24 May 2015

A Fantastic Ridge Walk - Ullock Pike, Long Side, Carl Side and Dodd

View from Dodd towards Derwentwater - spectacular! 

Another bank holiday had arrived and I was meant to be coming over to our lovely holiday home at Whitegate Caravan Park, with my sister Pat, but due to a flare up with a back problem she was unable to come (plus she nearly sliced her thumb end off with a new vegetable slicing contraption on Thursday night!!!).  So, i decided to check out the Lake District National Park events calendar to see if anything was going on as I knew they had a great programme of events scheduled.  There were two things listed for the Saturday and the walk that took my fancy was up Ullock Pike and was in an area that I have never walked before so thought it sounded like a good one to go on. It turned out to be a fantastic ridge walk with the most spectacular views. 

Parking instructions were easty to follow to the Dodd Wood Forestry Commission Car Park which cost me £6.50 for the day.  There was apparently free parking somewhere nearby as one of the other walkers in our group had parked there but being unfamiliar with the area I thought it easier to just park where the walking group would be meeting.  

Along with 5 other walkers, we were met by Lorraine and Barry our Lake District National Park voluntary walk leaders who told us our route and what the walk would entail so after all paperwork was completed, off we jolly well went.  

The first part of the walk was through the woods but after about 15 minutes we were out on the hillside starting our three hour upward, hard, slog.  We were very lucky with the weather - out of the whole weekend this day had the best forecast and the sun never stopped shining the whole day - which if I'm honest, was a bit too hot for me but hey, I wasn't going to complain!

 The sun was shining through the trees to the forest floor

Some of the shadier part of the woods felt quite eerie

 Coming out of the woods we had our first sighting of Lake Bassenthwaite

 You don't need to go very high to start getting even more fabulous views

Terrain wise this was an easy walk for the most part.  On our ascent there were a few places with loose stones and a couple of short, rocky climbs but nothing too difficult, and the only bit that we needed to take care on was when we started our descent coming off Carl Side. 

 There she is in the distance - Ullock Pike 690 m (2264 ft)

 The Heidster raring to go

 Long Side 734 m (2,408 ft) visible beyond Ullock Pike
Views to the left side of the ridge - Skiddaw

 View to the right side of the ridge - Bassenthwaite 
with the Western Fells visible

Summit of Ullock Pike - well done Heididog

You're looking a bit hot there girl

Who wouldn't love having lunch here? 

Go on there girl, cool yourself down

The nondescript summit of Carl Side 746 m (2,448 ft) the highest point of our walk

Derwentwater and Keswick in the distance

The route took us really steeply downwards off Carl Side where there was a lot of loose stones underfoot. Everyone managed this with no problems by taking it as slowly and easy as possible. As you can imagine by the time we got the the bottom our knees were aching and our thighs burning - downhills are worse than uphills in my opinion!  

The start of a long, steep downhill 

Still going down then guess what, yep up Dodd  which was right in front of us here

This 3 year old little boy actually climbed this rock mostly by himself!  What a star

Yey, Dodd, our final summit - 502 m (1,646 ft) 

I like to try to keep a log of miles I've walked but I'm never sure if the app I use works properly or not.  I can set it away at the exact same time as someone else with the same app, do the same walk and come back doing (usually) more miles than them!  How can that be?  Anyhow, mapmywalk showed me as having done 9.4 miles but apparently other people who have done it this way it was 6.5 miles so go figure, I'm logging my version LOL.

This was a very enjoyable but hard walk and i would recommend it to anyone who is reasonably fit.  Go on, give it a go - you know you want to!.

Toodles - Paula :)

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