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Loadpot Hill and Hallin Fell

Loadpot Hill and Hallin Fell
Ullswater from the Towers on Boscale Pike
Shortest/Longest route - miles
2.75 / 5.75
Difficulty level: Moderate
Avg. Rating:

This section covers the northern extremity of the High Street range. It lies east of the lower reach of Ullswater and Martindale, while in other directions declining slopes fall to the Lowther Valley and the path from Helton to Pooley Bridge across Moor Divock. On the moor stone circles and standing stones testify to others long gone who knew these slopes, but whose purpose on the hills was rather different from ours today.
Wether Hill2210ft673m
Loadpot Hill2205ft672m
Arthurs Pike1747ft532m
Bonscale Pike1718ft524m
Brownthwaite Crag1457ft444m
Steel Knotts1417ft432m
Hallin Fell1271ft388m


 This section covers the northern extremity of the High Street range. It lies east of the lower reach of Ullswater and Martindale, while in other directions declining slopes fall to the Lowther Valley and the path from Helton to Pooley Bridge across Moor Divock. On the moor stone circles and standing stones testify to others long gone who knew these slopes, but whose purpose on the hills was rather different from ours today. To the south the main ridge continues to High Raise and High Street gradually narrowing, and with the scenery becoming more dramatic. On Loadpot Hill however and it's companions, though there are crags above Ullswater, for the most part the slopes tend to be rolling grassland cut up by peat hags. There are despite this some excellent tracks that quickly aid the crossing of this country, which on a nice clear day offer some grand exercise and extensive views. It is the lower heights above Martindale and Ullswater where the more typical Lakeland features are to be found. Hallin Fell and Steel Knotts are two of the most attractive small fells with charming paths and little outcrops in abundance allied to superb scenery. The position of Hallin Fell above the middle and lower reaches of Ullswater is quite outstanding. This is a simple climb available to motorists who park by St Peters Church on the top of The Hause. Steel Knotts forms a narrow ridge between the main Martindale valley and the little recess of Fusedale. It is one of those hills one wishes could be wrapped up and taken home. High above Howtown the slopes of Loadpot Hill pause in their fall to form the two subsidiary platforms of Bonscale Pike and Arthurs Pike; of no account in themselves except as magnificent points to look down on the lake. Bonscale Pike is the perfect spot to watch the steamers call at the Howtown pier, and see the yachts which often take part in races on the lower reach of the lake. I must not forget Martindale itself, an exquisite part of the Lake District with a charm all of it's own, and seemingly a world apart from everyday cares and activity. Those who genuinely love this part of the world will feel at ease and content with life here.



5 miles 1775ft of ascent. 3.25 miles 1275ft of ascent to Arthurs Pike.

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  Turn up the lane by the church and cross the road to Howtown and Martindale to gradually ascend the lane to Roehead. This continues as a wide track, and as the slope slackens take a branch to the right which leads to a fine stone circle with the interesting name of ?The Cockpit'. Here the main track comes in on the left from Moor Divock. Routes from Helton and Askham converge at Moor Divock both about half a mile longer than from Pooley Bridge, but with slightly less ascent. From the stone circle take the right hand path at the fork just past a small stream and continue to it's crossing of Aik Beck. Turn up the ridge beyond the beck and climb over White Knott keeping to the path along the Ullswater edge. This eventually comes to a beacon in a nice position above the lake, and then turn left up the fell aided by a narrow trod to the large cairn on Arthurs Pike. Head south west and up the rise ahead joining the 'High Street' track which actually skirts Loadpot Hill. A well worn path however ascends the fellside to the survey column on the summit. Bonscale Pike can conveniently be added to this walk, though I have reserved it as a way up from Howtown. Descents are simplest from the slopes of Wether Hill turning down Fusedale for Howtown. Fitter walkers can include the Steel Knotts ridge before returning to Pooley Bridge. Either way those who can go no further have the option in the season of catching the lake steamer at Howtown.




4.5 miles 1600ft of ascent. 

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   A quiet lane leaves Bampton to the north of Howes Beck on the road to Helton and Askham. It is unenclosed for a short distance but then is mostly confined by walls to the farm of Carhullan. The open fell of Pen End rises behind, but there is no right of way through the farm. Go round the intake wall left preferably descending from Moorahill to the old clapper footbridge before slanting towards the wall. Apart from the charms of the bridge this avoids some of the wet ground alongside the wall. Follow a path up the end of the intake and continue ahead to the track on The Pen. This can be traced all the way to the summit of Loadpot Hill, and though far from exciting it is better to have some evidence of others having passed this way making it easier underfoot. Alternatively keep ahead to the depression below Wether Hill turning right at the ridge up to the remains of the former shooting lodge, and continue to the survey column on the flat summit. There is a way back to Bampton over Wether Hill turning left at the wall on Keasgill Head on a good path (Not shown on the map) to cross High and Low Kop descending Hause End to Moorahill.




