If you’re staying near Ullswater or on the east of The Lake District and you’re looking for a short hike with children, this walk is a perfect mini-hike for kids. It starts from Helton, Askham Fell and culminates short of Ullswater near Pooley Bridge or into Pooley Bridge if you want to. Read on for a map and photo prompts.
Walking From Helton To Roe Head Lane
This short walk, which is mostly flat and across a wide farm track takes you from the fells of Helton over to Roe head lane near Pooley Bridge. 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.
If the weather is nice, you can take a dip in the stream that runs across Askam Fells or have a picnic. It’s a gorgeous area to spend time in.
Getting to Helton (Askham) Fells
Although you access the fell from the village of 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 can be wet. If your car is heavy, old, useless or all three, like ours was, I’d advise that you park on the gravel area.
Flat Hiking Over The Fells
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.
Can You 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 failed miserably which has been quite funny to watch.
If it’s wool that you’re after, there are loads to pick up – even if it is wet and smelly.
Expect Weather Changes
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*c. It didn’t seem to perturb him though.
Landmarks To Look Out For
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.
Jump In The Muddy Puddles
It’s The Lake District and there are lots of muddy puddles. Don’t underestimate their depth but they’re great for encouraging kids along a walk. Jumping puddles is a big favourite of ours.
The Views Over Ullswater Are Spectacular
As you’re walking along, you suddenly realise 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 Marks To Look Out For
It was autumn when we visited and there weren’t many flowers still around, except gorse however in the summer there are many wildflowers 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 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 additional mile and a quarter or heading west to Howtown which is 3 miles.
Return To The Start
The initial climb back up to Askham fell is slightly steeper (although not really in Cumbrian terms) before flattening out again.
Where Could You Stay In The Lakes?
We booked a cottage through Sykes Cottages (Click the link to see) but usually we stay with Airbnb.
Add This To Pinterest
If you fancy doing this walk with your kids, you can add it to your Pinterest board.
What else can you do in the Lake District with kids?