One of our all-time favourite walks is up the small but perfectly formed Sale Fell, towering protectively above us here at the Pheasant Inn. This is an easy walk with only a fairly gentle ascent which is ideal at any time of year but especially perfect for a winter walk to blow away the cobwebs and set you up for a glass of something warm at the end.
To start the walk you come out of our front door, pull on your boots and turn left, heading up the road that leads behind us to the left. From there, you walk up the narrow road, gradually gaining height, passing a smattering of houses and maybe even spotting one of our beautiful red squirrels along the way.
Eventually you will come to a gate on your left hand side with wooden sign pointing towards Kelswick (not Keswick). There will probably be a few cars parked on the verge close by. Go through the gate and your walk on Sale Fell begins in earnest.
The path is well marked, easy to follow and in no time at all you will have reached the cairn marking the summit. Although the summit can be surprisingly windy (so don’t forget your hat,) we advise pausing for a moment to take in the view spanning Bassenthwaite Lake, the snow-capped peaks of Binsey Beacon and Skiddaw as well as the coast of the Solway Firth to the west.
Upon leaving the summit you can head straight back down, however we can highly recommend a little detour, continuing along the path at the back of the summit towards a stone wall. Go through a gate and follow the straight path for about 10 minutes, until you are perched high above Bassenthwaite Lake with the magnificent figures of Skiddaw and Ullock Pike dominating the skyline. A perfect stop for a hot drink and maybe a mince pie whilst you take in the views.
Descending Sale Fell is easy too, you can come back the way you came, follow the path round the fell in a circular route or take a path through Wythop Wood and descend via the gentle zigzagging forest road and end up right back at the Pheasant Inn.
All in all, this is straightforward walk taking no more than a couple of hours and is suitable for all ages. Although diminutive in size compared to other Lakeland peaks, Sale Fell is certainly a place to get away from the crowds and you’ll often find only a few sheep to share the scenery with. It definitely packs a lot of punch in terms of views for its size and best of all you can start and finish right at our door - where we can highly recommend warming up with a mulled wine or two in front of our roaring open fire.