The scale of Blencathra is completely awe-inspiring and this route which takes you through Hall’s Fell Ridge allows you to enjoy the very top of the peak. This is a route for experienced walkers and those who are ready for a challenge. There are difficult sections so it is important to be vigilant and have safety in mind at all times as you enjoy this fell. This is a 8.5km route but with some tricky sections and advanced walking and climbing experience recommended.
The route begins in the pretty village of Threlkeld and is the perfect place to park. Bear right from the carpark onto the grass behind the ‘honesty box’ and the area quickly narrow to a small path which sits between a low wall and Kilnhow Beck. Follow the beck above the ravine and across a footbridge and then climb the wall ahead to the right. Come to a gate and go through it and stop and look to your left, as you’ll see a hillside at approximately 10 o’clock. Here you will see two paths which mark your route back down afrer reaching the fell.
Turn right past the sheep pens and go through a second gate, where you’ll see a sign for Gate Ghyll. You can then handrail the wall until you cross the field and head over the stile, across the next field and past the Blencathra hunt kennels.
Next you need to cross the gill and bear left onto a rough path with bracken to climb through up the hillside. This is where the path begins to require a little climbing and scrambling experience as you zigzag up the hillside to the ridge. You will pass several scrambling areas where you need to be careful with your footwork to avoid sheer drops. There are bypass paths to your left-hand side should you need to use them but it is important to be mindful of loose slate scree which can be dangerous.
One you reach Hall’s Fell Top you have found the summit of Blencathra. There is a simple OS trig station at the top, which is a somewhat understated marker but doesn’t detract from your exhilarating experience. From the top of the ridge you can turn left and simply follow the head of the crags to Knowe Crags and then onto Blease Fell. As you continue down this wide gravel path take a southwestern route and you’ll feel it drop into well-trodden zigzags, with splits marked out with a small cairn. Here you should take the left path and enjoy the gentle meander down to a steep drop. Once you’ve passed this drop you’ll encounter another path to your right and a faint cross-roads where you should turn left and head across the fellside on a gentle descent. After 200ml you’ll bear left onto a path above the bracket and this will continue to descent until you meet a wall and then a zigzagged path down to the kissing gate, where you turn left and go through. You will then reach the gate at Kilnhow Beck and Blease Gill, making it easy to find your way back to Threlkeld.
Experienced walkers and climbers. This route requires high levels of agility, scrambling skills and experience of sharp ridges and climbs. It is not recommended for dogs unless they are equally as experienced as their owners for this kind of climb.