Barton Fell

Status : Amber
Status Message : During the Corvid 19 period, please take particular care over the following.

Approach the site from the East via Helton. Do not use the Roe Head carpark even if you could find a space.

Take extra care not to land in the cultivated fields below the ridge.

Martindale, the valley in front of the ridge, remains very sensitive during this Covid 19 period.. Please do not fly in a way that risks an unplanned landing in this area.. (The rough ground directly between the ridge and the farm walls is fine.)

"Due to Covid 19, please be sensitive to local concerns: park with consideration, ensure you follow government guidelines re distancing, gloves and masks as appropriate, and respect requests of locals, ensuring you avoid confrontation".

If you do get involved in any dispute please inform the Site Officer as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT - Restrictions on use STAY WELL AWAY FROM, AND DO NOT OVERFLY, ANY HORSES . WE HAVE HAD ISSUES WITH PILOTS CAUSING A DISTURBANCE TO PONY TREKKERS AND THIS MUST BE AVOIDED if we are to retain this site. Landing ONLY on the fellside - DO NOT use any grazed fields. Do not overfly or land on the area to the NE of Aik Beck when commercial pony trekking is likely to take place; i.e before 1700 hours daily from Easter to the end of October.

PARKING ISSUES. Parking is very limited (see above) and with the increasing popularity of the Ullswater Way the problems are going to get worse. Obey the sign-posted instructions, be considerate.
Last Updated : 28/08/2020 at 11:09 by Rick Livingstone
Last Reviewed : 15/05/2020 by Chris Field
Wind : WNW - NNW    
Nil Wind : No    
Grid Ref : NY463212 Height (AMSL) : 1860' / 567m
Site Code : none Top to Bottom : 890' / 271m


NE Lakes - Ullswater


A brilliant site. Barton Fell is the long ridge running down the SE side of Ullswater. The site has excellent slopes with the benefit of gentle ground over the back. Lots of potential for XC flights. No formal permission yet so be polite to any farmers. Good alternative to Clough Head if you don't mind a walk.

Site Officer

Chris Field : 07514746197

Postcode for Sat Nav Systems (read the Health Warning!)

CA10 2LT - This is the closest mail delivery point to the flying site and is positioned at:

Getting There

From the Church at Pooley Bridge follow the road to Howtown but carry straight on at the first cross roads after 500m and park considerately at the end of the track leading to Moor Divock. Grid Ref NY478235.

CAR PARKING IS VERY RESTRICTED AT ROEHEAD! The area available for parking is limited to about a dozen cars if considerately parked. The same area is a popular starting point for many other fell users. On a weekend and in the summer it is likely to be rammed by 1000 hrs. DO NOT PARK ON THE VERGES, passing places or block access to property. if you arrive too late to find a space look elsewhere.

Alternatively, approach from the East via Askham and Helton and park unobtrusively on the fell road that runs SW from Helton in area of GR 497215 (see photo)

Getting to takeoff

The usual take off is not that obvious. The fellside contains a number of tracks which can lead you past take-off without realising it; use the NE Lakes 1:25,000 map if you're not familiar with the area. From Roe Head, follow the track from the fell gate up to a large cairn almost at the top of the col. Turn right onto a track and then use the map to locate the correct track at 'The Cockpit". Turn left off the bridleway after Aik Beck before it starts to descend off the fell - you get very close to a wall and Aik Beck is obvious. The usual take off is a grassy bowl; the grass is a bit scuffed from the boots of parawaiters.

For the Helton approach there are numerous options, this is the dry one. Take the very obvious track from GR 497315 heading NW for 0.9 miles. There is a new obvious signpost at the junction (GR 487225) (see photo)where you take a less obvious track WSW and follow it to the Cockpit (0.3 miles) and join the Roe Head route.

Permission to use site

None yet, but it is common land with many users; walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders with lots of potential for conflict. Please be considerate.


The hazards are obvious, there are no hidden traps.

Take Off

Sensible selection of a launch site eliminates any rotor issues.

Sea breeze is interesting. It can approach from either the NW or the SW. The latter SB makes launching difficult and potentially dangerous. The SW sea breeze can be observed as it approaches along the Lake which gives time to take appropriate action. The NW SB tends to reinforce the prevailing NW breeze which can be good ... or bad. If it feels too strong it is worth waiting to see if it settles. Occasionally both SBs arrive and meet in front of the launch forming an impressive convergence cloud.

Landing Areas

Apart from the restrictions mentioned above there are no major concerns over landing. When top landing or bottom landing in the lee of the woods be aware of the possibility of rotor.

One major advantage of parking on the Helton Rd is that it is possible to fly downwind to your car without overflying the pony trekking zone.


Soaring is excellent in the right conditions.

Thermals improve pm once the sun gets on the crags and scree.

XC potential

Massive! Easy ground down wind leads to the M6 and then Tailbridge or the Howgills. Cross the Dales via Swaledale or Wensleydale to the Vale of York and then classic gliding terrain to the Humber and the British Record! Easy airspace until the Vale of York.


Click on the photo for a full size image.

Looking up to Barton Fell from the start of the access track. Take off is behind the large knoll 10 o'clock from the edge of the wood.
Barton Fell on a glorious day looking up Ullswater, Helvellyn ridge in the background
Takeoff on a cold, windy day in February 2007 looking NE. The wind died down as the sun sank allowing a short flight to be snatched.
The normal parking area at Barton does get very busy so an alternative area is to the east. You approach via Askham and Helton to a no through road going SW from Helton. The parking area is at grid reference NY 497 215 by a footpath fingerpost.
From the fingerpost follow the track in a NW direction to another fingerpost at grid reference NY 487 225. Here turn left onto a WSW footpath that will take you to the normal route up to Barton Fell


Local Information - Pubs/Food etc

Nearest pubs to the site - for post flying debriefing only! You may find details of other facilities here

No pub details are available for this site. Send your recommendations to the webmaster.


This page shows records for this site. Some of the older records are not very detailed. More recent records may have an igc file available You can right click and download this to your PC. You can then use IGC Flight replay to view the flight.

FAI Triangle  
Distance : 18.6km
Date : 16/04/2007
Pilot : Martin Sandwith
Notes : Utilised the ridge of High Street with various attempts to push out forward
Open Distance XC  
Distance : 94.7km
Date : 22/04/2017
Pilot : Jaysen Metcalfe
Notes : A four hour flight landing to the south of Addingham, to the west of Ilkley
IGC File : Right click to download
Out and Return  
Distance : 22.2km
Date : 04/11/2014
Pilot : Mike Cavanagh
Notes :
IGC File : Right click to download
Turnpoint Flight  
Distance : 99.8km
Date : 22/04/2017
Pilot : Jaysen Metcalfe
Notes : A four hour flight landing to the south of Addingham, to the west of Ilkley
IGC File : Right click to download
Hang Gliding

No hang gliding records available for this site

Data Resources

Follow the links to see the site in Google Earth and Google Street view. To access the former, you will need to have Google Earth installed on your PC. You can also upload your flights to GE - use GPS Dump (Links Page) to convert a variety of GPS file formats to a GE kml file.

Link Resource Type Notes
Google Earth Google Earth - Car Park
Google Earth Google Earth - Take Off
Street View Google Street View - Parking Try to park carefully. As you can see, the verges are suffering badly. The route to take off is by walking through the gate in front

Barton Fell Map


Barton Fell Map