Scout Scar

Dog walking to the summit of Scout Scar in the Lake District

…and Cunswick Scar Route Introduction

Walking up to the summit of Scout Scar
Walking up to the summit of Scout Scar

Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar are two of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They’re situated on the south eastern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 13th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 24 and 25 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar Route Stats

Fells: Cunswick Scar (207m) and Scout Scar (233m)

Total Distance: 10.4km / 6.46miles

Total Ascent: 50m / 164ft

Approx Walk Time: 3 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 489924

Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar Route Report

The Lead Up

Earlier that week we’d hiked Caermote Hill in the north-western Lake District on our mission to hike all the Wainwright Outlying Fells during the summer of 2020.

We agreed to meet friends local to Kendal for a walk in the south-east so these two nearby fells fit the bill nicely.

The handy car park, high on Underbarrow Road meant that there wasn’t much ascent to the route, but we extended the walk to include the full ridge of Scout Scar to make a great 10km circuit.

We met our friends, Laura, Chris and Aggie and three dogs Willow, Molly and Eve, and set out.

The Ascent

Kendal local Aggie took the lead as we hiked up from the car park through a small section of woodland before a gate led us out onto the open hillside.

The start of the route to Cunswick Scar
The start of the route to Cunswick Scar

There are many trails that run along the wide ridge to the summit and they are popular with runners, dog walkers and hikers.

View ascending Cunswick Scar
View ascending Cunswick Scar

Alfred Wainwright described this walk as ‘A walk above others: a pleasure every step of the way’ in his book, The Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Views from the ascent of Cunswick Scar
Views from the ascent of Cunswick Scar

We continued north towards the summit. It’s near impossible to get lost here as the summit is on an (almost) perfect northerly bearing.

The Summit – Cunswick Scar

The cairn on the summit is particularly wide as cairns go!

Adventurer Nic and Molly on Cunswick Scar summit
Adventurer Nic and Molly on Cunswick Scar summit

Molly the cocker spaniel was keen to pose for a photo with me by the summit cairn.

Cunswick Scar's large summit cairn
Cunswick Scar’s large summit cairn

In the distance, we could just make out the higher fells of the Lake District. Jagged and pointy peaks like Crinkle Crags, Great Gable and the Langdale Pikes stood out the most.

Linking the Fells

We made a variation on the route back towards the car park.

Immaculate wall on Cunswick Scar
Immaculate wall on Cunswick Scar

A very attractive wall ran along the east of the ridge. We walked alongside it for a while before we looped back to the gate into the woods.

Approaching the woodland on Cunswick Scar
Approaching the woodland on Cunswick Scar

The woods led us back to the car park, but our walk wasn’t over yet!

Trail through the woodland back to the car park
Trail through the woodland back to the car park

We crossed the road and walked along it for a short distance to a large gate which led to the ridge of Scout Scar.

Trees lined the trail
Trees lined the trail

Trees lined the well maintained trail.

James Forrest appreciating the views on the way up Scout Scar
James Forrest appreciating the views on the way up Scout Scar

As with Cunswick Scar, this fell had a variety of route options along the ridge.

Laura looking out at the Lake District countryside
Laura looking out at the Lake District countryside

We chose the path that hugged the western edge of Scout Scar.

Scout Scar views over the Lakeland countryside
Scout Scar views over the Lakeland countryside

There was a steep cliff drop to our right as we walked along the ridge. Set into the cliff were thick trees so you can never quite see the bottom.

Scout Scar views towards Morecambe Bay
Scout Scar views towards Morecambe Bay

In the distance we could see Whitbarrow, another of the Outlying Fells that we’d hiked the previous weekend. It is an almost identical limestone ridge running parallel to this one. Anyone who likes one walk will almost certainly enjoy the other.

Beyond that we could see Morecambe Bay.

We then rounded the corner at the end of the ridge and walked along the eastern side beside another attractive wall.

Following a lovely wall on Scout Scar
Following a lovely wall on Scout Scar

We visited the trig pillar on Scout Scar but continued on towards the large shelter, a bit further up.

Touching the trig pillar on Scout Scar
Touching the trig pillar on Scout Scar

The Summit – Scout Scar

Upon reaching the summit we had a sit down in the shelter.

Adventurer Nic and Willow in the Scout Scar Mushroom
Adventurer Nic and Willow in the Scout Scar Mushroom

The shelter was put up in 1912 and is a memorial to King George V.

