At the jetty, cross over the bridge and follow wooden signs to Sandwick. You’ll pass through a couple of swing gates; keep following the signs to Patterdale/Sandwick. You’ll follow a drystone wall on your right, then begin to climb up to the base of the fell. Go through a gate and bear left along the base of the fell (the trail runs roughly parallel to the roadside so it’s fairly hard to get lost). Gradually, the path climbs up the side of the fell, offering views back towards the jetty and the lake.
After a while, you’ll reach a fork in the path. Take the right-hand (uphill) fork, following another drystone wall. From here, it’s a straight climb of about 20 to 30 minutes, all the way to the top of the fell at 388m. Take your time, and build in a few breathers along the way; you’ll have super views back over the quiet valleys of Martindale and Boredale.
Eventually, after a bit of puff, you’ll reach the top of the fell. There are several humps around the summit; the official peak is marked by a stone trig point. Wherever you choose to sit, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view across Ullswater, stretching all the way north to Pooley Bridge and west to Glenridding and Patterdale. Keep your eyes peeled out for the little outline of the Ullswater Steamers cutting across the lake; they look improbably tiny. From here you’ll also get a grandstand view of Helvellyn and its distinctive arête ridges, Striding and Swirral Edge.
Compared to many Lakeland fells, you’re really not very high up, but you’ll feel as though you’re on top of the world – Hallin Fell really does pack a scenic punch that’s way out of proportion to its size.
Once you’ve enjoyed the views, retrace your steps back down the fell the same way you came. At the bottom, you can make a brief detour to see the pretty 19th century church of St Peter’s in Martindale, just off the main road, before heading back down to Howtown for lunch at the endearingly old-fashioned, ivy-covered Howtown Hotel (www.howtown-hotel.co.uk). Then it’s a return trip on the Ullswater Steamers to Pooley Bridge, or if you have time (and an All Piers Pass), a longer cruise all the way around the lake.
Congratulations – you’re now officially a fell walker.