Hallin Fell and Ullswater from Martindale Church round

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Cumbria is a large county in North West England and contains the Lake District and Lake District National Park. It is bounded to the north by the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the south east by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland. Cumbria is very mountainous containing every peak in England over 3,000ft above sea level with Scafell Pike being England’s highest mountain at 978 m (3,209ft). Cumbria is also one of England’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty attracting mountain climbers, hikers and walkers, cyclists, runners and tourists and holds a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians. Cumbria consists of six districts Eden, Carlisle, Allerdale, Copeland, South Lakeland and Barrow-in-Furness.

The Lake District is an area with stunning scenery located within in the County of Cumbria. Commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland it was granted National Park status on 9th May 1951 less than a month after the first UK designated National Park, The Peak District.  It is the largest of thirteen National Parks in England and Wales and the largest in the UK after the Cairngorms. The Lake District National Park itself covers an area of 885 square miles and stretches 30 miles from Ravenglass in the west to Shap in the east and 35 miles from Caldbeck in the north to Lindale in the south. Crammed with so much natural beauty the Lakes attract visitors, tourists and holiday makers from all over the world. As the name suggests there are many lakes each with their own uniqueness, amenities and activities such as lakeside walks, sailing, waterskiing, boat trips and ferries. All of the lakes except Bassenthwaite Lake are named by water, tarn or mere and are surrounded by stunning scenery and magnificent fells. There are some wonderful towns to explore such as Keswick, Windermere, Ambleside, Kendal, Hawkshead, Grasmere and Cockermouth all with a splendid mixture of shops, cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants. There are also many museums, theatres, historic homes, gardens and many easy walks for the not so energetic visitor wishing not to climb the fells. William Wordsworth the famous British poet was born in Cockermouth and later lived in Grasmere where he wrote some of his best works before moving to Rydal Mount near Ambleside for his last 37 years. Both places are open to visitors and so is Brantwood home to John Ruskin until his death. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Thomas de Quincey all followed Wordsworth to the Lake District. Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows and Amazons, also grew to love the lakes and settled in the Winster Valley near Windermere. The painters Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner and John Constable were early visitors to the lakes but it was John Ruskin who settled here at Brantwood on the shore of Coniston Water. Farming and especially sheep farming has been historically and still is the main industry of the Lake District. The tough Herdwick breed with their stocky build and distinctive grey coat are especially hardy for the Lakeland fells and its weather. Sheep farming has probably been here since Viking times and is an important factor both to the economy of the lakes as well as in preserving the stunning landscape which attracts visitors and hence income to the region. Walking is a big attraction in the Lake District whether strolling around the low lying lakes or climbing up into the mountainous fells whichever is undertaken the scenery is magnificent. Alfred Wainwright’s famous hand written book, The Pictorial Guide to the Lake District, published in 1955 is a collection of seven books each illustrated with his unique style and charm of the 214 fells inspiring many visitors and tourists from all over the world.

Hallin Fell at 388 m (1,273 ft) is surrounded on three sides by Ullswater and is a continuation of the ridge leading down from Steel Knotts, but the depression at the Hause is so profound that Hallin Fell appears totally independent in almost any view. The fell is circular with smooth slopes to the south and west and rougher ground to the north and east. Hallin Fell’s most northern point, Geordie’s Crag, projects into the lake, separating Ullswater’s middle and lower reaches. The summit is grassy with a number of small knolls and some outcropping rock and at its highest point there stands a square sectioned column cairn. There are also some other small cairns at other vantage points. There are many paths up to the summit from St Peter’s Church at the Hause and also from Howtown. It may be only a small hill in a mountainous area but the extensive views from the summit across Martindale Common, High Street, Helvellyn, Blencathra and Ullswater are excellent. Wainwright wrote “The man who built the summit cairn on Hallin Fell did more than indicate the highest point: he erected for himself a permanent memorial.”

Ullswater England’s most beautiful lake is also England’s second largest lake. At approx 9 miles long and three quarters of a mile wide the lake is a typical narrow ‘ribbon lake’ formed after the last ice age by three separate glaciers. The surrounding fells give Ullswater its stretched Z shape with three distinct reaches. Pooley Bridge an attractive village popular with tourists lies at the very northern end of the lake, whilst Patterdale lies at the very southern end. Ullswater is the setting for William Wordsworth’s famous ‘Daffodils’ poem after he saw daffodils growing on its shores. Whatever the weather or the season Ullswater is a wonderful place with so much to offer whether breathtaking views or outdoor activities.

The Walk

From the church we cross the road and turn left up the grassy bank following the footpath sign to Doe Green going through the gate ahead into the field. We bear slightly right uphill to the corner of the field then go through a wooden gate and down the steps. We head forward with the beck down below on our left. We soon go through another gate and head forwards past the buildings. After passing through the next gate we follow the grassy path downhill towards the house. At the bottom we go through a gate following the yellow arrow to the beck. We follow the beck on our left for a short way and cross over the bridge to the road. We turn right and follow the road, soon going downhill into the hamlet of Sandwick. Opposite the cottages we go through the gate and cross over the bridge and turn left. We follow the good path which turns right uphill with a wall on the left. We soon come out into the open with wonderful views of Ullswater. We continue forward going through the gates to the lake shore then continue into the wood. Watch out for large stones and tree roots sticking up. We soon go through a gate back into the open again and keep following the path still close to the shore to Geordie’s Crag and excellent view point. The path now bears right slightly uphill and we soon follow the wall on our left. We go through a gate and continue with the wall on our left. When we see a gate in the wall with a yellow arrow, which leads down to the ferry landing, we keep heading forward. When the path splits at a seat, we bear right uphill and continue until we reach the road. We turn right back to the church and car park.


This is an easy walk on mostly good grass and gravel tracks/paths and a very short distance of tarmac road. Some of the paths are unlevel through the wooded areas and there are also a number of gates.

Elevation: approx lowest point 144m (474ft) approx highest point 256m (839ft) approx ascent 358m (1174ft).

Distance and Start Point

Approx 2.5 miles allow 1 to 2 hours using OS Explorer Map OL5, The English Lakes North-eastern area. This walk is done clockwise.

Start point: St Peters Church at Martindale Hause.


Martindale is situated between the lakes of Ullswater and Haweswater in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Directions and Parking

From the A66 just after the M6 roundabout take the A592 sign posted Ullswater and Windermere. At the t-junction turn left to Pooley Bridge. Go through the traffic lights and then turn left immediately after the church. At the crossroads turn right and follow this road to Howtown. Continue forward on the small road going up a steep mountain pass, with leg bends, to the top. Continue forward to the church of St Peter on the left.

Parking: At St Peter’s Church and also the area opposite the church.

Toilets and Refreshments

There are no public toilets the nearest ones are at Pooley Bridge. For refreshments the nearest pub is the Howtown Hotel but there are shops and three pubs in Pooley Bridge.


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