Melmerby Fell

On the 5th October it was blow the cob webs away time,  it was solo Wildcamping time. After keeping my eye on the weather all week it was estimated that by the weekend high pressure would be with us again so this opportunity couldn’t be missed. Its seemed at first that this could be a nice evening till I seen the low cloud spill off that angry fell (Cross Fell) little more than a mile from me. After seeing what was the most spectacular colours of light shining on me and the trailstar, lighting up the grass with an orange glow this and the site of two gliders flying passed me for about an hour was the highlight of the trip the rest was sort of down hill from there.

The cloud came in and blocked any sign of stars for the whole night,  the wind was picking up giving a very chilly breeze and me been pitched into the wind with no door didn’t help but the trailstar done surprisingly well of keep the most outside, after partially covering my head with my bivy all was good. Daveswildcamping kitchen would be chicken breasts cooked with rice and Curry. I didn’t sleep particularly well probs due to that slight niggling feeling of been unsure and the unsafeness one feels after having a bad experience and coming back for more. I would find myself awakening on a gust of wind battering my fragile tarp almost jumping, thinking “is it still there above me”! For extra security when I tighten the guy lines I put a half hitch knot in for the extra peace of mind and didn’t have any problems the trailstar shredded the winds all night with ease. In the morning before I packed away I took the half hitches out and all seemed well but these winds were not the same as the faithful night on Helvellyn and I will still continue to use these extra security measures. In the morning after breakfast I sat for hours just looking out at what looked like fret from the mist blowing past my tent. I set off to walk back the 3 to 4 miles to the car and not long after I set off I seemed to veer off course and couldn’t find the trail I came along. These fells are tricky as there is no marked path as such nothing on the ordinance survey maps on my GPS only the GPX route I made myself before I set off. Every now and then I would come across what looked like a used path and would follow it. On the way there that was easy because in the distance I could see the cairns of Fiend’s Fell, Little Knapside Hill, Knapside Hill and also my destination, Melmerby fell. But all this was lost on the way back couldn’t see shit, what made matters worse was my Satmap (see link) was all over the place it would have me heading in one direction for about ten to twenty mins then it would say I needed to go another direction and then it would change again. I recalibrated the compass twice and in the end was pleased to see the tall trig of Fiend’s Fell then I new I was ok it was such a relief as I didnt think getting lost with so little distance involved could be such a challenge, walking aimlessly for hours knee deep at times in peat bog and not making much progress can be quite stressful. To sum it up I was pleased I took the trailstar to dismiss a few demons and to see the amazing orange colours of the sun, light up the fell was something special. Stroll on, Inner Nest “trailstar bedroom”.

Watch my video below, thanks.

Coordinates: 54°43′52″N 2°35′58″W / 54.73100°N 2.59937°W / 54.73100; -2.59937

Melmerby is located in Cumbria

 Melmerby shown within Cumbria
OS grid reference NY615375
Civil parish Ousby
District Eden
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PENRITH
Postcode district CA10
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Penrith and The Border
List of places

Melmerby is a village in Cumbria, England. It is a small village with a population of around 200.[citation needed] It is relatively quiet because the area is not as popular with tourists as other parts of Cumbria. The River Eden is bridged about 4 miles (6.4 km) away at Langwathby, and Long Meg and Her Daughters, the 3,500 year old stone circle—the second largest in the country—is nearby at Little Salkeld.

For the purposes of local government Melmerby is within the civil parish of Ousby, informally known as Ousby and Melmerby, in the District of Eden.


Melmerby is supposed to have taken its name from the residence of Melmor, a Dane who lived nearby in the 9th century. The most significant historic buildings surviving in the village today are the 13th century church of St John the Baptist and the Grade II Listed Melmerby Hall, begun as a defensive structure in the early 14th century. A Petition received by Edward II between 1320 and 1326 reads:

"John le Denum petitions the King that whereas he has a castle in Cumberland called Melmerby Tower, which could be kept by a dozen men at arms, he has kept it until now and has often been assailed by the Scots to their great loss, and John's lands are so devastated there and elsewhere that he can no longer bear the expense. He craves help in the form of wages or otherwise until times change, because all the country around would suffer great loss peril and loss if it were taken through lack of garrison."[1]

The Hall, built from the local red sandstone, was extended in the 17th century and again in the 18th century in a Georgian style. The 20-acre (81,000 m2) grounds include an archery lawn, walled vegetable gardens, a Victorian castle folly and wooded areas. Features inside include a priest hole and a large inglenook fireplace.

Modern Melmerby[edit]

Melmerby has one Egon Ronay Guide-listed eatery: the popular Village Bakery,[2] famous for breads and cakes made with organic, stoneground flour. Village residents formed a consumer co-operative and opened a village shop in 2005, that featured on the BBC's Working Lunch.[3] The shop closed in 2008.

In June, during the Appleby Horse Fair, Irish Travellers camp on the village green. The staff in the village pub said that between 150 and 200 caravans camped on the village green for two weeks during the 2005 fair, and caused very little trouble.

The area is popular with ramblers. Melmerby Fell is very close and Cross Fell, the highest part of the Pennines, is only three or four miles (6 km) away.

The A686 road passes through the village, and was described in AA Magazine by travel journalist Phil Llewellin:

"England's great wilderness sprawls across the northern Pennines, where the mountains have fascinating names such as Fiend's Fell and Wildboar Fell. Penrith merits a visit after leaving the M6, and memories of the motorway fade as the A686 crosses the River Eden valley. The mood changes dramatically in Melmerby, where the road starts its long climb to the cafe at the top of Hartside pass, 1,904 feet (580 m) above sea level, with stunning views of the Solway Firth and Scotland.
The road leads to Alston, which claims to be England's highest market town, a charming little place with cobbled streets and quaint buildings. The A686 beyond Alston crosses another breathtaking expanse of windswept upland before running down to the River Allen's beautiful wooded gorge."

The Hartside Fell is a prominent feature of the area.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Northern petitions illustrative of life in Berwick, Cumbria and Durham in the fourteenth century. Ed. C. M. Fraser (Surtees Society vol. 194, 1981)
  2. ^ The Village Bakery, Organic Bread, Cakes and Bars
  3. ^ "Melmerby & Fellside Village Shop Ltd". Village Retail Services Association. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 

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