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About Summiteer

~Loadpot Hill from Pooley Bridge~

17th July 2020

Dodd Gill

Dodd Gill


Pooley Bridge Car Park Pooley New Bridge

Friday 17th July and another contest with the elements. Today the Mountain Weather Information Service is suggesting the furthest north and east of Cumbria could well remain dry whereas the bulk of Lakeland will have a wet day with low cloud. So, Pooley Bridge it is for an ascent of Loadpot Hill, the temporary car park is free of charge and is located on the "Watermillock" side of the river and can be accessed from the A66 / A592. The new bridge, replacing that which was destroyed by Storm Desmond, is of stainless steel construtcion, you will not find too many bridges like this one.



I had considered using the steamer service to get to Howtown, but (A) I missed the boat and (B) you are supposed to book online in advance and at the time of my visit are not selling single tickets (to help with social distancing). Such is quite discriminatory against single travelllers of whom there are plenty and also disadvantages those who do not use the internet. Leaving on time also works against those who don't check the timetable.

Waterside Campsite

Waterside Campsite

Having followed the shoreline path for a while, walkers are led through Waterside Campsite. The path has been diverted away from the farmyard but conveniently passes this refreshment opportunity. It would have been rude not to stop for a coffee, so that's what I did, just briefly standing 2m away from the customer before me at the counter. Exchanging brief pleasantries, I'm quite sure it was a well-known television presenter, but I didn't ask her if she was so-and-so and for that matter, she didn't ask me if I was whoever I might be, fair enough.

Swarthbeck Gill

Swarthbeck Gill

After another 40 minutes or so of roadwalking (which can be avoided) I chose to walk up to Swarthbeck Farm and then along the foot of Bonscale Pike as far as Howtown.

Swarthbeck Farm
Swarthbeck Farm
Nesting - Climbing Restriction

The Ravens were monitored and there were found to be 10 pairs, however one was not seen again and the remaining ones were given the title of Corvid 19 for this season.

Howtown Walk

To Howtown

Mellguards Fusedale
Into Fusedale
Access to Cote Farm

Walkers are encouraged to cross the beck again near the final approach to Cote Farm and head into the open spaces of Fusedale. Soon, an ascent route for Loadpot Hill comes into view.

Dodd Gill

Dodd Gill

Over the bridge and then up through the bracken on a route offered by Wainwright. He warns of the tall bracken in summer and in the end it became impossible to follow a path, so we ventured into the gill.

Dodd Gill


Much easier walking in the confines of the gill, at times it was a challenge over loose rocks and care needs to be taken. Not a recommended route for the less able or stupid.



Out of the gill and up the last 500ft or so over grass and rocks, still dry.

Molly Loadpot Hill

Molly on top of Loadpot Hill 2,205ft asl

Just this bit was in cloud. My last time up on this group of fells, that is Arthur's Pike to Loadpot Hill, was back in 2009. Maybe this is also my last time up on these fells, a little sunshine would help...

Loadpot Hill

To Bonscale Pike

I'd heard in the pub the night before that there had been 20 minute queues on Striding Edge recently and I suppose that's nothing compared with the wait for the podium on Snowdon; there is something very rewarding about having all this space to yourself.

Bonscale Pike

Molly on top of Bonscale Pike 1,718ft asl

Don't forget, this is the only corner of upland Cumbria free of the rain on this day. Tomorrow at breakfast in the B&B I will hear tales of squelchy walks under umbrellas around distant lakes, Buttermere, probably.

Bonscale Towers

Bonscale Towers

Arthur's Pike

Arthur's Pike 1,747ft asl



Roehead Road

Roehead Road

It's a long way back to Pooley Bridge from Arthur's Pike, but all pleasant walking at a gentle gradient.

Place Fell

Ullswater with Place Fell

Walkers: Molly and Me.

Time taken: 6hrs 30mins over a distance of about 13 miles.

Route: Pooley Bridge, lake shore walk to Waterside Farm, tarmac to Swarthbeck, bridleway to Howtown. Into Fusedale, up Dodd Gill to Loadpot Hill, Bonscale Pike, Arthur's Pike, The Cockpit, Roehead Road (or Lane), Pooley Bridge.

Weather and conditions: Cloudy and dull.

Refreshments: See below:

Molly's tea

Molly's Tea

I bring my own kettle, stove and chair for after walk refreshments in the light of not everywhere being open or willing to take dogs. Molly ate well and then grumbled at other car park users. "Behave yourself or you will have to get in the car!" I told her; she promptly jumped into the open boot of the car and fell asleep, I put my feet up and plugged some tunes in. Happy Days.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2020 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....