Crummock Water from Low Fell

Low Fell

Route: Low Fell 

Area: Western Lake District 

Date of walk: 19th April 2022

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 4.5 miles

Ascent: 1,500 feet

Weather: Mixed sun and clouds but gradually clouding over fully, with light drizzle at the end

I usually climb Low Fell three or four times a year, but haven’t done so since last June, far too long a gap for such a wonderful destination. This is one of my favourite places and the fell which I chose for my 1,000th Wainwright ascent in May 2018.

The upland section of Low Fell is heathland which has been grazed by sheep for many years and in consequence lacks biodiversity. A large portion of the fell, some 158 acres, has recently been acquired by Buy Land Plant Trees Community Interest Company and is now part of a project to restore the natural ecosystem. Follow the link for more information about this very worthwhile endeavour

I parked as usual in one of the few roadside spaces outside the small settlement of Thackthwaite on the west side of Lorton Vale. I walked into the village and turned right at a signpost next to Thackthwaite Farm and followed a rocky lane uphill. This leads out onto the fields and from here I followed a line of old oak trees up to the intake wall. There are lovely retrospective views from here.

On reaching the intake wall I turned right to follow a grassy path which curves around the fellside into a small raised valley, where the views are lost – this is a rather dreary section in truth, but it’s soon over and before long I was on the ridge line, heading south with ever improving views along the way

Anyone visiting Low Fell for the first time should not stop at the north top, but should continue to the very end of the ridge where there is a cairn just below the south top. From here, in the words of Alfred Wainwright, ‘the view is of classical beauty, an inspired and inspiring vision of loveliness…a scene of lakes and mountains arranged to perfection’. Although the weather had been superb on the way up, it gradually clouded over and by the time I reached the south top there wasn’t much light around, which was a shame

The only defect in routes up Low Fell is that there are no satisfactory routes off it if there’s only time for a short circular walk. It is possible to descend from the top directly into Lorton Vale, but it’s a horribly steep route and not to be recommended, and so I simply retraced my steps back to the start, which takes around an hour

For a longer route, which also takes in Darling Fell and Loweswater click here and for the steep direct route down click here

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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