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back to Wainwright Classics

Place Fell
by John Burland - member no. 2

When I spoke to our vice-president Hunter Davies shortly after he had written “The Best of Wainwright” in 2005, I asked him why he had chosen Hallin Fell as one of his two fells from the Far Eastern book in preference to Place Fell, particularly after AW had given the return walk from Sandwick through to Side Farm such high praise in his notes. Hunter said he hadn’t thought about Place Fell when he was drawing up his list but felt that, after I had reminded him about AW’s comments, he really should have included it in the book rather than Hallin Fell.

Place Fell dominates the scene eastwards when looking across Ullswater from either Patterdale or Glenridding. Looking at the fell from across the lake, the western slopes look formidable but the route I will describe shortly takes the walker up the much easier route via Boredale Hause and in doing so approaches the summit from a southerly direction.


Goldrill Beck

The approach to the start of the walk is along the track signed for Side Farm.
Cars should be left either in one of the parking areas on the main road or in one
of the car parks in Patterdale or Glenrydding. Walk along the track towards the farm crossing over Goldrill Beck on its journey into Ullswater. At the farm a sign
to the right shows the track leading to Boredale Hause, climbing 1,000 feet over the next mile. Boredale Hause is a walker’s crossroads with tracks leading off to Angletarn Pikes, Beda Fell and Place Fell.

The track to Place Fell is the one heading in a northerly direction and is the one that climbs more steeply than the others. Most people will reach the summit from here in around 15 to 20 minutes and you will deserve the rest when you reach
the summit cairn, as it is a fairly steep pull up from the hause. However, it is an excellent place to rest and reflect. AW said of the view from the summit of Place Fell, “No other viewpoint gives such an appreciation of the design of this lovely corner of Lakeland” and who am I to argue!


Ullswater 1976 - group on flanks of Place Fell

Upon leaving the summit the route continues in a northeasterly direction for approximately 1 mile to the sheepfold at Low Moss and upon reaching this, follow the path northwest to drop down by Scalehow Beck towards the lakeshore. Turn left by the barn and follow the track with the lake now on your right hand side. From here, the route continues along the lakeshore for the next three miles back to Side Farm. In Book 2, AW describes this walk as follows. “It is the author’s opinion that the lakeside path from Scalehow Beck near Sandwick, to Patterdale (in that direction), is the most beautiful and rewarding walk in Lakeland.”


Lakeside Path near Silver Bay

If you have never climbed Place Fell and returned along the lakeside path, give it
a try the next time you are in Patterdale.

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