Barton Fell

Status : OK
IMPORTANT - Restrictions on use
- We have agreed a NO LOW FLYING AREA to the north of the ridge. SEE PHOTOGRAPH FOR BOUNDARIES. The agreed minimum height is 500ft AGL (~1500ft ASL). This is the absolute minimum, higher is better! This restriction operates every day until 1700 hrs while the pony trekkers are operating. The pony trekking season is flexible and may continue from Easter into mid November. Any change of status will be published on this web site. If you haven't heard, assume trekking is in operation!

DURING COVID, please take particular care over the following:
- Ensure you follow any current BHPA/Government guidelines (including refraining from flying if requested).
- Approach the site from the East via Helton. Do not use the Roe Head carpark even if you can find a space. Even the Helton approach is now getting very busy and issues are arising over roadside parking on the Helton road.
- To maintain a low profile for our activity DO NOT PLANT WIND SOCKS.
- Howtown and Martindale, the valley to the SW of the ridge, remain very sensitive during this Covid 19 period. Please do not fly in a way that risks an unplanned landing in this area.
- If you do get involved in any dispute please inform the Site Officer as soon as possible.

- Take care not to land in the cultivated or grazed fields below the ridge. (The ground directly between the ridge and the farm walls is fine.)

Last Updated : 30/04/2021 at 17:53 by Rick Livingstone
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!)

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

Getting There

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)

The original approach from Pooley Bridge (Roe Head) has caused problems. If you wish to use this approach you may find somewhere to park, if you are lucky! Please be considerate and do not cause any obstruction.

Getting to takeoff

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 then continue on a good track WSW to cross Aik Beck. Head SSW up the obvious ridge, Launch anywhere suitable along the ridge.

The original approach from Pooley Bridge (Roe Head) has caused problems with the local community. If you wish to use this approach and in the unlikely event you find somewhere to park, navigate to the Cockpit and follow directions as above.

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 SW 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

Take care not to land in the cultivated or grazed fields below the ridge. (The ground directly between the ridge and the farm walls is fine.)

Apart from the restrictions mentioned above there are no major concerns with landing. When top landing or bottom landing in the lee of the woods at Barton Park, 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.
Restricted Low Flying Area boundary.
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