…Burney, Beacon Fell and more!
Blawith Knott Route Introduction
Blawith Knott is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. This hike links Blawith Knott to 5 other outlying fells in the south of the Lake District National Park over a distance of 20km including Burney, Tottlebank Height, Wool Knott, Yew Bank and Beacon Fell. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.
Adventurer Nic walked this route on Monday 24th August 2020. These were Outlier numbers 77 to 82 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.
Blawith Knott, Burney, Beacon Fell and More Route Stats
Fells: Burney (298m), Blawith Knott (248m), Tottlebank Height (236m), Wool Knott (223m), Yew Bank (207m) and Beacon Fell (255m).
Total Distance: 20km / 12.4miles
Total Ascent: 770m / 2,525ft
Approx Walk Time: 7 hours
Grid Reference Start: SD 262849
Blawith Knott Route Report
The Lead Up
Previous to this walk, I’d hiked Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell which involved a broken leg and an encounter with Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team. I was hopeful that this day of walking would be much less eventful!
I parked in the big layby on the A5092 on a sunny morning in the southern Lake District. I had just dropped my partner James off in Keswick to start his walk of the 214 Wainwright fells in a single round and I was feeling emotional! A hike alone in the outlying fells to clear my head was just what I needed.
I walked west along road for a short distance before turning right to follow a sign which read ‘Woodland 3 Miles’. I walked over the cattle grid and continued along the tarmac single track road.
After 400m I turned right to head steeply up a grassy path.
To the left in the distance I could see over towards Duddon Sands.
The navigation to the first summit was easy as the grassy path led right to the top of my first fell of the day – Burney.
There is a trig point on the summit of Burney but the grassy lump 10 metres away is actually the highest point of the fell. So I deviated there for a photo.
The Summit – Burney
The views were absolutely outstanding at this early stage and I knew I was in for treat for the rest of the walk.
I could pick out Black Combe, Buckbarrow, Whit Fell, Stickle Pike, Caw and Walna Scar up and onto the Coniston Fells along the skyline and it was stunning!
I suppressed a pang of sadness that I was experiencing such beauty alone.
Blawith Knott was visible up ahead and I followed the grassy path from the summit of Burney which headed off to the north-east.
As the ground became a little slushy underfoot, I took a small detour to visit Burney’s sibling – Little Burney. I went over the summit of Little Burney and headed north-west over pathless but easy grassy ground until I picked up an established path. If you’re not keen on visiting Little Burney, you can stay on the path the whole time and cut out this pathless section.
The path became a little steep and loose as it descended towards a crossroad in the path.
I continued straight on and the path led over a stream, weaved through bracken and then navigated across boggy terrain to gain higher ground onto a tarmac road.
Here I turned left and walked along the road, ignoring the first right-hand fork. Instead I turned right at the main junction, following a cycle fingerpost.
From this junction I continued along the tarmac road uphill before the road started to descend giving me a clear view of my route of ascent up the south-west ridge of Blawith Knott.
The turn off for the grassy path up Blawith Knott came after around 1km of walking on the road and was just after a stream crossing.
I followed the path directly to summit of Blawith Knott.
The Summit – Blawith Knott
Blawith Knott was marked by a cairn.
I saw one other hillwalker approaching the summit just as I was leaving.
I left the summit to the east with Tottlebank Height in my sights. Again, I followed a grassy path, this time down through some bracken.
There wasn’t much of a drop between these two fells. I passed a small tarn to the left.
Then I continued on before taking a right-hand fork in the path up to the summit of Tottlebank Height.
The Summit – Tottlebank Height
It didn’t seem like five minutes since I was atop Blawith Knott but here I was on Tottlebank Height!
I paused for a short while on the summit to enjoy the view before heading down to the north/north-west.
In hindsight it probably would have been easier to retrace my steps to the path junction and turn right as it was a little bit of a tricky initial descent over grassy tufts and bracken with a few hidden boulders to navigate over before I reached the bottom path.
I passed a small group of people with binoculars before crossing a stream. At the next path crossroads I continued straight on towards Wool Knott.
I crossed another couple of streams as I followed the trail uphill. The path snaked through the bracken towards Wool Knott. I peeled off the path to the right as it bent left at the top of the pass in order to reach the summit of my fourth outlying fell of the day – Wool Knott.
The Summit – Wool Knott
The views from Wool Knott summit are simply beautiful. Not only was it my favourite fell view of the day, it is certainly in my top five of outlying fells so far.
Wool Knott overlooks Beacon Tarn which was shimmering in the sunlight. It was also a great vantage point to see the remaining two fells I was going to hike that day – Yew Bank and Beacon Fell.
I paused and had lunch on the summit of Wool Knott so that I could enjoy the view for a little longer.
