A Boredale Circuit

25th February 2023

When certain fells cry out to be walked it usually means I've been neglecting them which is why we found ourselves walking a Bordale Circuit today. It's been close to five years since I was last on Beda Fell so a couple of weeks ago I emailed the guys did they fancy walking a Boredale Circuit but that weekend the weather wasn't on our side and we ended up walking the Lord's Seat Fells instead.

The walk was confirmed by mid week when it looked like we had the perfect weather window with sunny spells forecast throughout the day but there was only a hint of sunshine at the start of the walk which was replaced by grey high level cloud.

Despite there being daffodils and snow drops in the valleys at height it's still very much Winter on the Lakeland fells just as we experienced today with a fierce windchill topped with Wintery showers. Not the best mix but if your kitted out for what the weather can throw at you it was pleasent to be in the thick of it all.

Wainwright Guide Book Two
The Far Eastern Fells
The crowning glory of the Pikes, however, is the tarn from which they are named, cradled in a hollow just below the summit.

Ascent: 2,547 Feet - 776 Metres
Wainwrights: 3, Beda Fell - Angletarn Pikes - Place Fell
Visiting: 2, Bedafell Knott - Round How
Weather: Dry & Cloudy To Start With Wintery Showers PM. Freezing Level At Summit Height. Highs of 2°C Lows of 1°C Feels Like -4°C
Parking: Car Park, Martindale New Church
Area: Far Eastern
Miles: 8.1
Walking With: David Hall & Rod Hepplewhite
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 5 Hours
Route: Martindale New Church – Martindale – Winter Crag – Beda Fell – Bedafell Knott – Heckbeck Head – Angletarn Pikes – Boredale Hause – Steel Edge – Place Fell – Low Moss – High Dodd - Garth Head Farm – Martindale New Church

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA10 2NF
Grid Reference: NY 435 619
Notes: There are actually two car parks at Martindale New Church one of which is next to the Church itself and on the opposite side to the car park there is off road parking for around half a dozen well parked cars. Parking is free at both sites.


Map and Photo Gallery


Beda Fell, Winter Crag, Place Fell and High Dodd from Martindale 08:15am 1°C
We had arranged to meet at the car park at Martindale New Church where I arrived around 08:00am soon followed by David who pulled up alongside my car. The car park and the verge opposite were already starting to fill up which is getting more common even for a February. Rod arrived next and parked next to the Church wall as David and I chatted whilst watching a trio descend Hallin Fell.

We all greet with a hand shake and within ten minutes we were ready to leave. Rod had the bright idea to wear gaiters given how boggy it can get between Heckbeck Head and Angletarn Pikes todays second summit. It was a chilly morning with the temperature hovering just above freezing and with any luck the ground at height should be at least semi-frozen. As more cars arrived filling the last available spaces we closed our boots passing a young couple who were also heading up Hallin Fell where a 'morning' was shared.

Passing Martindale Old Church.
Don't let those blue skies fool you sadly they aren't to last.

Winter Crag from Winter Crag farm house.
That's Winter Crag where we gain right via a footpath behind the farm house.

Beda Fell from Winter Crag.
It was a short but steep ascent onto Winter Crag where we took in the views towards Beda Fell, Boredale and Ullswater to the north. Heading up from the Boredale valley were two walkers who reached the summit at the same time and more 'mornings' were shared. We left the walkers chatting and continued over Nickles seen in the foreground.

Views into the Boredale Valley.
With Place Fell seen over on the right.

Looking back over Nickles towards Winter Crag, Hallin Fell, Little Mell Fell and Ullswater.
With height gained we were starting to feel the sudden drop in temperature which was already registering in windchill.

Frozen ground below Beda Fell summit.
Deep in conversation sometimes planning future walks we crested the summit plateau to be met with frozen pools and frozen ground underfoot. Talking of frozen I can't feel the tips of my ears all the while David is yet to put a jacket or hat on.

Bedafell Knott, Satura Crag, Heck Crag, Heck Cove, and Heckbeck Head.
With the impressive backdrop of Caudale Moor, Red Screes, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag and St Sunday Crag with Boredale Hause Below.