Adventurer Nic with Molly and Willow at the Mushroom on the summit of Scout Scar
Adventurer Nic with Molly and Willow at the Mushroom on the summit of Scout Scar

It used to have a view finder, to help hikers appreciate the views around them, but sadly it was vandalised and removed.

View from inside the Mushroom on Scout Scar
View from inside the Mushroom on Scout Scar

The summit shelter is fondly referred to as The Mushroom, as it resembles the fungi in shape.

Plaque on the Mushroom of Scout Scar
Plaque on the Mushroom of Scout Scar

The Descent of Scout Scar

It was a very short descent back to the car from the Mushroom.

Wrapping Up

Our great afternoon walk was topped off with pizza in our friend Katie’s garden in Kendal. We left Kendal late in the evening with smiles on our faces.

Next on the list for tomorrow was Black Combe, White Combe and Stoupdale Head.

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.

Caermote Hill

View from the summit of Caermote Hill in the Lake District
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.

Reston Scar

The summit cairn of Reston Scar
Staveley from the ascent of Reston Scar
Staveley from the ascent of Reston Scar

Route Introduction

Two fells of Reston Scar and Hugill Fell are included in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They are both situated on the southeastern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 7th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 20 and 21 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Reston Scar Route Stats

Fells: Reston Scar (255m) and Hugill Fell (265m)

Total Distance: 4.8km / 2.98miles

Total Ascent: 160m / 525ft

Approx Walk Time: 1.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 471983  

Reston Scar Route Report

The Lead Up

That morning my boyfriend James and I hiked Whitbarrow with friends, and after a coffee in Staveley we commenced our hike of Reston Scar and Hugill Fell from the centre of the village.

The Ascent

Firstly, we left the village and headed north up Silver Street. Shortly after that, two left turns onto School Lane and Brow Lane followed. Subsequently, we ascended away from the village on a track past farmers fields to the north.

Cows lazing in the sunshine just outside Staveley
Cows lazing in the sunshine just outside Staveley

As the trail wound uphill to the west, gorse bushes lined the way.

Staveley from the ascent of Reston Scar
Staveley from the ascent of Reston Scar

We went through a kissing gate to gain a ridge. Beautiful views over quintessential English countryside opened up around us. That is to say, we were mesmerised by the green rolling hills.

Green hills of south Lakeland
Green hills of south Lakeland

We hiked to the summit of Reston Scar over undulating ground.

The Summit – Reston Scar

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Reston Scar, the first of two Wainwright Outlying Fells of Lakeland on this hike
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Reston Scar, the first of two Wainwright Outlying Fells of Lakeland on this hike

The summit was marked by a large cairn. We looked out towards Hugill Fell from the summit of Reston Scar. When Alfred Wainwright wrote his book – The Outlying Fells of Lakeland – access was not permitted between the two hills. Thankfully, in 2020, hill walkers can make a fine circular of these two fells, therefore we took the opportunity to do just that.

Views to the higher fells from Reston Scar
Views to the higher fells from Reston Scar

The Summit – Hugill Fell

We followed the trail north though fields.

Views from the trail between Reston Scar and Hugill Fell
Views from the trail between Reston Scar and Hugill Fell

We visited the highest point of Hugill Fell according to the map, but this is not Wainwright’s summit so we visited the top but then continued on in the direction of Black Crag. We passed through a gap in the wall and up onto the Wainwright summit, which was marked by a small cairn.

Looking towards the Wainwright summit of Hugill Fell
Looking towards the Wainwright summit of Hugill Fell

Ingleborough can be seen from the summit. In addition, we spotted many Lake District classic fells like Crinkle Crags, Scafell Pike, Bowfell, Great End, Great Gable and Harrison Stickle.

Adventurer Nic on Hugill Fell
Adventurer Nic on Hugill Fell

Moreover, the view down the Kentmere valley was really pretty.

The Kentmere Valley from Hugill Fell
The Kentmere Valley from Hugill Fell

The Descent

We descended down following a path to the south east.

Descending Hugill Fell
Descending Hugill Fell

This path led to a tarmacked road. The Kentmere Road led us back into Staveley village.

Wrapping Up

We reflected that the ascent of Reston Scar and Hugill Fell topped off an epic day of peak bagging Wainwright’s Outlying Fells. Above all, we’d enjoyed time in the hills with friends which we’d missed so much during the COVID-19 lockdown. We would continue our quest with Caermote Hill a few days later.

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.

