwaite was recommended as an "out an back" so we went there first and upon reaching the summit Jennifer took her seat at 'Jennifers seat' a bench with a view over Bassenthwaite to die for. We back tracked after snacks and made our way to Rivings encountering fast approaching cloud from the north and by the time Rivings was reached the cloud had started to scatter revealing Sale Fell up ahead. We left Rivings passing a couple with a dog and smiles were exchanged. Earlier Sale had looked packed but with numbers having just left we found the summit to ourselves. Between breaks of cloud we descended the summit making for Dodd Crag where care had to be taken due to mud underfoot, with views of Ling and Burthwaite we dropped onto the path below sighting our cars through the trees at Brumstone Bridge which by now, was much more busier than we had left it earlier.

The Complete Lakeland Fells
By Bill Birkett

-The Wythop Valley

Descend to the east. Join the line of a stone wall and follow it to a iron gate just above the plantation. Move down to a grass track and bear right along it. Pass two huge ancient sycamore trees. The path ends with two massive hollies and a gate leading onto the surface road which runs up the Wythop Valley.


Ascent: 1,560 Feet - 475 Metres
Birketts: 5, Ling Fell - Burthwaite Heights - Lothwaite - Rivings - Sale Fell
Weather: Misty With Light Showers To Start. Remaining Overcast With Some Low Cloud. Highs of 5°C Lows of 3°C
Parking: Parking Spaces, Brumston Bridge
Area - Group: North Western
Miles: 5.5
Walking With: David & Jennifer Hall
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken: 3 Hours
Route: Brumstone Bridge - Corpse Road - Ling Fell - Burthwaite Heights - Old Scales - Chapel Wood - Lothwaite - Rivings - Sale Fell - Dodd Crag - Brumstone Bridge

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA13 9YR
Grid Reference: NY 185 329
Notes: There is room for up to half a dozen well parked cars just after Brumston Bridge on the left hand side. A gate at the end of the lane can be seen which leads over tarmac towards Kelswick Farm and is a popular parking for those wanting a walk over Sale Fell and Ling Fell. Parking is free.

Map and Photo Gallery


Looking over the Wythop Valley towards Sale Fell from the ascent of Ling Fell.

Binsey shrouded by valley mist.
Notice the crack of light in the distance, this went around the compass and was a delight to see given the amount of cloud cover.

A distant Criffle seen over Watch Hill.

The snow capped summits of Grisdale Pike, Hobcarton Crag, Hopegill Head and Ladyside Pike.

Skiddaw from Ling Fell summit.
While over on the left Rivings can be seen above Chapel Wood.

Descending Ling Fell with views over Burthwaite Heights.
We bear right along the tree lined track seen below and head towards Wythop Moss.

It looks like Jennifer is leading the way.
And the reason why...David reckons Jennifer has summited Sale and Ling fell well over a hundred times...say no more.

Burthwaite Heights seen over Wythop Moss.

We're still not sure how boggy the moss is going to be at this point as David points out "if all you see is Jennifer disappear leaving behind just a red bob cap ask does she know where the instructions are for how to use the hoover"

i think it's best that Jennifer didn't hear that last comment.

Looking back over Whythop Moss towards Ling Fell.
With just the caps of our boots threatened by the moss we start the short ascent on Burthwaite Heights.

Ullock Pike, Long Side, Carl Side and Skiddaw from the summit of Burthwaite Heights.

Descending Burthwaite Heights with view over the Wythop Valley towards Lothwaite, Rivings and Sale Fell.
You might just be able to see the road through the trees where upon reaching it we head right through the valley.

Following the road.
After passing the bend in the road up ahead we pass through a large metal gate and follow a bridleway through the fields towards Chapel Wood.

Stopping to look back on Old Scale Farm.
While being watched by a herd a Herdwick sheep seen here loitering behind the barn.

Heading North Easterly through Chapel Wood.
This pleasant track along the outskirts of Chapel Wood continues until a sharp left turn is reached before a short, but steady pull onto Lothwaite is required.

Rivings is seen off to the right.

And further right Sale Fell comes into view.
We pass comment on the cloud seen lingering on the north side of Sale Fell but pay it no more attention. It's from here we start the 'out and back' towards the summit of Lothwaite.

The Ullock Pike ridge seen over Bassenthwaite with Skiddaw in the distance from Lothwaite summit.

Jennifers seat.
No Jennifer didn't hear what David has said about the hoover instructions earlier, the seat is just wet in the middle.

A distant view of the Helvellyn range.
With Dodd over on the left.

Making our way towards Rivings with views of Sale Fell over on the right.
Blimey that cloud didn't half appear quickly, in fact within two minutes of taking this photo we were in the thick of it.

Sale Fell from Rivings summit.

Looking back as the cloud disperses over Lothwaite.

Dodd and Skiddaw from Sale Fell summit.

To be honest we thought we might have remained in the cloud for the duration but as quickly as the cloud appeared, it had disappeared. We reached Sale Fell within what felt like minutes of leaving Rivings and found the summit to ourselves until a young couple arrived and asked "excuse me, whats this called" I politely answered Sale Fell and the young girl then asked "then that must be Ling Fell over there" yes that's right we answered.

It could have been a whole different story had we have been stood at Helvellyn's trig point but you know what, they'd followed the crowds, they were safe and were in no signs of distress, well done for getting out I say.

Descending Sale Fell towards the top of Dodd Crag with views of Ling Fell.

Ling Fell seen above Brumstone Bridge.

With care we descended the muddy paths passing many young adults and walkers alike. Mildness returns and after a mix of bright spells the light appeared to fade and with it the cloud cover started to increase obscuring Skiddaw once again. Back on the road below we stamped our boots free of mud and walked back towards Brumstone Bridge just a short distance away. As we reach our cars David passes a gent and his wife who are ready to leave who asked "are you David Hall? I follow you along with Paul Sharkey" "that's Paul over there" David answers, we greet with smiles and handshakes before wishing the couple a grand afternoon on the fells.


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