Hen Comb from Loweswater village

It has to be said that Hen Comb might undulate a little but it doesn't really look like a hen's comb. It is, however, a lovely wide ridge of grass and mosses which runs roughly south west just next door to Mellbreak. To get on to the ridge at the northern end a ford across Mosedale Beck must be crossed. This is best done at the start of the walk as if it is in spate it would be better to leave the walk for another day.

Mosedale Beck drains a large area leading to a rapid rise after rain and make the crossing of the ford difficult and dangerous. The ford itself is between a small deep pool and a set of cascades, so cross at the ford or not at all.

The grass ridge climbs steadily in two main steps connected by a soft plateau. Ascending the second step onto the summit proves that peaty marshes can exist on a slope which is uncomfortably steep to climb in one hit. Once on the summit, dry with a hint of rocky outcrop, the views are extensive. Modest in stature it may be but the view rivals that from many of the higher fells.

Faced with a return down the ridge and across the ford again we thought it worth exploring the bridleway along the southern end of the fell. The name should give you a hint as to the under-foot conditions. It is called Mosedale, which means 'the valley of moss' and lives up to its name. You have to dodge quite enough boggy moss but most of the return down the valley between Mellbreak is on a good firm track.

This is a pretty short walk. Some people combine this with the other Loweswater fells of Gavel Fell, Blake Fell, and Burnbank Fell to make a much longer and considerably more arduous round.

Start the walk from Loweswater, but beware that parking is limited. Don't park in the Kirkstile Inn unless you are a patron. There are two informal spots. Above Kirkstile Inn is a gravel patch in front of the telephone box. Below the Inn across Church Bridge is another gravel patch which can hold a few cars. At the bottom of Scale Hill on the approach to Loweswater village, is a larger car park but starting here adds another 2.0km (1.2 miles).