Whitbarrow

The summit of Whitbarrow, one of Wainwright's Outlying Fells of Lakeland

Route Introduction

Whitbarrow is a fell that features in Alfred Wainwright’s guide book – The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the southeastern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 7th June 2020. This was Outlier number 19 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Whitbarrow Route Stats

Fells: Whitbarrow (215m)

Total Distance: 10.2km / 6.34miles

Total Ascent: 200m / 656ft

Approx Walk Time: 3 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 452840

Whitbarrow Route Report

The Lead Up

Our previous peak bagging walk was Watch Hill in the north-west Lake District, it was now time to head to the south-east.

This walk was very special for me as it was my first time meeting friends for a socially distanced walk in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Katie, Laura, Aggie and Graham joined James and I at the meeting point – a large layby south of Mill Side. Three dogs also joined us for the walk – Willow, Molly and Eve.

The Ascent

We walked away from the cars in the direction of Mill Side before turning off to the right at a finger post. This path led up through a farm and into the woodland.

The path zig-zagged uphill before leading us out onto the open hillside.

Cocker Spaniel on the main path up Whitbarrow
Cocker Spaniel on the main path up Whitbarrow

Willow, the young cocker spaniel, enthusiastically led the way, up to the north.

The route was easy to follow and led us over solid terrain at a gentle gradient. We were chatting away, with lots to catch up on after months apart.

Views from the first of many cairned tops on Whitbarrow in the Lake District
Views from the first of many cairned tops on Whitbarrow in the Lake District

There were multiple cairned tops on Whitbarrow but we aimed for the furthest one, which is marked Lord’s Seat on the map.

Limestone along the Whitbarrow ridge
Limestone along the Whitbarrow ridge

Whitbarrow was actually made a nature reserve in 1969 by The Lake District Naturalists’ Trust (now the Cumbria Wildlife Trust). It’s a joy to walk along the ridge surrounded by sections of beautiful limestone pavement.

The ridge runs parallel to the ridge of Scout Scar – another of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland, which we hoped to walk the following weekend.

The Summit – Whitbarrow

Upon reaching the huge cairn on Lord’s Seat, we noticed the memorial plaque to Canon G.A.K. Hervey, founder of The Lake District Naturalists’ Trust.

Memorial plaque on the summit cairn of Whitbarrow
Memorial plaque on the summit cairn of Whitbarrow

This is not the highest point on the fell though, that accolade goes to the rib of rock 15 metres to the southwest of the cairn. So that’s where we paused to eat our lunch.

Eve poses next to the highest point of Whitbarrow
Eve poses next to the highest point of Whitbarrow

We admired the views towards the Langdale Fells before starting our descent.

Whitbarrow summit views towards the Langdale mountains
Whitbarrow summit views towards the Langdale mountains

As we set off on our descent we looked back one last time at the immaculate cairn.

The large cairn on Whitbarrow
The large cairn on Whitbarrow

The Descent

We descended a short distance north before peeling off to the northwest.

We reached Bell Rake and commenced a section of the path that was a bit steeper, with loose scree underfoot. There was also the opening to an eerie cave on this part of the trail.

The steep section on the descent of Whitbarrow
The steep section on the descent of Whitbarrow

At the bottom of the descent we turned left to head south along the woodland trails that run parallel to the ridge of Whitbarrow. These would lead us back to the cars at Mill Side.

Woodland trails on the way back to the car
Woodland trails on the way back to the car

As we entered Mill Side we passed some stunning cottages with immaculately kept gardens and vegetable patches.

Wrapping Up

Before the walk had ended we’d already made arrangements to walk together again next weekend.

Four of us went for a takeaway coffee in Staveley before James and I walked Reston Scar and Hugill Fell later that evening.

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.

Watch Hill

View from Watch Hill, one of Wainwright's Outlying Fells of Lakeland

Route Introduction

Watch Hill and Setmurthy Common are included in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The fells are situated on the northwestern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic walk for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 6th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 17 and 18 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Watch Hill Route Stats

Fells: Watch Hill (235m) and Setmurthy Common (254m)

Total Distance: 7.3km / 4.54miles

Total Ascent: 180m / 591ft

Approx Walk Time: 2.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 137313

Watch Hill Route Report

The Lead Up

Our previous peak bagging walk was a hike up Faulds Brow in the far north of the Lake District. Walking Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland with my boyfriend James has given me the opportunity to explore new and wonderful places, and in this case, it has made me appreciate the hills closer to home. Watch Hill is our local Outlying Fell and the one I’ve hiked the most. It’s a really great little fell with awesome views over the northwestern Lake District mountains and down into Buttermere.

