Walking from Helton to Roe head lane
I used to live in this beautiful little village (Helton) that straddles the fells of Askham CP so when we were given an opportunity to return, I jumped at the chance. It was over twenty years since I’d last visited and I couldn’t wait to show my kids the village I’d grown up in.
The first walk we did was from the fells of Helton over to Roe head lane. Whilst you’re able to then walk on to Pooley Bridge (an extra mile and a quarter), we decided not to and did a round walk back up onto the fells where we’d parked.
Although you access the fell from Helton it is called Askham CP Fell. having driven through the village and over the cattle grid you will pass two farms on your right and a number of small wooden signs (knee height) but it is the tall wooden sign on your right that you need to look for.
It is just to the right of a gravel area where you can park. Other than this parking, parking is entirely on the grass – which at the moment is a bit wet. If your car is heavy, old, useless or all three, like ours, I’d advise that you park on the gravel area.
The walk is relatively flat, aside from a few puddles and the path is well worn. Unless you stray from the path (continuing straight at all times) it is impossible to get lost! It’s a super simple walk of less than 3 miles return and perfect for kids.
Surrounded by sheep and bracken it is a very peaceful walk that gives way to amazing views of Ullswater.
Mummy, can I touch the sheep?
You will share your walk with sheep but have no fear they have no inclination to be any proximity to you. My kids have been desperate to touch one and have made it their mission but so far have failed miserably!
If it’s wool that you’re after, there’s loads to pick up – even if it is wet and smelly.
The weather how it changes so
Being in The Lake District you need to prepare for EVERY eventuality; rain, shine; snow; wind; sleet… Yup, in ten minutes it can all change.
We left our walk all wrapped up except the boy, who took off his lovely waterproof jacket and said he was SO HOT he had to walk with just his hoodie. Strange boy. It was 6 degrees c. It didn’t seem to perturb him though.
Look out landmarks
There are a number of landmarks along the way that you can look out for.
Many, many years ago a Roman road ran over the hills and the area is littered with stones and ring cairns. It is likely that the stone circles relate to a settlement and burial ground from the Bronze Age. The cop stone is shaped like a tooth and leans to one side.
It’s The Lake District and there are lots of puddles. Don’t underestimate their depth but they’re great for encouraging kids along a walk. Jumping puddles is a big favourite of ours.
Views over Ullswater
As you’re walking along, you suddenly realise the the terrain is starting to drop down and you’re met with the most beautiful views of Ullswater. The view is so striking that it stops you in your tracks and you’re stood there feeling rather inconsequential.
Autumn in The Lakes is such a special time; the trees turn the most fantastic range of colours russet reds, burnt oranges and browns; the grass is green and lush but the bracken is still brown and crunchy.
Other things to look out for
It’s autumn here and there aren’t many flowers still around, except gorse however in the summer there are many wild flowers growing as well as butterflies and birds. You might see birds of prey or maybe a huge big shark…
Dropping down to Roe Head Lane
All of a sudden, the fell gives way to a much steeper, bare but rocky path as you drop down onto Roe Head. There were a number of cars parked on the side of the road and the huge road sign saying ‘ROE HEAD LANE’ kind of gives it away!!
There might be a few sheep to meet you too but really they’re antisocial buggers.
Once you have hit Roe Head, you have the option to continue to Pooley Bridge which is an addition mile and a quarter or heading west to Howtown which is 3 miles.
The initial climb back up to Askham fell is slightly steeper (although not really in Cumbrian terms) before flattening out again.