North Pennine Walks
Date: 5th April 2009
Distance: 10.5 miles
Ascent: 1700 feet
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY810309
A there and back again climb to the top of Meldon Hill starting from Cow Green Reservoir and including a visit to Cauldron Snout.
Route Summary: Cow Green Reservoir - Cauldron Snout - Pennine Way - Grain Beck - Meldon Hill - Kettlegrain Beck - Pennine Way - Cow Green Reservoir
1. Meldon Hill and Cow Green Reservoir
2. Cow Green Reservoir and Mickle Fell
3. Cauldron Snout
4. Maize Beck
5. Grain Beck with Meldon Hill in the background
6. Cow Green Reservoir from Meldon Hill
7. The top of Meldon Hill looking to Cross Fell and the Dun Fells
8. Part of the shattered trig point on Meldon Hill
9. Meldon Hill and Cow Green Reservoir
Walk Detail: After a good run of walks in the Lakes I thought it time to head back to the North Pennines and this time do one of the 2000fters rather than the Deweys I'd done on the last couple of walks.
Meldon Hill is one of the bigger hills but from the west is completely obscured by the higher Dun Fells and Knock Fell. It is quite dominant from Cow Green however and for the length of the reservoir shore I could see almost to the summit.
The walk along the reservoir was thoroughly enjoyable with good views while the detour to Cauldron Snout was certainly worthwhile even if the waterfall itself was not quite as impressive as I expected.
The section along the Pennine Way above Maize Beck was also quite enjoyable and one day I hope to traverse this whole section. Just after the remote farmhouse of Birkdale I turned uphill to begin climbing in earnest.
I'd hoped to make use of the shooters tracks but fairly early on I turned off Grain Beck and began following a thin trod up one of the subsidiary streams. I soon realised my error but it meant I had to cover a lot more rough ground than I would have done otherwise.
Eventually making the top I gave the summit a fairly thorough investigation and saw the shocking violence done to the poor innocent trig point. I'd hoped to see evidence of a path heading towards the northern end of the reservoir - a promising looking trod turned into nothing.
The view from the summit was excellent with Cow Green seen very well. In fact this made for a great view for the first part of the descent which later followed a shooters path alongside one of the sykes and then passed a hut and finally on to the track proper. From there I retraced my earlier steps.
Although not a circular walk I still enjoyed this. Cow Green was a suitably wild place and it offers one of the more impressive scenes in the North Pennines. Meanwhile Meldon Hill itself was a more than worthy object of the walk. If there was a circular route which could take you via the north end of Cow Green this would be magnificent.