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" Sale Fell from Wythop Church "

Date & start time:     Saturday 28th September 2019.    4.30 pm start.

Location of Start :    Roadside near St Margaret's Church, Wythop, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 192 302 )

Places visited :         Sale Fell summit, The Rivings, Lothwaite and back via Routenbeck Valley.

Walk details :             2.75 miles, 880 feet of ascent, 1 hours 40 mins.

Highest point :          Sale Fell.  1,177ft - 359m

Walked with :             Ann and our dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                    Sunny but becoming overcast.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


It is Saturday and the weather today is good, but the forecast for tomorrow is much poorer.

We take advantage of the fine weather and drive a short way around to Wythop in order to walk up Sale Fell.

Our route this afternoon has not been finalised, we'll just see how we go . . . first decision, clockwise or anticlockwise ?

The view across Silver Meadow nature reserve as we park the car.

The 'AW outlier' of Caer Mote Hill is in the background and the River Derwent flowing out of Bassenthwaite is somewhere in between.

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Plenty of parking on the roadside

just beyond St Margaret's Church.

Someone's just leaving after a dog walk

as we turn up in the middle of the afternoon.

We hardly saw anyone else.


The path from the gate rises diagonally up from the start.

Over the years this path is getting narrower 

due to the encroaching gorse.


The sun is quite bright so the colour is washed from the photo,

A photographer's nightmare but on the plus side

it helps us decide which way to do the walk.

Walking west into the low sun later on will be less attractive

so we'll walk anticlockwise, into the sun to start,

while it is still high in the sky.


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Looking away from the sun, the colour is much more vibrant.

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We take early advantage of the seat at the stop of the first slope.

It was dedicated to the late Mike Saunders.

We never knew him but we did meet his wife here once.


If she reads this, or walks this way again,

she might bear in mind that the plank is fairly rotten and loose

and could do with replacing.   It would be nice to think that it

will continue to function as a memorial viewpoint seat well into the future.

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The view to the left from the seat includes St Margaret's Church, down there in the trees.

We continue our walk by heading up the fell towards the coll,

the one on the way to Kelswick Farm that we park below when doing the walk from the other side.

An old fell gate with slate posts has fallen into disrepair but scenically still looks good.

Binsey, where we recently walked with Ian, is on the right hand side above the lake.

Embleton and the old quarry in the trees on Seathwaite How.

The forest behind is Setmurthy Common and the grassy part of the same fell is another AW 'outlier' known as Watch Hill.

The broad path continues on up the fell and as it does, the view becomes more expansive.

There was the option of this alternative diagonal path, more like a sheep track,

which seemed to be heading for the summit in a more direct fashion.

Our route plan changed to include it . . . why not . . . it's a fine day and we are a law unto to ourselves this afternoon !

Looking back at the view towards Cockermouth as Ann follows close behind.

As we walk up the fell the vegetation changes from bracken to grass . . . far better for the sheep.

The sooner someone comes up with a method of controlling the spread of bracken then a great deal of farmers,

loads of sheep, and for that matter quite a number fellwalkers will be a lot happier.

Plain sailing now . . . all the way to the top.

There's an odd pile of stones along the way, possibly an old grouse butt as seen on neighbouring Ling Fell.

On the other hand it may just be "an odd piles of stones along the way" !

When our kids were young, we 'lost' one of them in these folds and undulations on and near the ridge of Sale Fell.

He's never forgiven us for abandoning him as a child . . . for all of four minutes !

No chance of losing these two . . . they return like magnets at the call of a whistle.

White quartz outcrops near the top . . . and a view of Skiddaw as we get our first look over the rise.

Summit dogs . . . sometimes it is only the colour of the collar that tells them apart nowadays.

Ann sits on the top and takes in the wider view.

Ahead is Keswick and behind it the Dodds and the Helvellyn Ridge.

St John's Church spire stands out above the Keswick rooftops.

Zooming in more closely on Brown Cove Crags and the summit of Helvellyn itself.

As we leave I pause for a quick spin around . . . just for you.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

I've reached the'spot height' cairn having just crossed The Rivings, which is an old flat cultivated area

from the dim and distant past, with signs of the old ploughed furrows still very much in existence.

The view back toward Sale Fell . . . Ann has taken the low road whilst I've diverted onto this lowly summit.

Our paths converge very shortly after as we head for Lothwaite Fell.

Recent rains have left pools of water on the path and reflections on their surfaces.

Perhaps Dougal has just spotted himself in the water . . . Dylan certainly isn't bothered, it seems he's just cooling his feet !

The Lothwaite Ridge provides the best viewpoint for Bassenthwaite Lake.

It seems that part of Ladies Table on the right has been clear felled . . . will that make it easier to reach the top ?

Miresyke, their boathouse and St Bega's Church grace the fields on the other side of the lake.

The sound of a low drone of a light aircraft atrracts our attention.

Being used to the speed of the RAF jets, searching for such a slow moving object as this Cessna aircraft was more difficult than expected.


Just before the summit, the seat dedicated to Margaret Brown . . .
. . . also recently visited by Myles & Megan and/or their family.

Dylan on the rock outcrop that marks the summit of Lothwaite Fell.

Moving on . . . there are more undulations as we leave the summit.

Eventually the path reaches an old stone wall that surrounded the Lothwaite forestry plantation.

Not before giving us more views down to Bassenthwaite Lake.

Odd trees remain but the old forest was clear felled for timber a few years back.

Sadly the wall in in a poor state of repair, so they've built a fence on the other side to stop the sheep straying.

The wall rather determines navigation in these parts, but as it descends, the path tends to gravitate down leaving the wall behind.

The damp path crosses the infant Routen Beck . . . other paths are available.

Waiting at the gate while I was taking a photo.

The path, which is quite a well pronounced track, leads onward and downward.

Ahead we see Silver Meadow and the northern end of Bass Lake once again.

On the fell to our left is an old quarry . . . perhaps that is the historic reason for the wide path.

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As the day has progressed

the sunshine has given way to overcast skies.


By the time we near the end of the walk

the sky looks decidedly watery.


The forecasted overnight rain

would seem to be on its way.


Time to head home for supper

and we might even light the fire !


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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . blue skies rather than grey.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 22nd Sept - Exploring Binsey with Ian

A previous time up here - 18th April 2007 Sale Fell from Wythop Church

Next walk - 30th Sept - Setmurthy and the Derwent


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