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North Pennines Walk
Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

Region - North Pennines

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 12.0 miles / 19.5 km

Ascent - 3100 feet / 939 metres

Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference NY646324
Lat 54.685397 // Long -2.550615
Postcode CA10 1RN (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Pennine Hills form the backbone of England and Cross Fell is their highest point. This walk includes some wild country and it is recommended that a fine day is chosen before setting out. Even in fine weather Cross fell can attract a covering of cloud so it is essential that you have good navigational skills, an appropriate map and suitable equipment.

Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The start is the small village of Kirkland (Grid ref. NY646324) where a number of roadside parking opportunities exist. Having parked continue up the lane past Kirkland Hall onto a clear track. Ahead lies the massive bulk of Cross Fell rising in layers to the summit plateau (893 m). The track rises gently at first but steepens after Kirkland Beck. Where the gradient becomes more taxing, the track loops up the hillside before the gradient eases. Where the track goes sharp left (Grid ref. NY 671 348) continue ahead on a clear path past the decaying corrugated iron bothy to reach the Pennine Way (Grid ref. NY 684 352).

Turn right and continue climbing to reach Cross Fell's summit plateau. There are a number of cairns indicating the path with the summit occupied by a trig column with a large wind-shelter close to hand. The view is superb with the Vale of Eden below and the Lakeland Fells occupying the horizon with Blencathra easily identified.

Leave the summit in a southeasterly direction following the Pennine Way south. You descend through rough scree to Tees Head (the source of the River Tees) to where you will return after visiting the next two summits. The Pennine Way in this area is well maintained and progress onto Little Dun Fell and Great Dun Fell (with its radar station) is fast.

The views from Great Dun Fell are much the same as those from Cross Fell but you do get a better look at the rough moorland to the southeast that stretched into Teesdale. Turning north, retrace your steps to Tees Head (Grid ref. NY 696 338) and locate the indistinct path back into the Vale of Eden. Close to it is hard to see but from 50 metres away you can see a distinct line in the moorland.

Having located this path descend southwest across the southern flank of Cross Fell. In places the going is a little wet underfoot but in general the path is easy to follow and distinct. Descend steeply over Wildboar Scar and continue past Grumply Hill to reach sheep pens after crossing to the north side of Crowdundle Beck (Grid ref. NY 661 317). Continue between wall to reach Wythwaite. Turn right here and follow the track towards Ranbeck Farm. Just before reaching the latter turn left along the track to exit on the road in Kirkland.

 
Go to full list of North Pennines Walks

 
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Ordnance Survey Explorer OL31Sheet Map1:25kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Explorer OL31Digital Map1:25kBUY MAP
Ordnance Survey Landranger 91Sheet Map1:50kBUY MAP
Anquet OS Landranger 91Digital Map1:50kBUY MAP

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

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OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

Recommended Reading

Walking in the North Pennines

Walking in the North PenninesThis guidebook describes 50 day walks across the North Pennines, England's remotest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty taking in parts of Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland. Most of the routes are circular and they range from 5 to 14 miles, with something to suit all abilities. Route descriptions are accompanied by 1:50K OS mapping.
More information


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