Lake District


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~Black Fell~

2nd January 2011

A great opportunity for a first Lakeland walk of the year. The weather forecast was for sunny skies, so why not head up to Cumbria for some fresh air and exercise? Karen was with me. Black Fell is close to Tarn Hows and is featured in Wainwright's Southern Fells.

Low Arnside

Low Arnside Farm

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

High Oxen Fell

The Start

So far, it's all gone pear-shaped. We had planned to be in Coniston for 10:15 for a pre-walk breakfast. Slightly late arrival and only two out of four cafes are open - one is full of cyclists and the other looks uninviting. So, against my gut feeling and contrary to the walk plan, we head to Skelwith Bridge for Chesters and that bite to eat - see later. This throws out the timings and rather than a walk around Holme Fell and a climb of Black Fell, it's going to be Black Fell only and we park on the roadside, close to this sign on the Ambleside to Coniston road.


Upper Yewdale

What's happened to the sunshine, Mr.Weatherman? Dull as dull day in Dulltown. We walked down this path adjacent to the road, we are heading for Yew Tree Tarn on the way to the path up to Tarn Hows from Glen Mary Bridge.

Yew Tree Tarn

Yew Tree Tarn

Still frozen. Our route crossed the dam and went into the woods on the other side of the road.


Woodland Waterfall

At last, something of interest - frozen, but only by the camera's shutter.

Tom Gill

Me and Tom Gill Waterfall

We made our way up to Tarn Hows. This is not my favourite place, a bit too touristy for my liking. Where's my feet?

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

Out of pic are the dozens of Tarn Circuit Walkers, young and old, clockwise, anti-clockwise, some with dogs, some with children, all enjoying the lovely winter sunshine!!

Tarn Hows

Another View of Tarn Hows

The Langdale Pikes

Our walk took us on the track to Iron Keld Plantation and into such where the views became quite interesting.

Interesting View

View of Tarn Hows

Not forgetting the trees, dead bracken and faraway hills.

Black Crag

Black Crag Climbers

At last, a view of our target. That lot had better not be lingering around by the time we get to the top. Black Crag is the summit of Black Fell.


Karen at the top of Black Fell (Crag)

Well, if nothing else, Karen has added to her growing list of Lakeland Summits. I cut her feet off, revenge! The crowd has moved on, thankfully. Wainwright makes a comment of the fact that the National Trust's metal sign had been defaced at the time of his visit. Here's a closer look:

National Trust Sign

The Sign

Look closely and you may see "RH" inbetween the "L" and the "A". Anyone know any RH's who climb fells?



The Crinkle Crags are well displayed from here. Pike O'Blisco is nearer the camera, with the dark rock feature, known as Black Crag. Not to be confused with Black Crag, where we are. Can anyone spot Scafell Pike?


The Langdale Pikes

The distinctive skyline of the Langdale Pikes lies behind Lingmoor Fell.

Low Arnside Farm

Low Arnside Farm

If the photographer stands in the right place, the grey wheelie bin is hidden. Two steps to the left and it would be in view, in the yard.

The Seat

The Seat

Always looking for positives, I found a very hand seat on Hollin Bank. Sadly only seating for one and I got there first.

Well, that's about it. I have a general rule that states: "The time spent on the fells must exceed the time spent in the car" Today, we failed. Perhaps "You Can't Win 'Em All" would be the right motto for today.

Walkers: Karen and Me

Time taken: 3hrs over a distance of approx. 5 miles.

Route: The road nr to High Oxen Fell, Yew Tree Tarn, the path up to Tarn Hows from Glen Mary Bridge, Tarn Hows, Iron Keld Plantation, Black Crag (on Black Fell), Arnside Plantation, Low Arnside Farm, Hollin Bank, the road.

Weather and conditions: Cloudy, no wind, not one ounce of sunshine.

Greetings Count: A few Black Fell walkers and lots of folk around Tarn Hows.

Richard's Refreshment Review: Tea and fancy breakfast at Chesters, Skelwith Bridge. The purpose of RRR is to point walkers towards suitable premises offering good fare at reasonable prices. Chesters is not for cost-conscious fellwalkers. My mum used to issue meals on smaller plates when the food on offer was volumetrically challenged - great psychology. At Chesters, the reverse applied - high price, low quantity, large plate with open spaces. Tea in a teapot with an ill-fitting lid and no extra water. Took 20 minutes for the food to arrive.


Chesters, Skelwith Bridge

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2011 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....