Ling Fell and Sale Fell

TWO Wainwright circular walk: Sale Fell, Ling Fell

Walk Rating:⭐⭐

Time: 2 hours 

Parking: a few free spaces at the end of the lane heading up between the two fells from Wythop Mill (Grid reference: NY 185 293), marked 'Brumston Bridge' on the OS map.

Ling Fell from Sale Fell

The two low hills of Ling Fell and Sale Fell rise on the very fringes of the North Western Fells, looking down on the A66 main road as it heads west to Cumbria and Workington. Although separated by the little valley of the Wythop Beck, they are near neighbours and can easily be combined into one leisurely walk. 

While they will never presume to be counted amongst the highlights of Lakeland, Ling Fell and Sale Fell are both attractive hills, and the route below is a pleasant way of spending a couple of hours on their slopes. 

Strava estimates a total walking distance of 6km

Sale Fell

1) Starting at the end of the lane leading east from Brumston Bridge, continue east on the farm road along the side of the Wythop Beck. At the old buildings of Kelswick, leave the farm road and head on a left fork uphill on a grassy track.

Looking back at Ling Fell on the track above Kelswick

2) The track becomes a footpath leading north-east up to a col between two grassy rises. Turn left and climb up the rise to your left. This is the top of Sale Fell (1178').

The grassy pasture on the top of Sale Fell

3) Walk along the ridge. Below, to your right, lies the Vale of Embleton' with distant views to the Solway Firth and the Scottish hills beyond. At the end of the ridge, you can follow a (sometimes slippery) path down to your left, along a stone wall, back to the lane where you started the walk.

Walk down the steep path back to the lane below

Ling Fell

4) Walk back down the lane but then turn left to walk on the tarmac of the minor road, for 250 metres or so, steeply uphill towards Ling Fell. At a road junction, take a quick look at the view over the old farm buildings of Eskin, on your left, towards Sale Fell behind.

Sale Fell behind the farm buildings of Eskin

5) However, for Ling Fell you want to turn right at the road and then head onto the bottom of Ling fell through the gate on the left of the road. From there, take the direct route up to the top of the fell on one of the paths cutting through the bracken and heather. At the summit (1224') you will find a triangulation column, and a view westwards, down over Cockermouth and, eastwards, towards Skiddaw.

Looking eastwards from the top of Ling Fell

6) For a more gentle descent, take the path that descends Ling Fell to the north-west. It joins a very distinct grassy track, presumed to be, although not conclusively proven, part of the old 'corpse road' along which the dead of Wythop would be carried in their coffins to be buried at Lorton. Whatever its exact history, the track takes you gently across the fellside back to the gate above the road junction by Eskin Farm. From there you can go back down the road to your starting point on the lane below.

Looking up at Ling Fell from the valley below

Worth knowing: In the page on the summit of Sale Fell in his Guide to the North Western Fells, Wainwright bemoans his ignorance at being unable to locate the rocks identified in a geological guide to the Lake District as containing "a small mass of very beautiful rock [which] consists of a pink crystalline felspathic base, in which there are numerous crystals of dark-green mica". 

An amateur geologist solving Wainwright's conundrum on Sale Fell

Wainwright needed the good fortune that we had on our last visit to Sale Fell. By chance, an amateur geologist was looking around the fell top at the same time as us. He explained that the place to look for Wainwright's 'orthoclase' was not on the rockface by the cairn, nor amongst the scattering of 'white' stones in the grass, but amongst the "upstanding boulders" just below the summit!

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