Blog post 2
Fells: Sale Fell, Ling Fell and Whinlatter
Wainwright count: 3
Date: 12th December
With: My dad
My dad and I made the journey up to Wythop Mill, just near Bassenthwaite Lake in the North of the Lake District, following an early start on a dark but clear morning. The previous days had seen the Lake District receive some of its first snow of the year, and with my dad not having done much fell walking in the last few years, I decided that it would be a nice easy re-introduction for him.
We parked just north of Eskin on the bend by the little bridge, where we arrived at around 8:00am on a perfect winter’s day. There was no snow in the valley’s but a heavy dusting on the fells that we would be walking, which we could see from where we had parked the car.
Our first hill was Sale Fell, which like all three of the today’s hills was only a short walk of about 1mile to the summit. We left the car and walked relatively steeply up the wall on a well-walked track, before the gradient eased and the path slanted NE towards the summit. There was a couple of other dog-walkers out on the hill, probably on their daily route, but my father and I, and our two little dogs arrived at the summit enjoying beautiful views in all directions.
To the North we could see Binsey and the top of Bassenthwaite Lake, and to the East the Dodds, which were heavily covered in snow. We followed the same route down, before walking the short distance down the road to follow the Corpse Road up to the heather covered top of Ling Fell. The wind was starting to pick up a bit now, but the day was still clear and while cold, was the perfect winter’s day for being out on the fells. We enjoyed a few moments on the top of Ling Fell, looking over towards Sale Fell where we had come from and even being able to enjoy views out over the Solway Firth and the Galloway Hills, in SW Scotland.
We headed back down to the car, before driving round to Whinlatter forest, a 15 minute drive, which took us down the side of Bassenthwaite Lake on the A66. Arriving at the Visitor’s Centre in the forest, we walked up the forest trails before turning off down one of the forest tracks heading West towards the edge of the woodland, where there was a gate, which opened out on to the open hillside of Whinlatter.
Dad and Sally, his Border Terrier, heading away from the forest up towards the top of Whinlatter.
Heading through the gate, we made our way up the hill along the wall, before picking up a track heading West to the top of Whinlatter. Underfoot was frozen and hard thankfully, as we made our way over some frozen bogs, which in Spring or Autumn, or anytime following heavy rainfall would have made for rather messy progress!
Dad and the dogs during the walk
We made our way back to the car, where I made a brew on my little Primus ETA Express stove (cracking little stove that the wife bought me!). We had warmed up before making the nearly 2 hour hour trip home to near Preston.
I don’t like, or usual use my car to move between fells on a walk, but as I had walked the fells in between Ling and Sale Fell and Whinlatter and I had the old man in tow, I decided this was best on this occasion. While I enjoy smaller fells on occasion, I prefer to be leaving the car early doors to know that I have a full day ahead of me away from the towns and hustle and bustle, returning back to my car after a full day in the hills (or even a night)!
On this occasion, it was nice to spend some father-son time together, and it was a welcome distraction for my Dad who lost my mum in the Summer, so to ease him back into the hills was great for us all. It was extremely difficult losing my mum, aged 59, but it was her and my dad that got me into walking as a little lad, and it is when walking in the countryside that I feel closest to her, so it was great to share this with Dad too. Hopefully this is the start of many walks together in the future!