5 miles 1750ft of ascent. 4 miles 1575ft of ascent to Wether Hill.

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 My preferred way from Burnbanks is to walk by the bungalows, and turn right up the side of the plantation to join the track which runs along the northern side of Haweswater. There are good views to the head of the reservoir, and when the gorse is blooming the fellside is ablaze with colour. The rocks and cascades at Measand Beck are worth seeing, and a path heads up the far side of the stream. Cross the footbridge and go directly up the fellside to Low Kop. A good path is met here which ascends the gentle slopes over High Kop to the main watershed at Keasgill Head where the ridge path can be taken to Wether Hill. The cairn does not quite seem to be on the highest point, but I am happy to accept things as they are. All that remains is to carry on northwards to Loadpot Hill passing the little that suvives of the former shooting lodge. I have to admit that I have been around a long time when I remember a sheep standing in the fireplace of the chimney in 1962. That was all that was left standing then. The eastern slopes of Loadpot Hill fall towards Bampton, and a maze of farmland must be negotiated to reach Burnbanks. It is better to return to Wether Hill and the route of ascent as far as Low Kop. Continue down the track past an old quarry bending round the head of Willdale to High Drybarrows. From the farm a path accompanies Aika Sike down to Burnbanks. 




5.75 miles 2800ft of ascent.

Ascent Breakdown







Howtown to Hallin Fell





Hallin Fell to Steel Knotts.





Steel Knotts to Brownthwaite Crag





 Brownthwaite Crag to Wether Hill





Wether Hill to Loadpot Hill






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 Either ascend to The Hause by the track below Steel End, or walk by the lake to Waternook to take the gradually rising path there. St Peters Church is reached, and by a small parking area across the road a path heads up Hallin Fell. To make a little circuit of the fell tum right at the wall corner and ascend to the cairn above Howtown before easier ground leads to the final short ascent. The path curving round the corner is best, and when it meets another coming up from the lake tum up it left to the fine beacon on the top. After directly descending to the church go along the track to the right of it to what is left of Lanty Tarn. A thin path climbs the fellside ahead left of Birkies Knott, and up the bracken slopes to Steel Knotts and the little tor of Pikeawassa on the summit. Descend to the south where the path from the church of St Martin comes in and follow it over Brownthwaite Crag (The summit lies above the path alongside the wall), and contour round Gowk Hill to the old hut at the head of Fusedale. Wether Hill may be climbed anywhere, but the path is best so ascend it to Keasgill Head where tum north along the ridge path over Wether Hill to Loadpot Hill.

 If returning to Howtown consider a visit to Bonscale Pike on the way. Descend to the High Street path using the track over the summit, and at the junction look for a thin trod almost directly opposite. Always select the branch keeping to the higher ground even if it seems further, and it will finally swing round to the objective. Visit the beacons and then walk south along the ridge to locate a wonderful old zigzag track that descends to a shelf . The bracken is a nuisance below here, but head towards Fusedale to pick up a good path coming down from the ridge. This path is also of some help down the steeper lower fellside.




2.75 miles 1750ft of ascent. To Bonscale Pike it is 1.25 miles 1225ft of ascent.

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 The lane by the Howtown Hotel continues ahead and serves the little valley of Fusedale. A short way along it turn up left to Mellguards and the start of the path to Moor Divock and Pooley Bridge. Follow this a short distance until a path slants down the fell to join it, and ascend this to an obvious shelf below the steep upper escarpment. There is a more direct path heading straight up from Mellguards to this point. The shelf leads to the base of a remarkable groove and a path turns towards it. This fascinating track (one of many that can be found in the fell country) makes a splendid way to the summit ridge, and a simple walk left leads to the beacons and other caims decorating the top. Leave the summit south following a well defined path that keeps to the higher ground, and eventually curves round to join the 'High Street' across which a clear path ascends the bank to the summit of Loadpot Hill. While the direct way down is to use the path to Mellguards north of Brock Crag, it is better to go south to Wether Hill, and descend the simple western slope to the ruined hut at the head of Fusedale. This little valley hidden from view, and not often thought of as a way to or from the tops, provides a pleasant route back to Howtown.


Copyright (C) 2007 B S Baker