Loadpot Hill from Roehead

14th August 2020

I have to admit it seems a little extreme being back in Lakeland just 12hrs after last nights sunset walk on Black Combe when even my wife asked "why didn't you just sleep in the car" but I'm the type of guy who likes his own bed. The plan was for me to have a lie in but me being me doesn't do lie ins and by 8am I was up wondering what time I should leave so after a breakfast I was good to go.

I've spoiled myself this week indulging in my favourite pass time starting on the Glyderau range in Snowdonia then returning to my beloved Lakeland for the Birkett's greater traverse of Skiddaw on a day when temperatures were almost 30°C followed by last nights fantastic sunset walk on Black Combe.

A few days ago I purposely chose this walk to end my week off which I knew wouldn't disappoint, it's a favourite route of mine which I have done a few times before each time bettering the last, I wasn't looking to better any previous walk I just wanted to bring my walking week to an end with what can only be described as the classic that is Loadpot Hill from Roehead, a walk that has it all from stunning views over Ullswater to that feeling of being in wide open space while being accompanied by bird song carried along by the gentlest of breezes.

Wainwright Guide Book Two
The Far Eastern Fells

Loadpot Hill

Man is not the enemy, only the fox and the buzzard. Loadpot Hill is a sanctuary for all wild life.

Ascent: 1,802 Feet - 550 Metres
Wainwrights: 3, Arthur's Pike - Bonscale Pike - Loadpot Hill
Weather: Hot & Sunny, Slight Breeze Over The Summits. Highs of 29.7°C Lows of 21°C
Parking: Roadside Parking, Rowhead
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 9
Walking With: On My Own
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 4 Hours
Route: Roehead - Barton Fell - Arthur's Pike - Swarth Beck - Bonscale Pike - Lowther House Chimney - Loadpot Hill - High Street Roman Road - The Cockpit - Roehead

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA10 2LT
Grid Reference: NY 478 523
Notes: There is roadside parking at Roehead just outside Pooley Bridge with room to park up to ten cars. This is a really popular spot to start a walk with Arthur's Pike and Heughscar Hill close by. Finding Roehead is pretty much straight forward just head straight through Pooley Bridge, slight right at the Church until you arrive at a T Junction, head straight on for about half a mile before arriving at the Roehead. Parking is free.


Map and Photo Gallery


Barton Fell and Arthur's Pike from Roehead 11:15am 21°C

By the time I'd filled up the car and grabbed some sandwiches for lunch it was 11:15am when I pulled up at one of three remaining parking spaces at Roehead, after passing a few large groups walking up the lane from Pooley Bridge Roehead was quite a busy place this morning. Two more cars pull up as I kit up, their occupants I will see from time to time during my walk.

The plan is to visit Arthur's Pike via Barton Fell seen up ahead, one of the main reasons why I love this walk so much are the views over Ullswater between Barton Fell and Arthur's Pike which continue as I keep to the western edge of the ridge as far as Bonscale Fell, then a bit of leg work is required in order to reach the summit of Loadpot Hill before the long walk back to Roehead via the High Street Roman Road.

Barton Fell appears up ahead.
After leaving Roehead I continued up the stoney track passing access paths onto Heughscar Hill to my left and a second path to my right which also heads in the general direction of Barton Fell, not before taking a slight descent followed by the crossing of Elder Beck via a Ford after which the path ascends back onto the main path between Heughscar Hill and Barton Fell, this is a path best avoided as the large group found out who had passed me while I was kitting up who seemed to have got bogged down, my advice is to continue as far as the new signpost for the High Street Roman Road which also passes The Cockpit Stone Circle and rarely gets bogged down.

Views back towards Heughscar Hill.
You can actually see the land dip towards the centre left while if you keep right all the boggy bits are avoided.

Approaching Barton Fell.
Despite it not being midday yet it's another scorcher and although the haze hasn't completely lifted it's a tad clearer than it was midweek.

The North Eastern end of Ullswater.
With Dunmallard Hill and Pooley Bridge seen right. It's great to see the camp sites are busy which might explain why there are so many people about.

Hazy Eastern fells from Arthur's Pike summit.
One of the later arrivals back at Roahead had set off before me and had just left Arthur's Pike before I arrived, which meant besides a young family approaching I had the summit to myself for a few minutes before leaving for the footpath which navigates around the upper reaches of Swarth Beck and Bonscale Pike.

