A circular walk taking in the ridge of Ullock Pike, Longside Edge and the surprisingly rounded Carl Side. Along the ridge are tremendous views into the quiet valley of Southerndale.
A suitable parking place to start the walk is the The Old Sawmill Tearoom on the A591 out of Keswick heading for the village of Bassenthwaite.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Starting from the Old Sawmill Tearoom go through between the two buildings, turn left over the bridge which is signposted "All Routes", and turn left again following the multicoloured marker posts. The path drops gently towards the road but does not meet it, instead turning away and climbing to a forest road. Cross it with a bit of a right then sharp left after only 10m (11 yards) or so, still following the multicoloured marker posts. This track climbs steadily for 150m (165 yards) or so to another forest road junction. Bear left and note you are now following just a yellow marker post.
Continue high above the road, the track diminishes to a path through bushes and bracken, and then through dark more traditional forestry monoculture. Quite spooky! Over the wooden bridge spanning Sandbeds Gill. After approx 100m (110 yards) the track splits, take the right fork marked with yellow posts. This path narrows for a bit and continues traversing the fellside. In a while you are joined by a path coming up from the left. Bear right, here you leave the marker posts behind. In 100m (110 yards) as another path curls up to meet us bear right onto a path climbing steeply to a gate. Go through the gate with a small public footpath marker onto the open fellside.
Now following beside the fence on your left continue past the first corner post, at the second corner post at the top of the incline, bear right away from the fence onto a path heading up the fellside to gain the ridgeline.
At the cross-roads on top of the ridge turn right climbing towards Ullock Pike. Here there are a few little knolls which you can either tackle head on, picking your way over the scrambly bits with care on the notoriously slippery Skiddaw Slate. Or see if there is a bypass path around the side. Climb to the small cairn at the summit.
Continue along the ridge, not forgetting to look at the view back along the ridge, of Bassenthwaite Lake, down into Southerndale below to your left. And of course to mighty Skiddaw which often has its head in the clouds. Longside Edge summit marker is a simple pile of rocks at the highest point.
Now drop down to the col before Carl Side, take the path bearing left around the side of the hill. There is an obvious path directly ahead however a sit for while at Carl Side Tarn is recommended. If you have a dog with you it'll thank you for the chance of a long drink and a paddle on a hot day.
Once rested return to the crossroads before the tarn and turn left (or right from the perspective of the path from Longside Edge!) heading southwest up to Carl Side summit.
Continue over Carl Side on the clear path. Approximately 100m after the summit, bear right at a small cairn onto a smaller path initially almost in line with Dodd. This path wends and zigzags its way steeply at times down the fellside heading for the col of Long Doors.
Passing through White Stones the rocks are indeed white quartz. A little way above the col at the cairn turn right. Drop down and cross the stile with dog gate onto the forest track. This is Long Doors col.
You now have a choice of a quick return to the Tearoom by turning right and following the beck down the hill with easy tracks either side of the ravine. Alternatively, turn right, and then within 100m (110 yards) turn sharp left up to visit Dodd.
The recommended route is to turn left especially between April and October for the chance to see the Ospreys courtesy of the Osprey Watch people and their telescopes. In any case left is an easy stroll along the forest tracks with gentle gradients compared to right.
So having turned left at the col follow the track round the hillside dropping gently. Ignore any side turnings, and when the track splits take the left fork to continue descending. Should you chance upon the Osprey viewpoint, the first one: the upper viewpoint, is much better than the lower one. Continue down the track go through the gate and at the junction with the signpost, turn right to return to the tearoom.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Skiddaw - Dodd||same start point|
|Barf, Lord's Seat, Ullister Hill and Seat How||2.2km (1.4 miles) away|
|Whinlatter Forest - Heavy Sides Walk||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Words In The Woods||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Whitewater Dash - Dash Falls||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Force Crag Mine||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|To Force Crag Mine - a Coledale Low Round||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|The Coledale Horseshoe||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|A Shorter Coledale Round||4.7km (2.9 miles) away|
|Sale Fell||4.8km (3.0 miles) away|
|Whinlatter||4.8km (3.0 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