The setting sun creates a sun star behind the Wetherlam mountain range. Purple-pink heather is in the foreground.

A quick trip to Holme Fell after work


During the longer days, we’ll try to get out after work and bag a few extra Wainwrights. Today was one of them, and we decided to walk up Holme Fell.

Located just above Coniston Water, Holme Fell is a relatively small hill that is easy to climb. Its surroundings though are very peaceful and relaxing. There are views of the Old Man Coniston and Weatherlam fells to the West, and on a clear day, impressive views from fells such as Pike of Stickle, Lingmoor fell, Helvellyn, Fairfield, Loughrigg, Red Screes and more spanning from North to East.

In fact, at the time of writing, these are the fells that you can see in our banner image on the home page. I’ll include this image later on in this blog for prosperity.

It wasn’t my first time here, as I had recently visited this place on a photography 1-2-1 with Henry Turner. Though on that trip, we didn’t climb to the top of the fell. I’ll also include some of the photos in this blog that I took back then. (This was the same trip where I took photos of the waterfall at Tarn Hows, mentioned in our previous walk at Black Fell).

Parking at an old quarry

Our walk started at Hodge Close Quarry, an old slate mine from the 19th Century. At the time of visiting, we didn’t know a lot about this quarry. There were many signs warning people not to camp at this car park. Probably because there’s actually a small cluster of houses nearby and I can imagine campers caused some issues here in the past. We cautiously peered down from the top and continued our walk.

However, we later found out that this quarry was one of the filming sites for The Witcher, a popular Netflix fantasy TV series. It’s also a popular site for abseilers and cave diving, as the pool of water goes down to around 30m. It’s somewhere we definitely want to go back and explore again in the future.

A short walk to Holme Fell tarn (reservoir)

After leaving the quarry, it’s just a short walk up a gradual hill to a couple of tarns at Holme fell. They don’t seem to have any particular name, but it’s a beautiful spot nonetheless. 

Walking to Holme fell, we walked right next to the larger tarn, which I believe used to be a reservoir.

The water is usually very flat here, making for some lovely reflections of the trees that surround it.

In my previous trip here with Henry Turner, the views out to the surrounding fells weren’t quite as good. But with some composition help from Henry, we used this to our advantage to capture the mood brought in by the low cloud and fog.

Climb to the top of Holme Fell

Once we passed the tarns, it was an easy climb up to the summit of Holme Fell.

Once at the top, we saw a couple settling in for the night in their tent – which left us wondering what the restrictions were for the signs at the car park.

Looking back down at the tarn, later on, we also noticed a few more campers turn up and set up base near the water’s edge.

We reached the Tarn, which, according to our Koomot map, didn’t make sense as Komoot was saying the peak was further South. We explored the area to be sure, but return to the stone cairn to get our photos.

Sunset photography and drawing at Holme Fell

Afterwards, as it was drawing into golden hour, April and I found a quiet spot a little away from the couple at the top.

We sat down to have our packed dinner (some lovely sandwiches and homemade banana bread!). With the sun setting, I wandered about with my camera to snap the fells in the distance, bathed in the light of the setting sun.

Meanwhile, April sat and drew in her sketchbook.

What we hadn’t planned for, however, was at this time of year the sun sets right behind Weatherlam – the 763m tall mountain in the west. Cutting our golden hour short, we began the descent back to the car park.

A blue-hour descent

Although the warm glow from the sun was now gone, what was left was a beautiful purple-blue hue in the sky. The remoteness of this fell meant that there wasn’t a sound coming from anywhere but the birds. Pure bliss.

We also spotted what we think was a large buzzard flying into the forest in our descent, but sadly it was too well hidden for us to find it and take any photos. 

As we followed the track down past the houses here, we eventually reached the car park. 

We had brought a couple of thermos mugs with coffee in them. So, with the remainder of the light, we sat on some large stones in the car park (kinda shaped like benches) and drank our drinks. I could have easily fallen asleep here it was so peaceful.