Bonscale Pike and Swarth Fell from Arthur's Pike.
With Hallin Fell and Ullswater seen right while the eastern fells look quite faint within the haze.

Ruined sheepfold, upper reaches of Swarth Beck.
With Arthur's Pike seen right.

Great Mell Fell and Ullswater from Swarth Towers on Bonscale Pike.
I left the sheepfold and began the steady ascent towards Bonscale Pike encountering boggy ground underfoot which was expected. The breeze had picked up into a cooler wind which was still comfortable to sit in so seeing as I have the summit to myself and with no one approaching I decide to eat lunch while looking down on Ullswater and its tiny sailboats.

Hallin Fell and Ullswater from Swarth Towers on Bonscale Fell.
I've had worse views whilst eating lunch! Just brilliant.

Looking back on Arthur's Pike.
Seen here over Raven Crag and Swarthbeck Gill.

Ullswater Steamer.
Passing Oldchurch Bay.

Ullswater Steamers.
The Steamer over on the right is probably heading towards the landing stage below Gowbarrow Fell and then onwards to Glenridding while the Steamer seen left is berthing at Howtown before sailing back to Pooley Bridge with its new passengers.

Loadpot Hill ahead.
My plan is to stick to the western edge of the ridge then 'round' the southern flank of Loadpot Hill seen far right, alternatively another path ascends directly just off to the left, both paths require a good slog up towards the summit and it's upto the individual which one you take. My choice had to be the longer one but that's only because I really enjoy the approach to Loadpot Hill from the south (Lowther House Chimney) side.

Steel End on Steel Knotts, Hallin Fell, and Howtown from Brock Crag.
While through the haze Gowbarrow Fell and Great Mell Fell appear.

Views over Fusedale and Bannerdale valleys.
Towards Steel Knotts (Pikeawassa) Brownthwaite Crag, Gowk Hill, The Nab, Rest Dodd, Beda Fell, Place Fell, Birks, St Sunday Crag, Nethermost Pike, Dollywagon Pike, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag and Red Screes...pity above the haze, still an amazing view though.

Loadpot Hill summit.
I checked around and saw the woman head for the more direct path who had already left the summit by the time I had reached it due to my longer excursion around the waist of the fell. On reaching Lowther House Chimney a family eat lunch so the camera doesn't come out while I enjoy the gentler approach to the summit. I hadn't been here long when another couple arrive with their dog and after a quick Hi I leave and begin my ascent towards Lambert Lad.

Arthur's Pike (right) and Bonscale Pike (left) taken from the descent of Loadpot Hill.
I bump into the lady who had reached the summit before me who was sitting in the grass eating a snack, we pass comment on how we both enjoyed this route as the conversation turned to where we where from, Wigan I explained, Penrith she followed...after bidding the lady 'enjoy the rest of your day' it occurred to me that I was sure Id met this lady before back in June on Branstree who was also from Penrith and of a similar age, well doesn't look like I'm going to find out because by the time I realised this I'd been walking for twenty minutes.

Passing Lambert Lad.
Which is actually a Boundary stone found just off the path to the right in amongst the tall wild grass and can be easily dismissed as just another stone.

High Street Roman Road.
The smell of wild heather accompanied my descent while a scorching sun shone directly overhead. I couldn't have enjoyed my return to Roehead more if I had tried.

The Cockpit Stone Circle.

I left the Roman Road and linked back up with the main path between Barton Fell and Heughscar Hill before arriving at Cockpit Stone Circle where I stopped to take a few photos. In most directions I can see folk wondering about the land but I am blessed to have the Cockpit to myself even if its for just a few minutes. A young mother and daughter approach the same mother and daughter who had taken the last parking place as I kitted up earlier and I wondered had they been up onto Arthur's Pike while the other lady I was speaking to back on Loadpot Hill is probably not too far behind.

After leaving the stone circle I start to head back to Roehead where I pass more families on the track, I dreaded to think how busy the parking was but found it no different from when I left were most folk appeared to have walked up from Pooley Bridge or their camp sites. As I change into my North Face lows for the drive home it dawns on me that this is the last walk of my week off but I have two more days of family time to look forward too and I'm sure it wont be long until I'm back.


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