Angletarn Pikes North summit comes into view with Dove Crag, Hart Crag, St Sunday Crag, Birks and Dollywagon Pike in the distance.
We incorrectly left the path only realising our mistake when we began to descend towards Boredale Hause which we quickly rectified by yomping back up hill and re locating the path we'd just left. That's Angletarn Pikes up ahead where we had expected to be walking through swollen ground which due to the temperature remained frozen. Happy Days.

High Street, Gray Crag, Hartsop Dodd, Caudale Moor and Red Screes from Angletarn Pikes summit.
The windchill was probably at its coldest here on Angletarn Pikes making it difficult to hang around to enjoy the impressive views whilst remembering it was here twelve years ago that I completed my first round of the Wainwrights. Back then there was a proper summit cairn into which I buried a champagne cork, with the numbers 214 written on it. All gone now but the memories will last forever.

Time for a couple more photos before we leave.
Here looking over Brothers Water towards Middle Dodd, Red Screes, High Hartsop Dodd, Little Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield and Hartsop above How.

Moody Kirkstone fells.
With Angletarn Pikes South summit and Brock Crags seen in the foreground.

Views towards Hart Crag, Fairfield, St Sunday Crag, Birks, Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn, Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor.
We doubled back on ourselves and left Angletarn Pikes south summit for another day before descending towards Boredale Hause using a grassy trod which avoided the crowds now arriving at Boredale Hause.

Place Fell and High Dodd from above Boredale Hause.
Now on the return leg of the walk there's still some climbing to do with Place Fell next on the agenda.

Hail shower over Boredale from Place Fell summit.
I couldn't but help take my hat off to Rod who only yesterday traversed the III Bell ridge not before summiting Sour Howes and Sallows first so not wanting to burn Rod out who is back out again on Monday we dropped it down a gear and took in the ascent of Place Fell in our stride passing three Golden Retrievers with their owners before being held to a five minute wait as we let a group of thirteen walkers descend the rock gully below Round How. Now that was some wait but worth it with the thank you's we received from each and every walker.

On cresting Round How we found ourselves walking headlong into the wind having just caught the fringes of a hail shower as it passed over the Boredale valley to east. It was time to batten down the hatches along with my hat I added the hood from my Montane stretchy hoodie topping it off with the hood from my jacket looking over at Rod who had done the same. I think David turned his collar up but I could be mistaken.

Watching the hail shower head towards the High Street fells.
We were really lucky just catching the edge of the shower but that didn't take away how chilly it was up here today.

Descending towards High Dodd.
Those with a keen eye may be able to spot the next shower approaching which looks to be over Penrith at the moment, I wonder if we'll get lucky again.

Hail shower number two.
We were lucky in the sense that we'd been able to cover some ground before the next shower arrived which caught us during our descent into the Boredale Valley. The hail came first then the rain before clearing south east towards the High Street fells again.

It was only when we reached the valley floor had the shower completely passed by which time, just fifteen minutes from the cars we were soaked through.

The Boredale Valley.

The Boredale Valley.
Whilst David and I skirted back through the valley Rod decided that he wanted to ascend Howsteadbrow which is the area beyond the stone wall on the left. The ascent would see him gain the lower ridge of Winter Crag before dropping back into Martindale which was a energetic finish to the walk to say the least. David and I walked the quiet lane leaving Boredale behind often as views opened out Over Sandwick towards Ullswater and Gowbarrow Fell. Stepping aside for the odd car we descended towards the bridge over Howgrain Beck where we stopped to see Rod's progress, we couldn't see him. After crossing the bridge we rose steeply passing Googarth Holiday cottage whose small front garden was abundant with snowdrops.

We continued to look back for Rod before arriving back at Martindale New Church where cars chocked not just the car park but the lane too. It wasn't the best site to end our walk by but we put it aside and began our kit down whilst looking forward to a late lunch. Just as I unscrewed the lid from my flask Rod appeared onto the car park smiling away and if we couldn't but help smile back whilst thinking "For a young 60 year old that man has got some legs on him"


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