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~Ullock Pike~

19th June 2021

Ullock Pike

Ullock Pike from Skiddaw Descent

Keswick Railway Path Railway Bridge

This weekend in The Lakes is based at Burns Farm Campsite, St.John's in the Vale near Keswick. Early on Saturday morning, Molly and I had a walk from the campsite and found ourselves walking along the "new" railway path. Three bridges were washed away by Storm Desmond (2015) and two have been resited, but the third (right) could not be economically restored to its original position due to the river being substantially widened by the floodwater. So a new bridge was made and put in place. Overall the job has been superbly completed, but signs requesting cyclists slow down are a little at odds with providing a perfectly flat tarmac surface.

Dodd Wood Car Park

Later, at 10:00hrs we find ourselves at Dodd Wood car park on the A591. It's £7 for a stay of over 4hrs and on a different day, I would have worked hard to find a lay-by and parked for nowt, not today. Jo Hall joins me for this one and Amber is being dog-sat elsewhere as it's going to be a bit much for her. The walk starts on forest tracks in a northerly direction.

Woodland Path

As we gain height, forestry becomes more like woodland and a bit more varied.



A view back at the woods from where we emerged. The lake is Bassenthwaite and the fell beyond is Barf. Beyond Ullock Pike, we will aim for Skiddaw and of all the times I've been up there, this will be the first time ascending this way.

Ullock Pike Ascent

Ullock Pike Ascent

We are on the way up "The Edge".

Wainwright Baggers

Wainwright Baggers

The couple from Manchester were mopping up summits on their list of "Wainwrights". They are sat on the false summit, a wise choice as the real one was somewhat duller...

Molly Ullock Pike

Molly on top of Ullock Pike 2,230ft asl

An enjoyable fifteen minutes later we were on top of neighbouring Long Side. Really, Ullock Pike is part of Long Side or vice versa. Long Side is higher. But then there would be only 213 "Wainwrights" and that doesn't sound right. 230ft of ascent isn't much of a mountain climb, is it? Long Side can be climbed via Gable Gill, missing out Ullock Pike...not many folk will do that.

Molly Long Side Carl Side
Molly~Long Side 2,405ft asl
Carl Side

We take the path on the left and avoid another gimme, Carl Side.

Skiddaw ascent

To Skiddaw

780ft of ascent, we keep left and it's a tough one.



30 minutes of hard graft later and we are on the summit territory of Skiddaw. It's Molly's second time up here, last time was up from the north via Bakestall. It looks rather busy.

Skiddaw Summit

Molly on top of Skiddaw 3,053ft asl

It's now 13:00hrs and time for a bite to eat, so we head north to find a small shelter, not out of the chilly breezez, but away from the crowds. I had earlier discovered that my butty box had not travelled from the campsite to the car park. As luck would have it, I had two M&S Spiced Buns in the car along with some shortbread biscuits and a pack of Pringles. One Spiced Bun was enough along with a couple of biscuits and a few of the hyperbolic paraboloid chips.

Long Side and Ullock Pike

To Carl Side

The descent route of Skiddaw was almost as challenging as the earlier ascent, very steep and slippy.

Carl Side

To Carl Side

There has been a shortage of sunshine today, but June has been a predominantly dry month, as was April. Shame about dismal and damp May. In May the little tarn on in the col would have been enough to refresh Molly, but as it is I have enough water for her.


The Way Down

The little peak is known as Carlesddam. The little fir trees are all very young and I don't remember seeing them before. They don't look as though they have been planted by man (or woman)*.



From White Stones, we head down to the col between Dodd and the foot of Carl Side.


The two Doddery ladies are out for a walk in their backyard, one lives in Applethwaite, just down the lane. Not too far now before the end of the walk and a cake opportunity.

Old Sawmill Tearoom

The Old Sawmill Tea Room

Just now, it's a takeaway service with outdoor seating. Disposable catering cups and only one customer allowed inside at the counter at any one time. The sun is shining and the tea with cake is most welcome.

Walkers: Jo Hall, Molly and Me.

Time taken: 6hrs over a distance of about 10 miles.

Route: Dodd Wood car park, Old Plantation and Rabbit Warren to the footpath up to Ling How, The Edge, Ullock Pike, Long Side, Skiddaw, Carl Side, White Stones, Skill Beck, Dodd Wood car park.

Weather and conditions: Bright but little direct sunshine on the tops, a bit of a cool breeze.

Refreshments: Tea and a different type of Tiffin at The Old Sawmill Tea Room, all very good.

* other gender choices are now available

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2021 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....