A visit to Place Fell overlooking Ullswater

Place Fell overlooks the villages of Patterdale and Glenridding alongside Ullswater, presenting an intimidating jumble of crags and steep rocky scree. But for an old track that would be true. Climbing steeply, but never uncomfortably so, a rustic path makes use of rakes and gullies to outsmart the crags and deposit the enthusiastic walker between Birk Fell and Place Fell.

In good weather there is a lot of scope for exploring this high somewhat boggy ground. In poor as we experienced it is best to stick to the established paths and head for the summit. On the ascent the lower west facing slopes are of grass and bracken. Higher up, you climb through a wonderful collection of our favourite English evergreen; the juniper. Above them the slopes turn to grass and heather and as the gradient eases to the undulating plateau the ground becomes boggy. The easiest descent is south to the crossroads of Boredale Hause, a stone pitched path down Steel Edge ensures a safe and reliable escape.

Parking is severely limited in Patterdale and fills quickly at weekends and holiday times due to this also being the start point of a classic round of the Helvellyn ridges. It is largely limited to the overflow car park of the Patterdale Hotel where a charge is made.