Overshadowed by its near neighbours, especially the rugged Blencathra, Souther Fell has lots of interest in its own right. From ghostly legends to geological oddity, to just ... well, being a pleasant stroll in the company of mountains.
Published in the The Gentleman's Magazine in 1747, and in the book Tales and Legends of the English Lakes of 1891, are the accounts of a number of sightings of an army marching over the ridge. 26 people swore before a magistrate of what they saw, yet no mark was found on the hill of any marching army.
Probably from the old spelling of Souter, sometimes Soutra, it's still pronounced "souter" even if an 'h' has crept in there in the intervening years.
If you look at the map with an eye for detail, you'll spot that this hill is almost surrounded by the River Glenderamackin. The col above Mousthwaite Comb stops the Glenderamackin from taking a quick exit down to Keswick!
Finally, a summary of the route might be in order. Let's start at the amazing Mousthwaite Comb and climb to the col. Then head over that spooky ridge to drop down towards the village of Mungrisdale. Whilst still some way above the village it is better to branch off sharp right and drop down to the gated road back to Scales, as the line of the ridge is blocked by fields.
If you need accommodation we have details of 21 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the small parking area above the tiny village of Scales, return along the road approx 100m (110 yards) to the other side of the road bridge.
At the signpost turn right onto the path into Mousthwaite Comb. Climb the headwall to the col and turn right onto the grass path heading over the ridge of Souther Fell.
The path bears left of the first knoll to the main ridge line, across a boggy plateau, and then bear left again to the well built cairn.
Bear right past the cairn and return to the main path, bear left to continue along the ridge. Cross another boggy plateau to the high point.
The summit is somewhat understated in comparison to the cairn, it's just a flattish bit of rock in the grass.
Continue along the ridge, which eventually starts to drop steeply to the village of Mungrisdale. There are many small paths, little more than a sheep trod, coming in from the right. Ignore them until a little way above the village where there is a more well defined grass path leading off right. There is no cairn to mark it, although a pile of wooden debris was here possibly to make a bonfire, or beacon! Turn sharp right and follow the path back on yourself to traverse gently down the hillside. If you miss the turning and find yourself at the field boundary wall turn right and follow the wall to the road.
Otherwise following the narrow path across the hillside, a clear path is soon reached descending steeply which joins the road at an unfenced section beside the fields.
At the road bear right and follow it back to the parking area.
The road is gated so once through leave them as you found them.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|A Walker's Blencathra||same start point|
|Bowscale Fell||3.4km (2.1 miles) away|
|Blencathra via Hall's Fell Ridge||3.5km (2.2 miles) away|
|Bowscale Tarn - Tarn of the Immortal Fish||4.5km (2.8 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