Fellbarrow is a rolling bundle of modest fells just on the west side of Lorton Vale. The name comes from its northern most top, to the south is Low Fell which overlooks Loweswater. Both are Wainwrights. This high ground of moss and grass has been split into a number of enclosures. Fences run along and across in all directions making them a dominant feature of any walk here. The views are extensive, and particularly dramatic south-eastwards to the Grasmoor group, Crummock Water, and the High Stile ridge above Buttermere.
Starting the walk from Thackthwaite is by far the best way onto the fell. Other approaches from the south and west use the old Mosser Road which is bounded by cattle fields occupied even in mid-winter, are boggy, and less attractive.
Parking in Thackthwaite is severely limited. A short layby just north of the hamlet is sufficient for a couple of cars or so. Other pull-ins are further north and one or two others to the south. Luckily, this isn't a busy fell.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Walk into the village and turn into the yard at Thackthwaite farm and onto the lane signposted "Public Footpath Low Fell". It's rough, steep, and something of a beck in wet weather.
When the lane becomes overgrown a gate on the left gives access to the field. Follow alongside the impenetrable lane on the field edge. At the top of this field turn right and then left through a kissing gate. Again keep to the field edge, head up to the gateway to go through and turn right onto a track.
This old drove road gradually swings left as it ascends over the northern shoulder of Watching Crag. Continue to the gate but do not go through.
At the gateway turn right and drop down to cross a couple of small becks and boggy patch. Ascend close to the fence bypassing a large area of bog and bracken to your right.
Reaching the fence on the ridgeline turn right and climb the steep grass. As the gradient eases the trig point of Fellbarrow comes into view, on the other side of the fence!
It's a low fence and easy enough to step over to the trig point and small cairn marking the summit of Fellbarrow.
Return over the fence and back down to the depression where you joined this fence line. Now continue ahead, keeping the fence on your right hand side. Go through the gate and follow the fence over Smithy Fell and down the other side to the boggy depression. Just after the short section of wall bears away from the path, turn right to climb steeply to the top of Sourfoot Fell.
Bear left, with the fence still just over to your right descend to top of the drove road and turn right through the gate. Follow the path south, across the depression above Watching Gill and up to a step-stile with dog gate. Go over the stile and climb steeply again, it is short and the gradient soon eases.
The small cairn of Low Fell appears on the knoll just ahead.
Return back over the stile. A short diversion to the edge of Watching Crag is well worth it for the view on a clear day. Go through the gateway at the top of the drove road and go straight ahead onto the track.
Descend the zigzags and swing rightwards to the gate on the ascent. Go through and continue round the shoulder and back to the field gate. Follow the outward path along the edge of the fields, and then the lane back to Thackthwaite.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Lanthwaite Wood and Crummock Water||2.4km (1.5 miles) away|
|Hen Comb from Loweswater village||2.8km (1.7 miles) away|
|Mellbreak and Scale Force||3.0km (1.9 miles) away|
|Gavel Fell and Blake Fell from Maggie's Bridge, Loweswater||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|The Grasmoor Six Wainwright Fells||3.2km (2.0 miles) away|
|A stroll to Holm Wood beside Loweswater||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|Burnbank Fell, Holme Force and the woods||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|A short walk to Spout Force||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|Graystones, Broom Fell, and Lord's Seat||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011