Long Fell

Long Fell

Long Fell, together with its near neighbour Tinside Rigg, is one of two summits in the Warcop Range that have recently been promoted to the list of English mountains.

Height (m): 623.5
Height (ft): 2046
Prominence (m): 16.5
Classification: Nuttall
Hill No: 2762
Grid Ref: NY768198
OS Map OL19
No. of Visits 1, 2

I first visited Long Fell and its near neighbour Tinside Rigg in May 2014 en route between Roman Fell and Little Fell. Having traversed the two tops and taken a closer look at the map I was convinced that both met the requirements of the Nuttall list of hills, a minimum of 2,000ft height and 50ft of prominence. I was delighted therefore that two years later, on 18th November 2016, the indefatigable surveying duo, John Barnard and Graham Jackson, re-surveyed the two hills and found that they were both indeed Nuttalls.

Long Fell from Roman Fell
Long Fell from Roman Fell

It is always nice to see a hill promoted on to one of the official hill lists. Unfortunately though in this instance both tops are situated on the MOD’s Warcop Range which has very awkward access arrangements. Access is only allowed on designated non-firing weekends and even then visitors are asked to stick to public rights of way. Although a bridleway passes close to the summit of Tinside Rigg the difficulty accessing the two tops led to John and Anne Nuttall adding them as optional summits. In other words they allow someone to be classed as a completer without including these two hills. Needless to say after they had been officially promoted I needed to go back and visit them again, something I did on a magnificent walk in May 2018.

The top of Long Fell looking towards Little Fell
The top of Long Fell looking towards Little Fell

Of the two Tinside Rigg is marginally the higher by only 1ft. In reality it is only a grassy bump and Long Fell is much more interesting. The highest point was discovered to be not at the 622m spot height but at 623.5m a bit further west. The exact highest point is situated about 8m south-west of a cairn in an area of limestone. The limestone pavement in the summit area is quite unusual in the North Pennines. Even finer limestone scenery can be found further to the south-east on Musgrave Scar and Mount Ida.

Long Fell from Hayber Lane
Long Fell from Hayber Lane

Long Fell’s finest feature is the magnificent escarpment to the south of the summit overlooking the main area of the Warcop Range. It looks impressive when approaching on the public right of way up through the range to Warcop Scarth. It is even more enjoyable to walk along. At the south-east of the edge is a collection of prominent cairns standing on Longfell Pike. These command a quite superb view across the Eden valley.

The cairns on Longfell Pike
The cairns on Longfell Pike

As mentioned access to Long Fell is, by the strict arrangements of the Warcop Range, not allowed. The summit does however stand near the top of a track which zig-zags up from East Moor near Hilton. I’ve not climbed all the way up this track but it may be a permissive path. I certainly saw a sign pointing in that direction for a permissive path when I revisited both Long Fell and Tinside Rigg in May 2018. Another alternative is to take the aforementioned path to Warcop Scarth and shortly after take a track heading up the left. My hunch is that this connects with the East Moor track.

Looking along the escarpment towards Roman Fell
Looking along the escarpment towards Roman Fell

A final option is from the sketchy bridleway just to the north of Tinside Rigg. Whichever route you take remember to take care where you put your feet. Long Fell is inside the impact area of the Warcop range and a number of rusting shells can be seen in the area. Perhaps the most spectacular of these is to be found right on the 622m spot height. Given the amount of sheep I’d be surprised if live shells were used and then left lying about – still you can’t be too careful!

The half-buried shell at the 622m spot height on Long Fell
The half-buried shell at the 622m spot height on Long Fell

Long Fell Walks

5th May 2019 – Distance 12.0 miles: Hilton – East Moor – Moor House – A66 – Hayber Lane – Warcop Scarth – Dogber Tarn – Tinside Rigg – Long Fell – Roman Fell – Slape Stones – Low Hause – Hilton Beck – Hilton.
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3rd May 2014 – Distance: 12.2 miles: Hilton – Swindale Brow – Swindale Edge – Christy Bank – Roman Fell – Long Fell – Tinside Rigg – Little Fell – Scordale Head – Scordale – Hilton.
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