Caermote Hill

Memorial on top of Caermote Hill
Memorial on top of Caermote Hill

Route Introduction

The two tops of Caermote Hill, the main top and the north top which is also known as St. John’s Hill, are included in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland book. Caermote Hill is situated on the northwestern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests the shortest route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It should be noted from the outset that these fells are not on open access land and permission should be sought from the landowner before proceeding.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Thursday 11th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 22 and 23 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Caermote Hill Route Stats

Fells: Caermote Hill (289m) and St John’s Hill – Caermote Hill North Top (285m)

Total Distance: 3.5km / 2.17miles

Total Ascent: 80m / 262ft

Approx Walk Time: 1 hour

Grid Reference Start: NY 203365

Caermote Hill Route Report

The Lead Up

The Wednesday of this week was a terribly grim weather day. We didn’t venture outdoors at all, but Thursday was better. The cloud base was high and it was windy but at least we’d get a view. The previous weekend we’d had a lovely evening bagging Reston Scar and Hugill Fell on our quest to tick off Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

The Ascent

Caermote Hill from the road
Caermote Hill from the road

We parked in a layby after turning off the A591 and set off uphill along the road until we reached a gate. Gingerly, we negotiated a thin line of barbed wire and gained access to the edge of the field.

We walked uphill, keeping to the right of a fence until we spotted a break in the wall up ahead. Crossing the collapsed wall, we ascended easily up to the summit of Caermote Hill.

View to Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw from the ascent of Caermote Hill
View to Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw from the ascent of Caermote Hill

Behind us, wonderful views across Bassenthwaite Lake emerged, with a dark and fearsome-looking Skiddaw looming above it.

The Summit – Caermote Hill

Memorial at the top of Caermote Hill
Memorial at the top of Caermote Hill

The summit of Caermote Hill is marked by a memorial rock. Weathered plaques remember locals whose ashes were scattered here. One is Walter S Dean 1890-1967, another is Jack Routledge 1905-1965. Memorial plaques to Ethel M Dean and Gwen Routledge join them.

Adventurer Nic on Caermote Hill
Adventurer Nic on Caermote Hill

The summit offers beautiful views to Bassenthwaite lake, Skiddaw and Binsey.

Linking the Fells

We walked along the hill towards St. John’s Hill but soon spotted cows.

Looking back to Caermote Hill on the ascent of St John's Hill
Looking back to Caermote Hill on the ascent of St John’s Hill

We’d read previous route reports referencing a bull in the field so knew to be cautious and considered turning back. It was clear there were calves in the field. But we patiently waited for them to head down the field before we passed through the gate and reached the second summit.

The Summit – St John’s Hill – Caermote Hill North Top

View to Criffel, Scotland from St. John's Hill, The Lake District
View to Criffel, Scotland from St. John’s Hill, The Lake District

At the top of St. John’s Hill was an uninterrupted view across the Solway Firth to Criffel, a large hill in Dumfries and Galloway. The strong winds were giving the west coast turbines a good run for their money.

Adventurer Nic on St. John's Hill
Adventurer Nic on St. John’s Hill

The view to Bassenthwaite Lake had disappeared at this point, but Binsey and Skiddaw still looked really grand from this top.

The Descent

Views on the descent of St John's Hill
Views on the descent of St John’s Hill

We headed down and found a gate in the wall, before picking up our route of ascent back to the car.

Wrapping Up

It wasn’t the best of walks what with the cows and barbed wire to negotiate. Consequently, we were left wondering why Alfred Wainwright picked these two tops as he wasn’t very complimentary of the walk in his book either. In short, the view to Bassenthwaite Lake is adequately covered by Clints Crags which has the added bonus of having no access issues to contend with. Only hardcore peak baggers will head to these two fells.

Next in our peak bagging adventure, we ventured to Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

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