Hill: Cold Fell
Date: Friday 21st May 2021
Company: Just myself
Distance: 9.2km, Ascent: 400m
Time: 2Hrs 40Mins

During the journey home from a short trip to England, I decided to ascend Cold Fell. Cold Fell is a Marilyn and Hewitt located in the Northern Pennines to the east of Carlisle. The forecast for this walk was unfortunately correct; rain, fog and drizzle.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

For this walk, we parked in the RSPB Geltside car park. Kate visited the wildlife hide while I undertook a very wet ascent of Cold Fell.

Road from RSPB Geltsdale car park towards Howgill:

During the walk towards the hill I saw hare, lapwing and curlew.

There are several RSPB waymarked tracks at Howgill but Cold Fell is not waymarked. To access the Cold Fell track I had to enter through a gate to the left of Howgill and then follow the waymarker "Bruthwaite viewpoint". The condition of the waymarked track to the viewpoint is not good. Within minutes of walking the track I had wet feet. However, as I continued along and up the track it improved in the mid-section.

Looking back to Howgill:

Track ascending Cold Fell:

Minimal views ascending Cold Fell:

It is always disappointing to ascend a hill in minimal visibility. A large part of the enjoyment of hillwalking, for me, is getting nice views. However, when more than six hours drive from home sometimes it just has to be done - type 2 fun!

Viewpoint (allegedly):


The final section of track, as marked on the map, was again of poor quality and very wet underfoot.

Deteriorating track:

The final ascent towards the summit was initially trackless until joining another section of poor track leading to the summit.

Final trackless ascent towards the summit:

On reaching the summit I took a few photos before returning to the car via the same route.

At the summit of Cold Fell:

Summit shelter, trig point and cairn:

During the descent I heard a squeaking noise from almost literally under my feet. On looking down I could see several Red Grouse chicks. I took a quick photograph of one before leaving them alone such that they did not end up running away from the parents.

One of several grouse chicks:

Looking back to Cold Fell during the walk out to the car park:

Looking forward to returning to England to walk more hills hopefully for a longer trip next time with less Covid restrictions.