This circular route takes us to the summit of Mellbreak, one of the few Lake District fells that isn't connected to any other high ground. Our route takes us around three-quarters of the base of the fell, before visiting the summit ridge from the easiest approach route, up the southern slopes. We also visit the quiet western shores of Crummock Water, very different to the busier scene on the eastern shore.
Length: 7 miles
Map: The English Lakes - North Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: Spring 2011
We start from the small parking area by the phone box at the eastern end of Loweswater Village, close to the Kirkstile Inn.
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The telephone box sits by a T-junction. Take the side road that heads south-west towards Loweswater church and the Kirkstile Inn.
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This lane passes the church and brings us to another T-junction, with the pub on the opposite side of the road. Turn left and follow this road as it runs alongside Park Beck.
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Follow this lane until it crosses Park Beck. On the far side of the beck continue straight along this track (ignoring the track that heads right to Lowpark). Follow our track through Highpark farm. On the far side of the farm the track runs through one field, then enters the open fellside, where it soon turns into a path. We now follow this path as it runs along the western shore of Crummock Water. Two parallel paths run along the lake, one right by the water and this path a little further up the eastern flanks of Mellbreak. The two paths eventually merge, although I recommend moving down to the lake-shore path as soon as possible.
The two paths have merged by the time we reach Low Ling Crag, an unusual rocky headland that juts out into the lake.
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After passing Low Ling Crag the lake-shore path runs around the foot of High Ling Crag, and then starts to enter the valley of Scale Beck. About a quarter of a mile from Low Ling Crag a path branches away to the right, leaving the lake shore. Follow this path, which soon comes to Scale Beck. Turn right here and follow a path that runs along the right-hand side of the beck.
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We follow this path until it reaches the junction of Scale Beck and Black Beck. Cross Black Beck on a small bridge, and continue alongside Scale Beck.
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This path brings us to the footbridge that crosses the beck just below Scale Force. Our direct route on turns right here, to follow the path that cuts across the fell-side above Black Beck, but it is well worth taking the time to visit Scale Force in its steep rocky ravine.
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After visiting Scale Force follow the path that runs above Black Beck, with a fence between the path and the beck. At the end of this fence turn right onto a path that drops down to cross the beck, then climbs up alongside another fence to reach a path. We are currently on the left-hand side of this fence. At the path pass through the gate, then follow a minor path that climbs up to the right of the fence.
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Follow this path until it crosses another fence. At this point the path splits into three - one leading straight ahead into Mosedale, one turning right to run east alongside a fence and the third running diagonally between these two. Take this third path, which cuts off a corner.
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This path soon reaches the main path that climbs up the southern end of Mellbreak. Turn left onto this path and follow it up the steep fellside up to the long summit ridge and the southern (higher) summit.
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The path continues north along the summit ridge, before turning left to drop down into the gap between the southern and northern summits.
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Follow this path across the dip. Just before the summit path begins to climb up to the northern summit, a path branches off to the left. Turn onto this path. After a short distance this path splits in two. We will take the left-hand branch. This path soon splits again. Both of these paths will take us down into Mosedale - the left hand branch runs south across the fell, gently loosing height, but at the same time taking us further away from our destination. The right hand branch heads straight down the side of the fell, and is a steep but direct route.
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Whichever path you chose to take will eventually bring you down to the track that runs along the bottom of Mosedale. Turn right onto this track, and follow it as it runs between Mellbreak and Hen Comb, then emerges out into the Loweswater valley and eventually reaches the Kirkstile Inn. To return to our starting point cross the road that runs past the inn, and take the road that runs to the right of the church and returns to the phone box.