Wild Camping On Great Mell Fell Lake District

Pre Great Mell Fell

On my way up Great Mell Fell in the Lake District Cumbria North West England today 12th September 2011( this blog is live as usual) with my mate Paul aka the muss. I picked this location as its west from our home town and Paul has been screaming to test his Vango Hurricane out in storm force conditions and my have I an evening in store for him and he tells me he wants a small hill as his fitness is not too good.

Tell you the truth if one of our tents has to blow away I am half hoping its mine as his been a two-man tent and mine been a tight single man tent I don’t fancy been squished in mine with him, his breath stinking of brandy and his snoring not to mention his smelly backside.

Our Route 

 On The Summit Of Great Mell Fell

Heres what happened, We new what we were letting ourselves in for catching the tail end of hurricane Katia blown in from the States.
The purpose of this Wild Camp was to test Pauls Vango Hurricane and by god we did.
I arrived at Pauls at 12.10pm we finally were on our way after Paul packed some of his gear and arrived at our destination around 3pm. I was keep saying how lovely this hill is the wind blowing the grass and patches of trees scattered it look very idealic.
At first the wind didn’t appear very strong at all then by we were half way up we recorded around 63mph on Pauls Kestrel wind gauge.
It was tuff standing up sometimes having to spread one leg out behind us to keep the wind from sweeping us off our feet, I have never experienced winds so powerful.
We reached the summit of Great Mell Fell not a big Hill by anyone’s standards, we stood there for a while pondering what to do, do we go for it and pitch on the top or head down in a more sheltered spot, we headed back down and after deciding the lower location lost views over at least one direction we headed back to the top.

My Hilleberg Akto In 80mph Winds

I proceed to pitch the Hilleberg Akto with Paul sitting on the flysheet whilst I pegged down the corners, standing watching my poor Akto get battered we recorded 79.1 mph as you will see in my video.

Pauls Kestrel Wind Speed Meter
We then started working on the Vango Hurrricane, when he pulled all these poles out of his bag I thought to myself no way on earth this is going up, frantically holding onto the canvass, a few bent poles later we gave up never even raising it off the floor we decided to head to lower ground to pitch leaving my Akto up on the summit with my Osprey Argon inside we headed down. On discovering a snapped pole Paul discussed sleeping in the car I would have quite happily slept in my tent having the walkie talkies with us we could have at least kept in touch, I thought that wouldn’t be fair so we set off back to the summit took down the Akto and headed home. Both very sick by this time, our first Wildcamp we have had to leave for home.

Anyone reading this may think Paul is a little unlucky, well I think he’s not, for someone to lose a piece of gear a Satmap in this case, standing him at £400 with SD card for him to return the next day 200 miles round trip to find three cars parked in the very spot he lost it with a note on one of them asking him to contact them for a lost piece of hiking equipment. Paul I bet your relieved.

Just came across this forum members having a bit of a giggle at this blog post.

Great Mell Fell
Great Mell Fell from Gowbarrow Fell
Elevation 537 m (1,762 ft)
Prominence 198 m (650 ft)
Parent peak Helvellyn
Listing Marilyn (hill), Wainwright
Translation Large rounded bare hill (Scots Gaelic, English)
Pronunciation /ˌɡrt ˌmɛl ˈfɛl/
Great Mell Fell is located in Lake District
Great Mell Fell
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Eastern Fells
OS grid NY397254
Coordinates 54°37′12″N 2°55′59″W / 54.62°N 2.933°W / 54.62; -2.933Coordinates: 54°37′12″N 2°55′59″W / 54.62°N 2.933°W / 54.62; -2.933
Topo map OS Explorer OL5, Landranger 90

Great Mell Fell is a hill in the Eastern Fells of the English Lake District. It is a north-eastern outlier of the Helvellyn range, but, like its twin Little Mell Fell, is isolated from its fellows, standing in the middle of a flat plain. Presenting a symmetrical domed profile from almost all aspects, Great Mell Fell conspires to appear almost artificial, akin to jelly turned out of a giant mould.

Topography and land use

The hill lies on a low ridge, barely perceptible in places, which provides the connection between the Northern and Eastern Fells. This watershed runs from Bowscale Fell, across Eycott Hill to Great Mell Fell, and then up the north eastern ridge of Great Dodd. It forms the boundary between the Derwent/Cocker system in the west and the wide catchment of the Eden Valley.

To the north west of the fell is an old rifle range, now disused but still with some fittings in evidence. This was once a reason to declare Great Mell Fell strictly off limits, but this is not the case nowadays and the fell is free land. The National Trust currently owns the fell above the fenceline.

Great Mell Fell is extensively planted with Scots pines on the east, and occasional trees dot the fell all around the base. Near the summit are a few stunted larches, blown almost horizontal by the prevailing winds.[1]

Summit and view

The summit bears a small cairn built on top of a mound. The Ordnance Survey maps identify this as a tumulus and it is believed to have been a Bronze Age burial mound.[1]

Due to its isolation from higher ground, Great Mell Fell is a Marilyn, and an excellent viewpoint.[2]


The fell can be climbed most easily via a path from Brownrigg Farm to the south east, and additional access can be gained through the old rifle range.[1] There is also a footpath which circles the base of the fell, passing largely through woods and providing an enjoyable low level walk.


  1. ^ a b c Richards, Mark: Near Eastern Fells: Collins (2003): ISBN 0-00-711366-8
  2. ^ Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 1: ISBN 0-7112-2454-4

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40 Responses to “Wild Camping On Great Mell Fell Lake District”

  1. Belgian_Hiker Says:

    LOL on the tents blowing away !

