Low Fell

Route: Low Fell

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 23rd May 2018

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 9.6 miles

Ascent: 2,000 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies

Today was a red letter day, as it marked the occasion when I made my 1,000th ascent of a Wainwright fell. There are 214 lakeland fells as described in the classic guide books of A W Wainwright and I’ve been walking them for many years, and hope to keep on doing so for many more to come. Low Fell was chosen for our walk today because it’s my favourite fell. We can see it across the valley from our windows, we have happy memories of times spent here with family and friends, and the view from the top, in the words of the great man, ‘is one of classical beauty, an inspired and inspiring vision of loveliness…a scene of lakes and mountains arranged to perfection’ 

On a glorious morning, we parked just outside the small village of Thackthwaite and turned off to join a lane climbing gently up to the lower slopes of the fell. Higher up, we followed the old drove road, from where there are some lovely views and a hint of things to come. The views disappeared for a while as we arrived on open fellside below Sourfoot Fell, and after climbing up the zigzags on the path we arrived at the ridge line. The views from the ridge are good, but the further one progresses, the more they improve. We arrived at the north top but this was not the place to celebrate – anyone who turns back here thinking it’s mission accomplished is missing the whole point of the walk. We continued to the south top, which has a better view, but we preferred to carry on a little further, to the very end of the ridge, where another cairn overlooks the glorious scene as described by Wainwright. I’ve seen this view numerous times, in all weather conditions, and could never tire of gazing at it in wonderment

Having celebrated with a glass of Wainwright Golden Beer we retraced our steps for a short distance and then left the ridge to make the steep down and up to Darling Fell. The view from here rivals that from Low Fell, and although it’s not a Wainwright it’s a worthy objective in its own right. We descended to Askill, then made our way to the far shore of Loweswater, taking the path through Holme Wood (another of our favourite places) to the head of the lake. After passing by the small car park at Maggie’s Bridge we followed the lane to yet another favourite of ours – the famous Kirkstile Inn, where we had a pub lunch in the garden. It was hard to get going again after that, but we managed to haul ourselves up and carry on, taking the path across the fields to Foulsyke, from where there is yet another wonderful view, sadly now somewhat blighted by the recent erection of some industrial farm buildings in the adjacent fields

From here we followed the quiet lane back to Thackthwaite and the end of a walk which will live long in the memory

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