20th December 2013An ideal winter stroll: Muncaster Fell

With the shortest day and winter weather upon us we are in the season of the short stroll rather than the day-long wander. For me walks at this time of year are ideally not too long and, even better, not too far from a pub.

Muncaster Fell, the Western Lake District

One walk that ticks both of these boxes is the amiable wander up Muncaster Fell, which offers views that by rights should belong to a far bigger hill. It also starts and finishes conveniently close to the pubs, warmth and entertainment of Ravenglass and Muncaster.

Giving views across the prettiness of Eskdale and into the plunging valley of Wasdale, Muncaster Fell is only 231m. However, its position as the highest piece of land around means it feels a lot bit bigger when you are standing on the top.

We began our ascent of this mini classic under clear skies and on crisp frosty ground. The easy route up Muncaster Fell that we took begins in the car park outside the gates of Muncaster Castle.

Muncaster Fell, the Western Lake District

From the car park a path follows a farm track at a refreshingly easy angle through woodland. The first landmark we came across was Muncaster Tarn, decked out with water lilies and glinting in the sun. From the banks of the tarn the path continues its gentle ascent onto the open ridge and soft, springy turf that leads to the summit of the fell.

Muncaster Fell, the Western Lake District

None other than Alfred Wainwright was a great fan of Muncaster Fell writing of the route along the summit ridge “here is enchantment”.  We could only sympathise with this statement as we feasted our eyes on the fells of the Western Lake District to the east and the view all the way up the coast to Scotland and out to the Isle of Man. To both sides the valleys of Eskdale and Miterdale opened up beneath us and we could even hear the clatter of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, which works its way around the flank of the hill.

Muncaster Fell, the Western Lake District

Wainwright loved to take the path that loops around the bottom of the fell on the return leg and so we followed his route and headed back for a well earned pint in Ravenglass. 

Find out more…

Muncaster Castle: www.muncaster.co.uk

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway: www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk

Ravenglass: www.visitcumbria.com/wc/ravenglass/

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Brian Sherwen Photography

Many images on this website have been supplied to us by Brian Sherwen.