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High Side, Dodd Wood, Millbeck, Slades's Beck, Carl Side, Ullock Pike, Cumbria.
[13.6 km] Tue 31 May 2022

lat / lon:54.668120, -3.186148
OS grid ref:NY 23596 30985

The weather forecast was for intermittent rain through the morning. My drive north was clear and hardly any wind. As I approached Keswick the weather continued fine as I drove north along the A591 in clearing weather. I took the right fork at High Side up the narrow lane to leave my car in the lay-by. The only problem was I had to get back south along the A591 before starting the climb at Millbeck. There is no footpath so I put my yellow dayglo jacket on for the first mile and then at Ravenstone Hotel was able to follow the track up through the woods. It runs parallel with the road and I had the path to myself. Everywhere was lush green and it was an enjoyable wander.

Dodd Woods

Wood in Dodd Wood.

 Bassenthwaite Lake.


 Lush ferns

 Near Millbeck.
I reached the car park area at Dodd Wood but stayed on the footpath to avoid the buildings. I was hoping to stay on a path of sorts all the way to Millbeck but approaching White Stones I lost the track and finished descending a very minor path down to the A591. It was only a short way on the main road before I reached the minor road into Millbeck Village. I turned left up a footpath and through a wood to reach the lower part of the fells. The main path up Carl Side is very clear to see heading up the hillside. That wasn't the route I wanted to take and I continued straight on and parallel to Mill Beck and Slades Beck.

 Above Millbeck.
I found a bench by the path and stopped for a while to eat my sandwiches before continuing to an area in the river bed that formerly had a dam crossing the valley. It was long gone and dilapidated but I crossed over here and followed a well-defined path up the east side of the river. There was a degree of engineering construction on the past and that became clearer when higher up I came to a dam and site of a plastic pipe of about 9 in diameter under the path. The dam was quite old and looked disused. The path continued a bit fainter up the east side of the valley and then I came to a newer dam with what looked like a recently constructed access track on the west side of the valley. As I continued up Slades Beck and the weather was still fine and even patches of sunshine broke through. I stayed on the east side and the faint path became more distinct but higher up as the valley widened it became indistinct as it followed over very loose scree.

 Higher Dam on Slades Beck.

 Side stream.
I kept to the left to avoid the loose stones and eventually reached Carl Side ridge and the small tarn. On the ridge I was exposed to the wind as I turned left to follow Longside Edge to Ullock Pike. As I walked along several people came up from the north and they must have been on the ascent of Skiddaw which I could see to my right across the valley. Though the weather was fine the cloud was fairly low and Skiddaw summit was just obscured earlier.

 Carl Side tarn.

 Ullock Pike.

 Clouds clearing over Skiddaw.
I took my time on the descent as it is quite steep in places. Eventually I reached Ling How and the stony track became easy grass. The final part was very enjoyable and I could see a hawk hovering above the valley below. The final descent was a long and easy grassy path. It is the first time I've used my new Samsung phone to take photos on a mountain walk and I was very pleased with itís performance.
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