Start: Patterdale, Cumbria
End: Patterdale, Cumbria
Distance: Around 4.5 miles if you go up to the top and come straight back, but lots of options for making this a longer walk around Ullswater.
Ascent: Around 2,000 feet
Time: 3 hours
Getting there: Nearest train stations are Windermere or Penrith, and there is a not very frequent bus that runs between the two stations stopping in Patterdale.
Food and loos: Patterdale has a pub, a hotel/bar and a lovely general store.
Terrain: If you take the path to Angle Tarn, then the paths are well laid and obvious throughout.
Difficulty: 2 – the walk can be made more difficult by taking a different line of ascent or distance, but if you stick to the main path then the walk provides no real challenges.
The weather has been pretty terrible for two days; it was so bad on Saturday that you couldn’t even see Place Fell from Patterdale because of the low cloud cover. I had tried to climb Place Fell on Friday, but really the conditions were too poor, and having chosen a more difficult line of ascent, I quickly decided that climbing/slipping up a steep fell in the driving rain wasn’t much fun.
The glorious weather on Sunday gave me an excuse to try again. This time I took the more established Coast to Coast path out of Patterdale, and climbing up Place Fell was a breeze. There is a steep gravel path, eventually leading to stone steps as the near the top. There is a small and easy scramble up a gully, and then a short walk on the plateau top to the small summit and cairn.
I picked the right time to go up as I had the summit to myself for 15 minutes. On the way back down the same path, I must have seen more than a dozen different groups climbing the fell. It’s a simple walk back down to Patterdale from there. You have the choice of a higher or lower path along the slopes of Place Fell, both ending at the same destination. I don’t think there’s anything to choose between them, but perhaps the higher path is slightly more straightforward.