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A walk to Ling Fell at the foot of the Wythrop valley
The grassy mound of Ling Fell, rounded like a pudding, lies at the foot of the Wythrop valley. For walkers it is a delight; easy to ascend, dry underfoot, and has an airy dome-shaped top from where the descent is contoured through heather. From the summit there are wonderful views of the Skiddaw range beyond charming fine Sale Fell, the latter visited on your return.
Park close to the Pheasant Inn, grid ref 199307. To reach this, travel north on the A66 beside Bassenthwaite Lake and, at the end of the dual carriageway, turn left, immediately. Carry on to the widening of the road, on right, to park.
Distance: 7 miles
Time: 4 hours
Terrain: Good tracks and paths. A little road walking. If you don’t enjoy forest walking, start your walk by continuing along the road, left, beyond the inn. Then carry on for just under three quarters of a mile to the gate up to Sale, you deciding which of the two delightful hills to visit first.
Maps: OS Explorer OL 4
1 Turn left beyond the inn and go through the signposted gate on left, into the garden of the inn. Cross the lawn diagonally to join a track into the forest. On reaching a tarmacked forest road, turn right and in a few steps go left. At the T-junction go ahead to reach a second forest road. Go left until you can walk right again along another forest road. Follow it curving left, and then right, from where you have good views of Skiddaw and Ullock Pike. At next sharp bend, leave track, half way round, and go ahead on path, passing under beech.
2 After one mile from the start, emerge from woodland by a gate onto the open fell, joining a wide grassy trod. Beyond the fence on your left is the Wythrop valley, with rolling slopes leading up to Lord’s Seat. Carry on the glorious way beside, and then through, Chapel Wood. Go through a gate on the track and just beyond look right to see the remains of old Wythrop Chapel, believed to have been built in the 14th Century. Press on past Kelswick farm, with a fine view of Ling Fell ahead. Remain on the access road to the farm and descend below Sale Fell, on your right, to go through gate in valley bottom.
3 Head on along the metalled way, and take the first left turn to climb steeply to a T-junction. Stroll right to reach a ‘layby’ on the left, and several gates. Take the gate on the right and walk ahead, right, to join the grassy corpse road along which the dead were carried to Cockermouth. A short way long at the junction, go right. Where track divides again, take the left branch and wind round ascending through heather and past a few scattered grouse butts. Go on ahead where track divides again, now with glimpses of Bassenthwaite Lake. At the next brow, take an indistinct grassy path straight up to summit trig point (1,224-feet). The views of the Skiddaw range are breathtaking. From here you can see the extent of Wythrop Moss and the fenced track across it.
4 Turn right, east, and follow the level path to the cairn. Beyond, descend a steepish narrow path to the foot of the hill to join a wide track and bear left until you can join the corpse road, and turn right through the gate to the road. Retrace your steps, right, then descend left to the foot of the hill. Walk right, go through the gate and stride on to just before Kelswick Farm. Turn acute left, up a fine rising grassy track to the boundary wall. Here join one of the grassy swathes ascending, right, to the top of the charming cairned Sale Fell (1,170-feet). Pause to enjoy superb view.
5 Descend by the same route to the wall and descend right. Where the track begins to climb, walk left, to follow a track that swings right, descending to a kissing gate to the road. Stride, right, down through the houses at Routenbeck and continue to where you have parked.
NB: Restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.