    Have a blast up there and peg everything donw well !

  2. David Murphy Says:

    Yeah you better believe it mate I have brought two extra delta pegs.

  3. MixedUpMessedUp Says:

    Good look you crazy fools!

    When’s the video feed go live ?

  4. David Murphy Says:

    Video feed ? your crazy fool, photos is all your getting.

  5. MixedUpMessedUp Says:

    Has he started on the brandy yet ?

  6. Chris Sumner Says:

    Here we go, hold on tight….

  7. MixedUpMessedUp Says:

    Hmmmm – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMweP0cq2l8

  8. Atky Says:

    Have a good time lads, you’re crazy haha!

  9. Belgian_Hiker Says:

    Any update yet on your progress ?
    Reached the summit yet and started frying the steak ?

  10. Chris Sumner Says:


    and seen as though TheMuss is with you


  11. Chris Sumner Says:


    and seen as though TheMuss is with you


  12. MixedUpMessedUp Says:

    It’s all gone very quiet

  13. Chris sumner Says:

    Did they make it, did they survive ?

  14. Belgian_Hiker Says:

    Maybe the calm before the storm… LOL

  15. Carl Says:

    Have fun

  16. David Murphy Says:

    Sorry all you people but am back home now, had to pack up and head home my mates tent was damaged before we got it up. 🙁

  17. Chris Sumner Says:

    OH well, at least oyu tried Dave

  18. Paul aka The Muss Says:

    two attempts on errecting the vango hurricane and we still never got it up wind was too strong bent both poles and split one we then went down into sheltered area and tried again this time pole snapped the split was worse than I thought so it was time to head home loved the wind was mad 79mph was quite strong even enough to blow me over lol wish i took the famous voyager

  19. David Murphy Says:

    Yeah mate, it was rough on the hurricane and our bodies but the akto was lapping it up, am sure it was sniggering at us rolling around in the wind.

  20. David Murphy Says:

    Didn’t get anytime to do my suppa or anything no time to tweet or comment all our time was spent on the vango hurricane 🙁

  21. David Murphy Says:

    Fun, Carl haha

  22. David Murphy Says:

    Yeah we tried alright Chris

  23. David Murphy Says:

    I will try and get a vid up today and a few screenshots.

  24. David Murphy Says:

    Atky…..great time, don’t even say it.

  25. Belgian_Hiker Says:

    Shame guys – would have been a carzy night on a hill with that wind.
    So the Akto stood up to it no problem?

  26. David Murphy Says:

    Yeah i was quite happy to rough out the night mate it looked nice and cosy inside the Akto 🙂

  27. kilburnicus Says:

    Loved it.
    Total quality.
    Blows everything away.
    Living the dream
    take care.

  28. kilburnicus Says:

    Vango ???
    Hilleburg and Terranova.
    That’s where it’s at.

  29. Paul aka The Muss Says:

    yea it had to be tested vango hurricane was shit

  30. David Murphy Says:

    Hi Killy stranger, yeah Vango i have never rated there gear, mats tents and a pan set I have had of theres, the mat kept going down, the pan set had non stick pealing off inside just with boiling water and there tent, well lets just not go there.

  31. alan g Says:

    Hi dave and paul long time no see. i use a vango hurricane 200 and i have had no bother with it in the wind before mind u i have not put it up in wind like that it is a great back packing tent and has served me well. i have also used my vango tenpist 200 and it is a good tent as well i can’t recommend vango stuff enough . it is good to see you’s out and about again hope you’s had a great time LOL 🙂 happy wild camping AG

  32. Rex Baum Says:

    Good on you boys!!!!

    The video says it all!!!

  33. David Murphy Says:

    Hi Alan,
    Nice to see a comment from you again, am sure Paul will agree with me, the Hurricane 200 is a sound strong tent once its up that I have no doubt but faced with these conditions tents with as many poles are very difficult to manage, two of use with great care could not raise this of the ground without damaging it, impossibilty

  34. David Murphy Says:

    Thanks Rex much thanks.

  35. Paul aka The Muss Says:

    yea if I could have went up before the storm put it up then returened a few days later would have been quite a different story but as it happens I bought the hurricane 200 cause I thought it was like a cheaper version of the quaser how wrong was I. I loved vango gear still got my vange spectre 200 which was a really good started tent for me but I think that old saying you only get what you pay for springs to mind you just have too look at a bloody single pole akto bending and flexing in pretty much 80mph winds and the fact that Dave can still go camping in it cause it aint damaged makes me sick lol the hurricane is for sale if you need any spares

  36. David Murphy Says:

    Mate I will give you the price of a good breakfast, it doesn’t look good for vango gear with my mat video just going up, I wish I could find that non stick vango panset I had I would make a vid of that too.
    I maybe going for a wildcamp in the next couple of days am really itching mate got bug after the last attempt.

  37. Paul aka The Muss Says:

    yea you go and leave your poor mate behind 🙁

  38. David Murphy Says:

    Am thinking of Sunday mate, I’m gagging for some peace and quite having a hill to myself mi

  39. Mark henderson Says:

    just saw this video on the hilleberg website awsom test of the altos strength these tents are amazing

  40. David Murphy Says:

    Yeah they are reliable, I have sold a few with my video adventures over the past three years but it always goes unoticed by http://www.hilleberg.com I have made them thousands my mates just paid £750 for one of there tents yesterday and another has just ordered one and there, and countless others 🙁