Loadpot Hill from Cawdale

IF YOU like walking in huge open spaces with impressive panoramic views then choose a clear day during a dry spell to enjoy this fairly easy high level fell walk over Bampton Common, writes JOHN EDMONDSON. The walk 'bags' two Wainwrights and the tough springy grass makes the walking easy - and is great for running too.

To drive to the start, turn off Wideworth Farm Road on the Askham side of Bampton, go over a cattle grid and up a narrow winding road heading west for 1.4 miles. After crossing a cattle grid beside trees, park on the roadside grass about 200 yards before Moorahill Farm, map reference NY 496 182, postcode CA10 2QL.


Distance: 7.5 miles with 1,400 feet of ascent

Time: 4 hours

Terrain: grassy fell paths

Map: OS Explorer OL5


1 Walk along the road from the cattle grid towards Moorahill Farm and turn left onto the footpath signed The Hause. Cross the slate bridge over Cawdale Beck, ascend a steep slope then follow a grassy path going up the hause (a neck of land) and between two rectangular conifer plantations. Where a quad track branches right take either of the two routes, continuing the gentle ascent and merging with a path from the left. For a good view of Haweswater and its dam make a short excursion to the left to the edge of the valley. Return to the grassy path and continue the gradual ascent, passing a wooden post on High Kop and crossing a flat area. The name Kop (more widely known in connection with football stadiums) comes from an old word (copp) for a top or summit. A splendid view across Ullswater of the Helvellyn range of fells appears directly ahead: the pyramidal Catstye Cam is easy to identify. Descend a little to meet the High Street path, originally a road built by the Romans to connect their forts at Brougham and Ambleside.

2 Turn right onto the High Street path and walk to the top of Wether Hill, marked by a stone cairn and where several paths merge. Its 2,200-feet summit is a Wainwright but adds nothing to the views already enjoyed on this walk. Continue northwards for a further mile to the summit of Loadpot Hill, marked by an OS survey column. In between the two summits the High Street path descends 170 feet then reascends past a stone shelter. Although only a few feet higher than Wether Hill, Loadpot is a more obvious Wainwright summit. It was named in the early19th century in the belief that a vein (lode) of iron ore was once mined from a hole (pot) on the hill. However, the hole is more likely to have been made by Romans quarrying stones to build High Street.

3 Turn right (eastwards) along the main grassy path heading away from the distant high fells and descending over Hart Fell and The Pen (another word a top). When woodland appears ahead and below, take a short cut by veering off the path to the right. Descend to a wall in front of green pastures. Turn right and walk alongside the wall and past a stone barn to a farm gate in the bottom corner. Go around the houses at Carhullan onto a stony track and through a gate to a tarmacked road leading back to where the walk began.

Next week: Whitbarrow

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.