We have walked up Watch Hill from home in the past, but on this occasion we parked in the layby to the south of the fell, where the main road out of Cockermouth splits beside the Bitter Beck.

The Ascent

Two lambs on Watch Hill

It was early evening as we walked west on the path along the main road before reaching a kissing gate which led into a field.

This field often contains sheep and lambs in the spring/early summer.

The lambs were very curious and not at all skittish on this occasion.

We ascended following the right of way north east through the farmers fields, to another gate.

Gorse bushes lined the way as we ascended gently, keeping the dry stone wall on our left.

Right from the start, the stunning Lake District panorama began to open up, with views to Skiddaw, Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Grasmoor, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere), Scoat Fell, Mellbreak, Starling Dodd and Great Borne to name just a few.

James Forrest ascending Watch Hill
James Forrest ascending Watch Hill

We left the wall as it dipped down towards the edge of the woodland and we continued up the grassy ridge, aiming for the highest point.

The Summit – Watch Hill

Alfred Wainwright described the top of Watch Hill as ‘a most delightful promenade’ and I would have to agree with him.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Watch Hill
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Watch Hill

Linking the Fells

We progressed along the rippled ground, sticking to the crest of the wide ridge in the direction of the woodland at the end of the ridge.

Rippled ground joining Watch Hill to Setmurthy Common with Skiddaw in the background
Rippled ground joining Watch Hill to Setmurthy Common with Skiddaw in the background

It’s widely assumed that the ripples are the remnants of medieval field systems known as ridge and furrow.

The Summit – Setmurthy Common

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Watch Hill-Setmurthy Common
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Watch Hill-Setmurthy Common

The summit of Watch Hill (Setmurthy Common) is the highest knoll next to the corner where two boundaries meet beside the woodland.

Adventurer Nic at Setmurthy Common
Adventurer Nic at Setmurthy Common

After pausing on the summit we went over the stile and continued into the woodland.

The Descent

The sky was threatening rain so we were pleased to be under the cover of the trees. We followed a thin path at first which soon led to a steep but short downhill section.

James Forrest entering Setmurthy Woods
James Forrest entering Setmurthy Woods

We then picked up the main forestry track which was wide and made for easy walking.

James Forrest walking on the Setmurthy woodland trails
James Forrest walking on the Setmurthy woodland trails

The forest path undulated and we walked to the soundtrack of birds tweeting away in the higher branches.

Woodland View in Setmurthy
Woodland View in Setmurthy

The woodland eventually exits through a gate and back onto the field we originally ascended.

It was simply a case of following the wall back down to the road. However, our descent was quite eventful! Firstly, it started tipping it down with heavy rain which led to us half walking and half jogging for the last fifteen minutes of the walk. Then we encountered some cows which were congregating around one of the gates. Luckily they dispersed with minimal persuasion.

Looking like drowned rats, we retraced our steps back to the car.

Wrapping Up

We made the short drive back to James’s house to dry off and the following day we headed to the south east in a quest to summit Whitbarrow.

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.

Faulds Brow

View from the summit of Faulds Brow, a Wainwright Outlying Fell in the northern Lake District

Route Introduction

Faulds Brow is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the northern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a great route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Tuesday 2nd June 2020. This was Outlier number 16 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Faulds Brow Route Stats

Fells: Faulds Brow (344m)

Total Distance: 4.25km / 2.64miles

Total Ascent: 130m / 427ft

Approx Walk Time: 1 hour

Grid Reference Start: NY 308397

Faulds Brow Route Report

The Lead Up

The previous day we’d had a hot and sweaty walk up Clints Crags in the north west Lake District, but the weather was about to turn. A long sunny heat wave was about to give way to stormy and much cooler climes.

My boyfriend James and I decided to head for Faulds Brow while visibility was still half descent. It did however look dark and threatening so a rain jacket came with me. Optimism gave way to realism…this is Cumbria after all.

The Ascent

We parked up in the small car park just outside Whelpo and hiked uphill along the road to start the walk. Up ahead we could see a bunch of tiny bunny rabbits, hopping in and out of the gorse bushes on either side of the road.

Sign post to Whelpo on the T junction
Sign post to Whelpo on the T junction

We arrived at a T junction in the road and hit the hillside, where a faint footpath led uphill in a northerly direction towards the summit of Faulds Brow.

View over to Skiddaw from the ascent of Faulds Brow
View over to Skiddaw from the ascent of Faulds Brow

Views of the triangular summit of Skiddaw opened up behind us as we ascended gently on grassy terrain.

