Bonscale Pike, Arthur's Pike, Loadpot Hill & Wether Hill
My final Lake District walk of 2016, and the finale of my weekend in the Lakes with Duncan, saw a walk in the eastern Martindale Fells, gaining 4 more Wainwrights and taking in some very impressive views along Ullswater.
I have visited the Martindale area on a number of occasions, walking nearby fells and visiting the summit of Hallin Fell on more than one occasion. The area is a part of the Lakes you most definitely have to decide to go to, as it requires a drive all the way along the southern shore of Ullswater, to park at St Peter's Church at the foot of Hallin Fell. But instead of romping up the side of Hallin Fell, we set off in the opposite direction, past the church, down over the Fusedale Beck, to Mellguards and, with increasingly impressive views, up to Bonscale Pike (524m). From Bonscale Pike we continued along the fell top, taking in the views over Ullswater, before heading inland to the summit of Arthur's Pike (533m). From there we headed inland to complete a circular route via Loadpot Hill (672m)and Wether Hill (670m), descending via the side of Steel Knotts and back to our cars.
When we were sat in the Brother's Water Inn having breakfast, I don't think either of us had appreciated quite how steep the initial climb was going to be Looking at the map now, the contours are very close together!! I don't think it is much of an exaggeration to say that at one stage I only had to lean forward slightly to put my hands on the grass slope in front of me. But the views were spectacular and well worth the climb - with an overall walk of about 7.5 miles just right before the journey home.
When you travel down to Martindale you gain a little bit of height above lake level, with some interesting roads on route. St Peter's church is located in a bit of a dip and the views of the Lake only start to open up as you walk in either direction. The start of our walk was relatively flat, allowing a bit of time to get our legs warmed up. Soon, the views down Ullswater started to open up.
As we started to climb, the views opened up down Martindale behind us, with Hallin Fell prominent in the view.
But it was the views down Ullswater that really took the eye.
As we got higher, we could see over the top of Hallin Fell to the lake beyond.
For a few minutes, the Ullswater steamer added some human interest to scene, creating lovely patterns in the water behind it.
From Bonscale Fell the views were also specular looking north.
With the Bonscale Towers just beneath us.
Our next summit was Arthur's Pike, the summit of which is inland - and largely without views. The views are far more spectacular from the bigger cairn nearby.
There is a second cairn further inland - still with views - but still not yet at the summit of Arthur's Pike.
From the summit of Arthur's Pike you would struggle to know there is a lake there.
The route then took us inland and on to the two highest summits of the walk, Loadpot Hill and Wether Hill. Neither have particularly spectacular summits - Loadpot Hill has a large stone pillar, with Wether Hill summit marked by just a small pile of stones.
Our return route took us down along Martindale, with the light and shadow playing constantly across the valley floor
It had been a great walk on a beautiful day - a good one to have as my last Lakeland walk of the year. I am already looking forward to more in 2017!
For more images from this walk please go to the gallery here.
And for those of you who enjoy my Lake District posts - I still have some more photos to process from walks in 2015. From memory some of the best walks I have done, with some great light and great views. And my next trip is only 3 months away!!