Length 10 Kilometres | Highest point 512 metres

Mellbreak 512m, 1679ft, GR 149186

Mellbreak reflection
Mellbreak reflection

The most self-sufficient and stately of that select handful of Lakeland tops having no bonds with other summits is undoubtedly Mellbreak. Steep on all sides, it is crag-rimmed facing Crummock Water and particularly rocky round the Loweswater end. The traverse, with a lakeshore return, provides a richly-varied walk of outstanding beauty.

Branch right below Loweswater Church and Kirkstile Inn to free parking just over Church Bridge at GR 141208. Walk south from the farm along a stony lane to a gate and bridleway fork.

Ascend the 100 metre ride ahead between conifers to grassy slopes. Keep ESE up an improving path through bracken to a cairn below a bright-hued scree run. Some 200 metres above is a prominent scree gap dividing two large outcrops.

Start up the left-inclining screepath and, avoiding excursions left, make for this rock gateway, enjoyably negotiated by staircase scrambling on its left side. Alternatively, climb the easier, cosier rift further right before veering up left to an exquisite viewpoint, the first promontory.
A steep scree path soon leads to the grassy second promontory which gives even more breathtaking views, especially by moving 5 metres SE.

Continue up the winding ridge-track through heather to the plateau and north summit cairn at 509m (2km, 389m, 1hr). Continue on the green way down to a saddle, then up again to reach Mellbreak’s highest point, a bare shield of rock with a few stones at 512m. Fifty metres south is a bigger cairn with sublime views of Buttermere.

Remaining right of a line of old fence posts, descend on a faint path deviating increasingly right to bypass steep ground. Cross the western flank of Scale Knott, then a fence, to curve right down to the main Floutern Tarn track alongside Black Beck. Push on down keeping left of this to Crummock’s unfrequented western shore path. Here, near a footbridge, turn left to pass the dramatic High Ling Crag and its alluring peninsula.

Further on, the trail descends to lake-edge shingle some 200 metres past the off-shore triangular Iron Stone. Leave the path and slant up the fellside for 100 metres to join another, parallel track which develops into a well defined green passage rising NW to a wall running lakewards. Follow the wall, bending NW and fringing the delightful Green Wood to a gate above High Park GR 144203. Ignore the gate to climb left, among trees, up a bridleway which swerves right, hugging the wall enclosing Flass Wood, then a fence, back to the 100 metre ride. Descend this to the chosen parking place (10km, 3hr 15min).

Confirmed non-scramblers may spurn the north ridge entertainment to join the circuit at Mellbreak’s saddle, attained directly from Mosedale near GR 143186.