The Summit – Faulds Brow

Adventurer Nic standing at the summit of Faulds Brow, looking towards Carrock Fell and High Pike
Adventurer Nic standing at the summit of Faulds Brow, looking towards Carrock Fell and High Pike

At the summit we were greeted by a large cairn. The most recognisable peaks on the skyline were Carrock Fell, High Pike and Skiddaw.

Faulds Brow is 344m in height and is the most northerly summit of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It’s most definitely a ‘hill of two sides’ – one side being the mountainous panorama of the Back O’Skiddaw fells and the other featuring two ugly television masts.

The Descent

As the sky began to bruise, we headed down from the summit of Faulds Brow to the east, walking past a small car park, before turning south down a track towards a farm.

There was a right of way through the farm but there was a polite sign stating that the residents were self isolating due to being vulnerable to COVID-19 so we were deterred from venturing further. Instead we turned right and headed through the fields.

This came with its own challenges. There were cattle with calves in the next field. James wanted to turn back but I was keen to continue towards the stile in the next wall cautiously. The cows eventually lost interest and moved away, giving us the freedom we needed to escape the field quietly and calmly.

Descending Faulds Brow through farm land
Descending Faulds Brow through farm land

We then descended south down towards the road we’d started on. Passing through a gate and walking right around a copse of trees, we made it back onto the road.

We saw one of the rabbits again. This time on the grass beside the bushes so I snapped a photograph. So cute!

Bunny in the gorse bushes
Bunny in the gorse bushes

Wrapping Up

This was a great short walk on the far northern edge of the Lake District. Faulds Brow is seldom walked by visitors of the Lake District National Park, who are lured by the bigger mountains, the lakes and the picturesque towns and villages, but this fell still has a lot to offer, especially to those who have hiked all the Wainwrights.

Next up on our Wainwright’s Outlying Fells agenda was Watch Hill.

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.

Clints Crags

Wonderful views from Clints Crags towards Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake

Route Introduction

Clints Crags is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the northwestern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Monday 1st June 2020. This was Outlier number 15 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Clints Crags Route Stats

Fells: Clints Crags (245m)

Total Distance: 5.25km / 3.26miles

Total Ascent: 90m / 295ft

Approx Walk Time: 1.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 149347

Clints Crags Route Report

The Lead Up

Cumbria was in the grip of a heat wave on the 1st June 2020. I decided to walk Clints Crags one hot Monday afternoon with my boyfriend James after a busy day behind our laptop screens. The previous day we’d walked 12 fells south of Eskdale in an epic 20km peak bagging hike, so at 5.25km, this would be a much more relaxed affair.

It only took ten minutes to drive to Blindcrake from James’s house in Cockermouth.

The Ascent

Tree-lined path to start the walk

We parked up on the road and set off hand in hand, walking north-east out of the picturesque village.

It was a perfect day – blue skies, bright sunshine with a perfect smattering of fluffy clouds.

After only a short distance of road walking we turned right onto a footpath following a finger post.

This led us into a dense tree-lined alley which ascended gently in an easterly direction.

At a gate at the end of the passage, we looked out onto the open grassy hillside.

There were plenty of cows in the field so we took our time, stepping gingerly and giving them a wide berth.

We could see the Clints Crags summit in front of us as we made our way through the field.

A faint path appeared and we followed it before pausing beside the wall that ran along the right hand side of the field and gawped at the glorious views across the northwestern Lake District.

The break in the wall close to the summit of Clints Crags, a Wainwright Outlying Fell in the Lake District, overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake
The break in the wall close to the summit of Clints Crags, a Wainwright Outlying Fell in the Lake District, overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake

A wonderfully deep blue Bassenthwaite Lake looked beautiful in the valley with the giant of Skiddaw looming over it.

The Summit – Clints Crags

We peeled off the path to the left, beside a very small pocket of quarried land to summit Clints Crags.

The summit of Clints Crags in the Lake District
The summit of Clints Crags in the Lake District

A very small cairn marked the summit of this Outlying Fell of Lakeland. At a modest 245m, the view from the summit of Clints Crags was wonderful.

The Descent

We left the summit of Clints Crags and followed the path down past a limestone pavement.

A stretch of limestone pavement sat atop an escarpment. Moss covered the limestone slabs. It has been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest for conservation as it supports a wide ranging number of rare calcareous species of flora and fauna.

