Summer is here! Sunshine and sunburn…

This was quite a last minute decision. I don’t particularly like walking on a bank holiday weekend, but a bit of research and I managed to find a walk that should remain off the beaten track enough to make it enjoyable. The weather was too good to be missed.

The day’s hills were ┬áMardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell (high point), Branstree and Selside Pike.

The car park was already looking full, so we parked at an earlier point than initially planned, however this proved much better as it was only 20 feet from the end of the walk. Best end to a walk ever!

Taken a few feet from the car, it was a really nice way to start the day.

haweswater-early

We began our ascent from the waters of Haweswater up past the fork to Gatescarth Pass and finally reaching Small Water, a phenomenally tranquil and pretty body lying just below Nan Bield Pass. Nan Bield Pass marking the most direct route between Mardale and Kentmere.

small-water-haweswater

small-water-nan-bield-pass

The route we took was round the right of the water in the above shots and up towards the depression in the centre of the lower shot. This was much easier than anticipated as the path was so well defined throughout. From the top we proceeded West (right) up the ridge and towards the first summit of Mardale Ill Bell. Once reached it was a case of turning back on ourselves and heading back towards Harter Fell via Nan Bield Pass once again. The views at Mardale Ill Bell were great, not easy to sum up in a photo, but amazing nonetheless. I would really like to come back here on a cold winter and do this area in full winter condition.

nan-bield-passsmall-water-haweswater

There was a short climb to summit Harter Fell but the views made this worthwhile. A spectacular view of Small Water and Haweswater from the top almost made it look like they ran into each other despite there being almost a kilometer distance between them.

The walk was now much flatter, and it was definitely easier. More grass and less people definitely defined the remainder of the hike. Definitely a winner for me. It was deceptive and after a short break to enjoy the view we descended to Gatescarth Pass before our push up to Branstree which is a long and sustained climb and although the views from both Branstree and Selside are nothing crazy spectacular, it is such a nice area.

sheep-lamb-branstree

The two last summits done we started our descent, swinging back towards Haweswater and the spectacular views looking at where we just came from.

haweswater-haze

The haze from the afternoon sun giving the mountains a white silhouette which was fantastic. The water lit up like silver!

descent-from-selside

 

Thanks for reading.