Late Sun in the North East Lakes – Beda Fell, Rest Dodd and The Nab, plus Hallin Fell by Headtorch

Another Lakes on Sunday trip, and only just! A depressingly densely cloudy forecast meant I was about to head up to the Cheviots. Then Sunday morning brought a surprising improvement with the north east Lakes looking ok possibly clearing later. So a slightly later start saw us driving through Pooley Bridge deciding on a couple of missing Wainwrights, Beda Fell & The Nab. This had the advantage of a low start giving the cloud a chance to lift, plus a few extra options along the way.

  • Distance = 10 miles (16 km)
  • Duration = 6 hours 30 mins
  • Total Ascent = 2,940 ft (896 m)
  • Start/Finish = Layby opposite St Peters’s Church, Martindale (grid ref. NY 435191)
  • Wainwrights = Beda Fell, Rest Dodd, The Nab & Hallin Fell
  • Date = Sun 1st December 2013, start 11.30 am, finish 6.00 pm
  • Click on Route Map below to zoom in/out
Beda Fell, Rest Dodd, The Nab & Hallin Fell Route

Beda Fell, Rest Dodd, The Nab & Hallin Fell Route

We parked opposite St Peters Church at Martindale in exactly the same spot as last years walk up Place Fell. There’s a short road walk down to the bridge over the Howe Grain then straight up & over the drystone wall to start at the base of Beda Fell.

Parking outside St Peters Church, Martindale

Parking outside St Peters Church, Martindale – 11.25am

Bridge over the Howe Grain  with Beda Fell beyond

Bridge over the Howe Grain with Beda Fell beyond – 11.34am

Having previously been impressed with Beda from neighbouring Place Fell it was good to finally get to grips with it. It didn’t disappoint too, gradually rising from the road & proving to be deceptively lengthy. The autumn colours more than made up for the overcast weather.

Starting along Beda Fell

Starting along Beda Fell – 11.45am

Looking back down Beda

Looking back down Beda – 11.55am

Looking back from further up Beda Fell

Looking back from further up Beda Fell – 12.15

Beda Fell high point looking south

Beda Fell high point looking south – 12.35

We both agreed this hill was good fun, more so than last Sundays wander around Whinlatter. Today it felt we were back in the Lakes, a few people were passed but one gets the impression that Beda isn’t a popular fell, perhaps it should be. One group came up via the valley road but this doesn’t do justice to the hill, it should be done via it’s full length.

Eventually the route joins up with the main ones from Boredale Hause, we chose not to divert to Angle Tarn Pike as daylight was in short supply. You do get decent views down to Angle Tarn which basically looks decent from anywhere. It’s as good a Tarn as ever there did be, as Wainwright might’ve said…….after a pint or two. I wonder if Wainwright drank pints of Wainwrights, just imagine the coincidence. Possibly.

Angle Tarn

Angle Tarn, looking impressively Tarny – 1.30pm

Angle Tarn

Angle Tarn looking impressively Alany – 1.40pm

The Nab was the next target, an awkwardly placed Wainwright which we missed on a long circuit last year. We were going to skirt round the shoulder of Rest Dodd then decided it was worth bagging again as for one thing it would be the highest point of the day. By now the weather had definitely improved with the first sighting of a big yellow thing called the sun. Low autumnal light suddenly swathed the slopes around us and by now of course everyone else had left the fells. We had also hatched a dastardly cunning plan, instead of trying to add Pikeawassa (another missing Wainwright), we would add a much more accessible missing Wainwright, Hallin Fell….in the dark with head torches. This sounded an excellent plan.

On Rest Dodd to Rampsgill Head

Resting on Rest Dodd (where eles) to Rampsgill Head – 2.30pm

Better pic without the old guy

Better pic without the old guy

From Rest Dodd over The Nab

From Rest Dodd over The Nab

Alan leaving Rest Dodd northwards with The Nab ahead

Alan leaving Rest Dodd northwards with The Nab ahead – 2.42pm

Classic mountain photographic positioning!!

Classic mountain photographic positioning (it’s actually a small model)

The Nab's peat hags ahead

The Nab’s peat hags ahead – 2.48pm

The Nab's peat hags up close

The Nab’s peat hags up close – 3.00pm

On The Nab looking back south to Rest Dodd

On The Nab looking back south to Rest Dodd – 3.15pm

On The Nab to Rampsgill Head & High Raise

On The Nab to Rampsgill Head & High Raise

Last sun on The Nab looking north east over Loapot Hill

Last sun on The Nab looking north east over Loadpot Hill

Watching the setting sun

Watching the setting sun

Mountain sunset

Alan’s mountain sunset

Over Beda Fell to Fairfield, St Sunday Crag & Helvellyn

Over Beda Fell to Fairfield, St Sunday Crag & Helvellyn – 3.35pm

We stayed up here for around half an hour enjoying the views having caught the light just right. This was very pleasant with the sun setting over the higher mountain horizon and the valleys below already lost in shadow. There were smiles all round as we really hadn’t expected these conditions. Despite some phone issues I took this 360 panorama video with a fading battery & asked Alan to help with the commentary. Some may find this amusing;

Helvellyn & Catseye Cam with cloud clearing

Helvellyn & Catseye Cam with cloud clearing

Reluctantly we had to descend, actually it’s almost always reluctantly, especially as it means the knees are in for a pounding. They were certainly not to be disappointed by the steep drop off the end, with the plus point being rapid loss of height soon leveling off to reach the farm road.

A steep descent to Martindale

A steep descent to Martindale – 3.45pm

Egyptian Pyramid of The Nab

Egyptian Pyramid of The Nab (with non Egyptian vapour trails)

Smartphone repairs in Martindale

Smartphone repairs in Martindale – 4.00pm

My phone battery expired once down & due to a fault I couldn’t get it restarted with a spare, so the GPS route track is a straight line from here. Alan went on ahead then 2 guys appeared walking down from higher up Martindale. They were walking fast but I wasn’t happy at being overtaken so reigned them in at a near running pace then overtook them trying to hide my smugness. Unfortunately when I caught Alan up I explained this meant we had to continue this pace or we’d look silly. I’m not sure this is all normal but that’s how we roll sometimes 🙂

Back at the car I did a swift phone repair via the car charger & restarted the route tracking. We donned the head torches and started up Hallin Fell in darkness reaching the huge cairn in 20 mins having passed one surprised head torch wielding walker coming down. We had always envisaged doing Hallin one summer evening at sunset for the views. Surprisingly despite the darkness there was still enough ambient light to pick out Ullswater & twinkling Penrith. Car lights slowly skitted along the A592 with stars twinkling overhead in a clear sky. This was pretty damn good fun and it’s recommended. We saw firework flashes behind Loadpot, one satellite and one shooting star. What a brilliant end to a day!

Hallin Fell

Hallin Fell – 5.10pm

On Hallin Fell looking north east over Ullswater to twinkling lights of Penrith

On Hallin Fell looking north east over Ullswater to twinkling lights of Penrith

Quick beer stop for a half at the Queens Head Tirril, we sampled the Robinsons Unicorn & Hartleys Cumbian Way, nice pub, beer verged on undrinkable, majorly disappointed. We needed another stop at the Gate at Yanwath to sample the Ambleside Barngate Pale Ale & Tyrril Red Barn Ale, both were very tasty thank goodness.

Thanks for reading, see you up on Hallin Fell one dark night 🙂

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About MART IN THE HILLS

Hillwalker with dodgy knees and dodgier sense of humour. Lover of the outdoors, Lakes, Highlands, Cheviots, nature, good food, real ale and leaf tea.
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