As I left the summit of Wool Knott I initially retraced my steps, but then I headed north west to a grassy trod which led down to the main path.
I turned left on the main path which was wide and grassy and followed it until it crossed Mere Syke. From there I forked right to follow a smaller trail through bracken, traversing the northern flanks of Woodland Fell.
I forked right twice more, heading downhill passing a large tree on the left. This led through more bracken and to Green Moor Beck, which I crossed at a ford.
After crossing the stream I walked north, keeping the wall on my left.
The path continued to lead north loosely following the wall.
There were a variety of options here but all trails meet together further up. I chose to cross Hodge Wife Gill near the wall.
The grass was often wet underfoot so I chose the driest of the interconnecting grassy pathways to follow uphill through the bracken. As long as you’re going north-east on one of the grassy paths uphill, you can’t really go wrong.
The Summit – Yew Bank
My trail led me to the col between Yew Ban and Rattan Haw, so I turned left at the top to bag Yew Bank.
The summit of Yew Bank was marked with a big cairn. I was surrounded by lovely purple heather which was still in bloom on this late August day.
From the summit I followed a faint path to the east over Rattan Haw. I passed a wind shelter and soon the path disappeared and the heather and bracken thickened.
I headed ‘off piste’ to the right heading towards what looked like a path that ran parallel that was slightly lower down. This path soon too disappeared so I picked the path of least resistance through the tufty grass and heather towards Beacon Fell in the west.
These fells were definitely the most problematic to link up as it involved around a kilometre of tough pathless walking, but that’s part of the excitement of executing four of Wainwright’s routes in one day. You’re probably doing a route that few people have done, so it makes it extra special.
When I made it to the main path I turned left and I only had one more ascent to go. I walked north on the path immediately below Beacon Fell and turned right to follow a steep path up the side of the fell to the north-east.
Half way up the ascent the path disappeared but it was easy to make a beeline to the summit on a compass bearing, easily avoiding the crags and steep ground.
I tried not to get too distracted by the brilliant views of the Coniston fells (and I failed).
The Summit – Beacon Fell
I arrived at the summit of Beacon Fell to a father and son flying a drone together.
Beacon Fell is marked by a large cairn and from here I could see the Top O’ Selside fells on the other side of Coniston Water.
I could also see as far as Helvellyn to the north.
I left the summit of Beacon Fell following an established trail to the south-west.
The tarn came into view and was just as sparkling and magical as it had looked from the other side on Wool Knott. By the time I reached the edge of the tarn I realised I was now on the Cumbria Way.
I walked south along the Cumbria Way which soon ran alongside a dry stone wall on my right beside some woodland which offered some much appreciated shade.
The path then weaved through bracken, through a gate, crossed over Greenholme Beck and led uphill into woodland.
The path then did a u-turn to the right to run alongside a wall. This led through another gate and along a path with walls on either side of the trail. This opened out into a field where I kept the wall on my right. I passed through another gate at the end. After this gate I turned left. When the path forked beside a large boulder in an opening I kept right. Keeping right kept me on the Cumbria Way where the grassy path rose.
I glanced behind me on this section to see the most beautiful view of the fells to the north.
I passed to the left of Tottlebank Height. And at the end of the footpath I turned left onto a farm track which soon merged into a tarmac road. I walked down the road until I saw a fingerpost for a public bridleway.
I took this right fork and walked down the grassy track. When the track split I took the right-hand fork which led over a stile.
I continued across the field following the trail, which ultimately bent east to run alongside a dry stone wall.
The Home Straight
I passed through a series of gates keeping the Kiln Bank farm buildings on my left. At this point I left the Cumbria Way by continuing south. I passed through a metal gate and peeled off the track following the right of way down to the stream. Crossing the stream using the small stone bridge, I continued heading south.
I then crossed over the wall using the stile. Then, I headed across the field to the stile in the next wall. After this, I continued on passing through a gate in the bottom right of the field. From here I turned right to walk along the track at Raisthwaite.
I passed through the farm yard and through a gate to a tree-lined path. I crossed the stream and went through another gate. Hiking across the field, I went through the gate in the top right of the field and walked straight on following the grassy trail.
I crossed a road and continued straight on, and then crossed a track to continue uphill. I passed a big boulder with a tree growing out of it which boggled my mind.
The final challenge was to make it over the boggy ground to the col to the east of Burney. My legs were tired at this point and I was craving a cold drink! There were no real paths to follow here due to the terrain. This meant it was hard going, but I kept sneaking peeks behind me at the stunning views. Once at the col the path reappeared and I walked downhill to the right of a wall.
I dropped down onto the road and retraced my steps over the cattle grid back to the car.
Potter Fell would be my next Outlying Fells of Lakeland walk.
About the Author
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.