Ullock Pike

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Ullock Pike
Ullock Pike from Whinlatter Pass road.jpg
Ullock Pike and Longside Edge from the Whinlatter Pass road.
Range: Lake District Northern Fells
Summit: 2,270 feet NY244287
54°38’53"N, 3°10’23"W

Ullock Pike is a fell in Cumberland, in northern part of the Lake District. It is located four miles north-west of Keswick and achieves a height of 2,270 feet. The fell sits on Skiddaw’s south western ridge along with two other fells (Long Side and Carl Side), this ridge is regarded as the finest way to ascend Skiddaw, and Alfred Wainwright commented:

There is no doubt in my mind that by far the best approach to the top of Skiddaw is by way of its north-west ridge. This offers a fine expedition along a narrow crest in exciting surroundings and provides excellent views throughout … for the collector of summits here are three waiting to be picked off in addition to Skiddaw.


The fell's name comes from the Old Norse language and translates as "The peak where the wolves play": úlfr means 'wolf' and leikr means 'play'. There is records that the fell was called Ulvelaik in the 13th century.


Ullock Pike drops away steeply on its eastern side to the little-known valley of Southerndale while its western slopes which are clothed in woodland lower down fall to Bassenthwaite Lake. When viewed from the north Ullock Pike is observed as a slender peak which catches the eye but from other directions it is seen as just a bump at the end of Longside Edge. The fell of Long Side is just 650 yards away along the ridge to the south west and Ullock Pike has just 46 feet of topographic prominence from it and therefore fails to qualify as a 'Hewitt' or a 'Nuttall' and relies on Wainwright to give it the status of a separate fell, which he does mainly because of the quality of the view and the excellence of its form from the north.

There is a low lying outlying top to Ullock Pike, which stands a mile away along the northern ridge and has the unusual name of Watches, with a height of 1,093 feet it is a distinctive summit made more remarkable by an unusual rash of Igneous rocks amongst the grass and local Skiddaw slate which give the initial impression of being an ancient stone circle or even a small quarry but are apparently a natural rock formation.

Ullock Pike (centre) and Long Side (left) from the north-east


In common with much of the Northern Fells the Kirk Stile Formation of the Skiddaw Group predominates. This is composed of laminated mudstone and siltstone with greywacke sandstone and is of Ordovician age. There are many small intrusions of lamprophyre and diorite.[1]


There are two possible starting points for the ascent of Ullock Pike from the north, the one from the Ravenstone Hotel at grid reference NY235296 is hampered by a lack of parking space but does have a bus stop (there is parking in Dodd Wood 1.5 km to the south). The other starting place is at NY236310 on the minor road to Orthwaite, both routes utilise the northern ridge to climb the fell, there is a significant false top which is in view for a long time before the true summit is attained.


The top of the fell is a small neat spot carpeted with heather which gives a fine all round view, though curtailed by the bulk of Skiddaw to the east.


  1. British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)