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Melmerby Fell

Melmerby Fell


Postby poppiesrara » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:31 am

Hewitts included on this walk: Melmerby Fell

Date walked: 11/08/2018

Time taken: 3

Distance: 15.25 km

Ascent: 420m

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Another step on a slow journey through the last few far northern Hewitts; quite a friendly little summer walk in the north Pennines.

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From the small (1-2 cars) pull-off by the A686, there's a very easy couple of miles to start this route, half-downhill and on a firm stoned track, part of the Maiden Way, Melmerby Fell always in view ahead. The ford was easy enough on informal stepping stones, but would probably be a boots-off job at a wetter time.
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Melmerby Fell

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Cross Fell

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Near the fording point

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Looking back along the Maiden Way

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Fiend's Fell

There isn't always a great deal new to look at and it's worth a detour, when the main track veers away from the line of the bridleway to have a look at Melmerby Shop, a curiously named and well-appointed bothy. Presumably this was a home linked to the mine below at some point; it doesn't look especially old and some recent care has gone in to the glazing, drainage, and rough furnishing.
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Melmerby Shop

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The going is a bit rougher afterwards, enough intermittent cairns for a clear day but possible to lose the track otherwise and signs that – outside a dry summer - there'd be some tricky marshy sections. It's good to reach the crest of the hill and some stony ground, and to be able to look across the lovely Eden valley flatlands to a Lakes skyline.
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Droughtproof going

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Alston Moor

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View from Meg's Cairn

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Northern Lakes

Decent firmish walking back north along the high ridge, the main top of Melmerby Fell quite a nice rise and some expert-looking paragliders off Knapside enlivening the views. Blencathra is a prominent and impressive sight throughout – perhaps it might be better to be up there rather than looking on it from here, but that isn't the right sort of thinking to get you through a hills list! The made track up Field's Fell is a lot further west and lower down than you'd imagine – I only found it late on – and in good conditions it's probably as well to maintain height as to search for it.
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Cross Fell

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Melmerby Fell summit

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The ridge leading north

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Paragliders off Knapside Hill

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Fiend's Fell trig

From that last summit, the road is very near and the sad sight of the burnt-out cafe at Hartside Cross. I'd been here for a good food break on my last visit to the Pennines the previous year, but – despite some hopeful words on the net – it looks too far gone now to be recovered for that to happen again. Road-walking, and then a detour to the southern 'old road' (very eroded and probably a river of mud at times at the start, but then good going once it swings east), back for an easy finish to a pleasant day out.
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Black Fell over Hartside Cross

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Thack Moor

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The old road east
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poppiesrara
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1297
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Donalds:1
Hewitts:310
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Location: Leicestershire

Re: Melmerby Fell

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:33 pm

Been looking at this fell recently but from Melmerby rather than the A686. Does look a nice easy day from there however.
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johnkaysleftleg
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Posts: 3204
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
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Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
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Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: Melmerby Fell

Postby trailmasher » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:02 pm

Hey Poppie, welcome back :) glad to see you still doing a bit 8) E and I did the same walk a couple of years or so ago and it's a fine walk indeed :) easy going all the way with good and open views.
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trailmasher
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Posts: 1244
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Re: Melmerby Fell

Postby poppiesrara » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:12 pm

Thanks TM. Still doing plenty, all over the place, but not treading too much new mountain ground. Coastpaths probably aren't for Walkhighlands!

Definitely an easy walk indeed, JK - even in the wet, there'd probably only be a rough half-mile or so from the roadside. I haven't seen much about climbing it from the Melmerby side - it'd be fairly steep but the going looked grassy enough.
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poppiesrara
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Posts: 1297
Munros:1   
Donalds:1
Hewitts:310
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 11, 2010
Location: Leicestershire

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