Souther and Bowscale Fells

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With good weather forecast in late March, I decided I’d take advantage of my new working arrangements and head up for a short break in the Lakes, booking a room “back o’ Skiddaw” at Mosedale End Farm. I fancied tackling Carrock Fell and had a route planned that would be a good day walk, but I wanted to save that for a day when I wouldn’t have a drive home at the end. So, after driving up to the Lakes on the Monday morning I parked up in Mungrisdale and set off for a walk up a couple of fells I’d been up before – Souter Fell and Bowscale Fell, but reversing the direction of my previous ramble.

The bridge at Mungrisdale

It wasn’t too busy when I arrived in Mungrisdale, so I didn’t have any trouble finding a parking space opposite the Village Hall. I put paid my £2 voluntary donation and set off. There was a walk along a quiet road, which leads to Scales, before I turned off up the path up Souther Fell. It was a fine day with blue skies, but with a strong breeze, particularly higher up on the fells.

This path is regularly used by hang glider enthusiasts who launch themselves from the summit of the modest fell, but there were none around today, and I didn’t see anyone else as I made my way slowly up the fell, dodging the occasional boggy section.

Reaching the summit plateau, there was a good view over to Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra. From this angle it was clear why the latter is also known as Saddleback.

Sother Fell is a whaleback hill so I turned north and walked over to the high point, before turning south, retracing my steps for a short distance before making my way to the summit which marks probably the best viewpoint on the plateau.

Zooming in on Blencathra with Sharp Edge clearly visible

I carried on down the path heading off the hill and towards Blencathra, but that wasn’t my destination today. Instead, reaching the hause between Souther and Scales Fells, I descended towards White Horse Bent, crossing over the Glenderamackin and then following the path on the north side of the river with Blencathra and Sharp Edge dominating the view.

It was quiet today – I encountered only a few people during my walk – and I couldn’t see any brave soles making their way along the narrow arête.

I carried on climbing up to the col between Bannedrale Crags and Blencathra. I could have turned left now, and made my way up Blencathra via Foule Crag, a steep climb but a route up the mountain I’d like to try. However, time was getting on so that would have to wait for another day. Instead I turned right and followed the path up Bowscale. The ground was soggy underfoot and quite a bit of bog hopping was required, but I managed to keep my feet dry.

Looking across the valley to my right, I could see across to Souther Fell

I reached the summit with good views all round, although longer range visibility was poor.

Blencathra – lit looks different from the top of Bowscale Fell
Looking east over the fell
Zooming in on Carrock Fell
Looking over towards Knott

I walked down the hill a little in a northerly direction, peering over the drop down to Bowscale Tarn

Bowscale Tarn and Carrock Fell

and then retraced my steps back to the summit. I took a short breather before starting my descent, bog hopping down and joining the path that descends down the side of the Tongue to the Gleneramackin

A view of Bannerdale Crags as I descended

Reaching the bottom of the valley I followed the river back to Mungrisdale. After changing out of my boots I drove the short distance through the village and on to Mosedale and my home for the next couple of days – Mosedale End Farm at the foot of Carrock Fell.

Mosedale End Farm is, as it name implies, a real working farm which has three comfortable, rooms let on a bed and breakfast basis plus a Glamping pod. I stayed in the Grainery Suite. All the rooms have basic cooking facilities which meant I didn’t have to go out to find somewhere to eat when I was tired after a good day’s walk – especially as the farm is rather isolated in a very small and quiet village with no facilities (although the pub in Mungrisdale isn’t so far away). After a refreshing shower I made myself a brew and something to eat before settling down for a relaxing evening reading and watching a bit of TV. I turned in early, looking forward to another good walk the next day.

15 thoughts on “Souther and Bowscale Fells

  1. It looks really nice where you stayed. And a good idea to have a little kitchen area. Perfect for walkers as you say. Blencathra / saddleback has a snowy saddle today. You can even see it from Melmerby!

    • I could see snow on the top of some of the fells even from the outskirts of Wigan during my local walk on Friday!
      Just shows how fickle the weather can be. Too warm for a jacket when I was on the fells during my little break. You’d have needed one up there the past week 🥶

  2. When I was reading your Carrock Fell account, I was thinking how much I’d like to do Bowscale Fell again, and (working backwards), it’s the next of your excellent accounts that I find. This had me recalling a similar route when I climbed Blencathra via Doddick Fell in February about four years ago, but the weather was so good, I just carried on over Bannerdale Crags to Bowscale Fell, down beside the Glenderamackin and on to Souther Fell last thing.

    You didn’t encounter the ghost army on Souther Fell then?

    • That was a good walk George! I quite fancy doing that the opposite diection to you but perhaps coming down Scales fell to keep the distance a bit more manageable for an old bloke 😉
      As for the army, I thought I saw something in the distance as I climbed the fell, but I think they were swallowed up in the bog 😂

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