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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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;
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.
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!
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 🙂