Loweswater is little outside the Lake District honeypots, so sees less footfall. It is located west of Keswick and, having three Marilyns scattered in the vicinity, it was a suitable hunting ground for me. The weather was forecast to be bright and breezy and I arrived in Loweswater village at the early hour of 8am. I was able to find a car parking spot by the phone box in the village.
First up was Low Fell at 423m (1,388ft), seen here from the approach across the fields.
The buildings at Foulsyke are skirted to the left (south west) a further field crossed and then you are into some pleasant woodland. It is then just a question of finding your left turn and a sharp pull then takes you up to a broad ridge and the top a short way to the right. I arrived here at about 8.55. It was cool in the wind. Views all around were good. Here is Crummock Water
Then the view north west towards the sea.
And the view east towards Skiddaw.
And now to Mellbreak, which would be my final hill of the round.
On the way down I followed a fence line a little to the south before re-entering the woodland. At Foulsyke I followed the road south west and then dog legged along the road to the car park for Loweswater and thence to High Nook Farm.
The path takes you up on to the fells above, though disintegrates a little as the higher ground is reached. I arrived at the col between Blake Fell (the next objective) and Gavel Fell and turned right. Unfortunately the cloud came down and views from the 573m (1,880ft) Blake Fell were limited. Here I am looking down to Cogra Moss.
Jet didn’t look too impressed with the conditions.
I didn’t stay long, it was too cold and the shelter within the cairn was occupied. So it was back down to the col and up to Gavel Fell, not a Marilyn but a Wainwright. The grass by the cairn was short cropped and dry so I sat down for a bite to eat, back to the wind, willing the clouds to lift.
The clouds obliged but not until the route across Whiteoak Moss was being started. This is a featureless boggy morass. My recently treated boots stood up to the wet and ooze as we headed for the interestingly named Hen Comb, another Wainwright. It did not look much like a hen’s comb from my angle of approach. Perhaps it does from the valley. I aimed to its right and joined the base of its south slopes. The ground dried out and a pleasant short steep rise took me to the top. From here I looked back to Blake Fell and Gavel Fell.
Buttermere and Fleetwith Pike were now visible.
And this was the view to Low Fell and Loweswater.
The way off was north for a couple of hundred metres and then down the steep eastern flank of Hen Comb into Mosedale. Across the way was Mellbreak.
In the photo above you can see a line slanting down from right to left. This is Todd’s Trod and was the route down. The way up was another straight up step way. I stopped briefly at the foot of the climb for some more to eat.
Reaching the ridge I visited both tops of Mellbreak. First the higher south top from where Buttermere, though not Fleetwith Pike, was hidden.
The northern top looked higher.
It was certainly more aesthetically pleasing.
And Grasmoor dominated to the east.
There is way off down the north nose of Mellbreak but it looked craggy and I was uncertain as to how Jet would cope. So it was back to the dip between the two tops, down the way I had come up for a two hundred metres or so and, by a small cairn, via the turn off for the Trod. You could see why Todd (whoever he was – a local shepherd?) had created this way. It led at an easy angle downwards crossing the occasional scree shoots to the fields at the northern base of the hill.
Here the path down the nose was intercepted and continued through a further small piece of woodland before joining up with the public footpath to Loweswater village via Kirkgate Farm where the farm dog came out to greet us.
So it was a very nice 18k (11 mile) walk with around 1,350m (4,400ft) of ascent taking about 7 hours including stops.
That was not it for the day though. There was a fourth Marilyn to bag, an isolated hill to the west called Dent. 40 minutes up and 30 minutes down. It was a bit of a lump. The Coast to Coast path goes over it, but that is about all one can say about it.