The Fells over the Duddon Valley lie between the Duddun itself and Coniston Lake. Rocky knolls and hidden tarns characterise this quiet but very appealing area. The valley itself is my favourite.
An exquisite 4 square miles of hidden tarns and volcanic fells with great views of the higher Lakeland peaks make the Dunnerdale Fells one of the hidden gems of the Lake District. Set between the tiny hamlets of Broughton Mills and Ulpha the area is only visited by those who are in the know. Whilst I was up there I met a few solitary walkers, aside from one young couple who were sitting in splendid isolation under a rocky outcrop, and some sheep.
It is an area to escape and explore. Maybe this is why Wainwright, despite expressing the view that the Duddon Valley was his favourite Lakeland valley, wrote very little about the spectacular summit of Stickle Pike and area nearby; he wanted to keep the area a secret. Alternatively it is a so and so to get to and operating, as he did, on public transport was always going to be awkward.
I have outlined a route that I believe is best when exploring these fells but it is not an area to follow a route, there are a myriad of sheep tracks dotting the landscape and they do as well as any official path. All I insist on is a visit to Stickle Pike (the highest fell) and the beautiful tarn at the foot of its steep slopes but to be honest the whole area is delectable.
Take the time to drive to either Ulpha or Broughton Mills and explore. I prefer starting at Ulpha but only because I prefer the Duddon Valley.
This is one of my favourite 25 walks in the Lake District
This is an area we use for National Park volunteer training. It is perfect. The paths are intermittent, the ground rough and compass work has to be spot on.
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