Mellbreak, Hen Combe, Loweswater and Fellbarrow
A figure of eight - A walk in the Loweswater area of the Western Fells which could be done in two shorter parts if preferred.
3D outline of route
First time I've parked here I think - The red phone box at Loweswater - usually all the spaces are taken and so I go to Scale Hill Bridge or Maggie's Bridge Car Parks nearby, but today at 08:45 I was lucky enough to get a spot and that's on a Bank Holiday weekend as well.
Setting off initially, I had intended to do an easier walk today (Fellbarrow & Low Fell with a walk around Loweswater itself). But the weather was looking good and set fair for the day, I was also in the lakes early and so I soon enlarged my plans to include Mellbreak and Hen Combe. A three hour walk became a 6 hour one - but I've come all this way to walk so why not.
It was a good decision.
A wander past the Kirkstile Inn before heading towards Kirkhead Farm
Peaceful and quiet as the sun starts to break through the clouds over Crummock Water
Something special about Mellbreak - It's always been one of my favourites
After the farm, the walled track comes to an end and the woodland signals the start of the ascent.
A grassy climb at first, but a scree path up ahead
Looking back down the grassy path towards Loweswater
Always a bit messy on the steep scree section at the Northern end - Can 'Fix the Fells' help out on this one? It would certainly add to the enjoyment if this short section were to be upgraded
Beautiful view back towards Loweswater with Carling Knott and Burnbank Fells to the left and Darling & Low Fells on the right
Much more fun on the meandering path as the height is gained - nice views all the way down to Crummock Water too.
A shimmering Crummock Water with reflections of the mighty Grasmoor behind.
Mellbreak summit (North Top)
Walking between the North & South summits is a trek of about 2/3 mile. Today I decided to turn off at the depression in the middle of the saddle and head westwards down into Mosedale.
The right turn isn't identified with a cairn, but the path is reasonably clear to spot and follow.
Looking down into Mosedale with Hen Combe on the other side.
In the past I've just gone down into the valley and then straight up the flank of Hen Combe. It can be a bit of a slog, so I decided to head round the South of Hen Combe and ascend via the more conventional route. This way, height is gained more gradually rather than the previous 'forward charge' approach.
There's the 'One Tree'
The only tree to be marked on an ordnance survey map.
Crossing Mosedale Beck - Not a particularly scenic bridge, but it certainly serves it's purpose.
Looking back towards Mellbreak as the slightly wet path follows the route of the beck.
The grassy climb up to Hen Combe - Time for a coffee break I think after the summit.
Hen Combe summit - looking towards Buttermere.
A gentle descent down the northern ridge of Hen Combe as I head back to where I started earlier in the day.
Another Mosedale beck crossing - this this time via the stepping stones - Easy
He's in with his girls now !
Time for a brief bit of narrow lane walking, as I follow the road down to Maggies Bridge car park and Loweswater
Serene views whilst enjoying lunch
At the northern end of Loweswater, I headed Eastwards towards Waterend and the Mosser Road
Now I was going to go to the junction with the Mosser Road, turn left and head up onto the fells, but at Waterend I did a shortcut by following the track opposite the road layby. Just for a change.
This gate is where the path begins to join the Mosser Road.
A sharp right turn and its onto Mosser Fell
Not really a proper summit photo - But here's the top of Fellbarrow - Unfortunately a family had decided to break with convention and enjoy their picnic at the summit itself - Oh well, I already have loads of this photo's from this summit anyway - so no harm done.
Heading towards Smithy Fell as I start the descent from Fellbarrow. At this point, I decided to take a path and veer off left and pick up the Thackthwaite Farm path which can be seen ahead descending diagonally. The bracken can be extremely high on the north side of Low Fell at this time of the year, so I chose the longer but gentler descent today.
Must get windy up here !
Think these trees must be related to those on Great Mell Fell.
Looking back up to Fellbarrow
Whiteside and Grasmoor on the left with the High Stile Ridge in the distance and Mellbreak on the right
Thackthwaite Farm turning - Now for a couple of miles of country lane walking. Much longer today than I had originally intended - but a really enjoyable outing all the same.