Short Lake District Hill Walks – Little Mell Fell & Great Mell Fell

Short Lake District Hill Walks - Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell

Short Lake District Hill Walks – Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell.

Not everyone has the time for a long or high walk, but you can still have a short walk in the Lake District and some enjoyable views. If you are near Penrith, or maybe on your way from the motorway towards Keswick or going the other way, perhaps homewards after a holiday, how about Little Mell Fell or Great Mell Fell?

The two hills are also ideal if you have young family: a good introduction to the Lakeland fells.

Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell are the two small hills that you see on your left as you drive west on the A66 from Penrith towards Keswick.

Little Mell Fell

Alfred Wainwright’s ‘Eastern Fells’ guide book would put you off the steep half-hour walk to the top of Little Mell Fell. A.W. was not impressed. But for a short walk, you can see from the photos here that you could do worse!

How to get to Little Mell Fell

From the A66:

  • Take the A5091 signposted to Ullswater.
  • At Matterdale End turn left onto a minor road.
  • At a T-junction turn right, then ignore turns right, left and right until you reach a small layby.
It can be muddy by the gate!

This is ‘The Hause’.

The walk up Little Mell Fell

Go through the gate. It can be muddy just here, so boots are a good idea even for this short walk.

Pass some trees to your right and go through the gate. Then you’re going up, quite steeply in places, through heather and bracken, but the path is quite clear.

Follow the path and you will get straight to the top, where you will find a trig point and some views.

Admittedly the views are not breathtaking, but for a half hour walk, still pretty good. Also, despite Mr Wainwright’s put-down of the walk, you have just bagged yourself a ‘Wainwright’.*

One of the easiest ways to follow this walk is from the Wainrights.co.uk website.

Enjoy.

 

Little Mell Fell, near Penrith

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Great Mell Fell

Horses on Great Mell Fell
Horses on Great Mell Fell

With Great Mell Fell isolated from the main Lake District fells, the views as you climb and from the top are very good, even though it’s not at all high. The walk is just over a mile and the climb is about 900 feet. Most adults will walk to the top in under an hour, but this is also a good introduction for children, so allow longer.

I can’t promise they will be there, but if you’re lucky you might even see horses. I’m convinced that some of those I saw there had featured in the Lord of the Rings films.

How to get to Great Mell Fell

From the A66:

  • Take the A5091 signposted to Ullswater.
  • At Matterdale End turn left onto a minor road.
  • At a T-junction turn left and park just a few hundred meters along close to Brownrigg Farm.
The walk up Great Mell Fell

There are a couple of good routes up Great Mell Fell from Brownrigg Farm. Wainwright Routes has a map.

The easiest way is to take the left-hand path once through the gate and just follow it. To begin with, you will have the fence on your left. You then climb an easy path, heading through a stand of Scots Pine blown by the wind into tremendous shapes.

Keep on going to the small cairn at the top. Even on a day when the weather is not at its best (see the photos here!) the views can still be good, but for the best – come on a clear sunny day!

From the top you can look back over Little Mell Fell to the Pennines. To the north west is a glorious view of Blencathra. To the south east is the Helvellyn range.

So: a short, easy walk. With views. And maybe Gandalf’s horse.

Great Mell Fell, from Short Lake District Hill Walks - Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell

 

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*There are 214 fells in the Lake District described in Alfred Wainwrights classic guide books written in the 1950s and 1960s. They are hand-illustrated and hand-written, a labour of love. 

Wainwright guide book for the eastern fells

Blog Post: Short Lake District Hill Walks – Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell

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