Beda Fell and Angletarn Pikes

Length 15 Kilometres | Highest point 567 metres

Beda Fell 509m OS map OL5; NY428170
Angletarn Pikes 567m and 565m OS map OL5; NY413148 and NY414147 respectively

Beda Fell is a long ridge that separates the valleys of Boredale and Bannerdale to the east of Ullswater. Both ridge and valleys are somewhat off the beaten track and are therefore relatively peaceful parts of the Lake District. The ridge has two distinct peaks – Beda Head at its north-eastern end, and the twin peaks of Angletarn Pikes at its south-western end.

Beda Fell from Angletarn Pikes
Beda Fell from Angletarn Pikes

The walk described begins in Patterdale where a footpath to Side Farm leaves the A592 at NY394161 next to the George Starkey Hut. Turn left after passing through the farmyard and take the lower path that skirts the eastern shores of Ullswater for about 5km, until the minor road at Sandwick is met.

Turn right along the road and continue along it for just over 1km (crossing Boredale Beck) until another minor road comes in from the left. Ignoring this road, continue south for a few hundred metres until you can escape left on an uphill footpath. This path takes you onto the start of the Beda Fell ridge at a conveniently placed bench.

After taking a few moments to admire the unfolding view northwards, turn southwards to amble over the delightfully rocky Howstead Brow, following a thin clear path all the way. Descend slightly and then tackle the steady ascent to Bead Head. All the while, as height is gained, the views (especially northwards along Ullswater) become wider and more distant. Very soon the summit of Beda Head is reached where one can pause again to contemplate the quiet environs of both Bannerdale and Boredale.

Descend south-west on a path along the broad ridge for about 1.5km where you will meet a bridleway crossing the ridge. Turning right along this bridleway will take you to Boredale Hause and thence back to Patterdale if time or weather demand a curtailment to the walk. However it is far better to ignore this short cut and continue along the ridge, still on a faint but clear path. Angle Tarn Pikes soon come into view, the rocky profile of the north peak looking very shapely when viewed from this direction.

When a minor top is reached – marked Headbeck Head on the map – the path trends to the left, but it is best to continue straight on from here (no path), and make for the rather boggy area that separates the two peaks. Tackle the lower, more southerly one first, and admire the panoramic views of nearby Angle Tarn and more distant Brotherswater.

Brotherswater from Angletarn Pikes
Brotherswater from Angletarn Pikes

From the second, more northerly peak, descend its south-westerly ridge to the well-used path that connects Angle Tarn to Boredale Hause. Turn right along this path, which leads in turn to Boredale Hause, then Side Farm and Patterdale.

The walk can be started and finished at Beetham Cottage by walking at the start from Hartsop to Side Farm, and then at the finish by turning left at Boredale Hause on a bridleway that descends south across the face of the hillside back to Hartsop. Instead of walking along the shores of Ullswater, Sandwick can also be reached in a leisurely manner by taking the boat from Glenridding to Howtown, or more arduously by traversing Place Fell.

(15km distance (from Patterdale), 510m ascent, 4-5 hours)