The limestone pavement on Clints Crags
The limestone pavement on Clints Crags

From here we descended further to a ruined farm building.

The ruin at the foot of Clints Crags
The ruin at the foot of Clints Crags

The views kept getting better and better! We looked across at Skiddaw, Ullock Pike and Dodd, each decreasing in size as the land fell away to the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. It was a lovely new perspective from which to appreciate these fells.

Adventurer Nic descending Clints Crags
Adventurer Nic descending Clints Crags

We descended further down to Willie White’s well – where water rises from beneath the limestone headwall. Willie White’s well has been marked on maps since the late 1800s.

Adventurer Nic going through the gate close to Willie White's Well on the Clints Crags walk
Adventurer Nic going through the gate close to Willie White’s Well on the Clints Crags walk

We joined a gated lane and walked along it before making a ‘u’ turn at the far end of the route.

Views on the descent of Clints Crags in the Lake District
Views on the descent of Clints Crags in the Lake District

Avoiding some more cows, we followed the right of way through fields. A series of wide, flat sections of field were each separated by a short drop as they sat like shelves on the hillside.

Lambs in the shade of a tree
Lambs in the shade of a tree

We walked west, with Thackray Woods now above us, before views to Isel Hall opened up below us in the valley. Parts of Isel Hall date back to 1400.

Views from Clints Crags to Isel
Views from Clints Crags to Isel

In the final large field, a wall led us back to the gate where the car was parked.

Wrapping Up

Due to the weather we were so thirsty when we reached the car, we downed a litre of water each and made the short drive home feeling like we’d had a wonderful hour or so in the rare sunny Cumbrian countryside.

Next on the Wainwright’s Outlying Fells peak bagging agenda was Faulds Brow.

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.

Extended Circuit of Devoke Water

Adventurer Nic approaching the summit of Woodend Height on the Extended Circuit of Devoke Water hiking route

Devoke Water Route Introduction

The Circuit of Devoke Water is a classic horseshoe featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The original route takes in 6 outlier fells in the south west of the Lake District National Park. This route card incorporates and additional 6 hills and is a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Sunday 31st May 2020. These were Outlier numbers 3 to 14 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Extended Circuit of Devoke Water Route Stats

Fells: Rough Crag (319m), Water Crag (305m), White Pike (442m), The Knott (331m), Stainton Pike (498m), Whitfell (573m), Burn Moor (543m), Buck Barrow (549m), Kinmont Buck Barrow (535m), Yoadcastle (494m), Woodend Height (489m) and Seat How (311m)

Total Distance: 20.4km / 12.68miles

Total Ascent: 600m / 1,969ft

Approx Walk Time: 6 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 171977

Extended Circuit of Devoke Water Route Report

The Lead Up

A day earlier we’d hiked Flat Fell and Dent, the first two Wainwright Outlying Fells of Lakeland on our peak bagging list, but it was time for something a bit more juicy.

The walk started at a small car park just off the Austhwaite Brow. There were a few cars there when James and I arrived at mid-morning but there were still some free spaces.

The weather forecast for the day was glorious. Sun cream and water were required in large quantities.

The Ascent

We set off in a south-westerly direction along a wide track in the direction of Devoke Water.

Views as we ascended Rough Crag, the first Outlying fell of the day
Views as we ascended Rough Crag, the first Outlying fell of the day

At an obvious scar in the grassy bank on the right hand side we peeled off the track, following the faint path which guided us gradually over grassy terrain. The views back across Eskdale were fantastic, right from the off.

Views from the ascent of Rough Crag
Views from the ascent of Rough Crag

Devoke Water, which was a bright royal blue in the gorgeous sunshine, is normally popular with anglers but there were none that day.

The ground was dry from the recent warm weather and we soon reached the summit of Rough Crag.

The Summit – Rough Crag

Rough Crags's summit cairn, with views down to Devoke Water
Rough Crags’s summit cairn, with views down to Devoke Water

Out to the west was the large expanse of the Irish Sea and the faint outline of the Isle of Man. The small hump of Water Crag, our second Outlying fell of the day, can be seen clearly, behind the cairn of Rough Crag, in the above photograph.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Rough Crag
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Rough Crag

The Summit – Water Crag

After a short pause, we walked south-west to Water Crag, the second hill in the Circuit of Devoke Water.

To get there, we followed a faint path over grassy terrain, descending and re-ascending a mere 50m between the two fells. I noted that this was in stark contrast to the 600m cols between the giants of the Munro mountains of Scotland that we hiked the previous summer.

View from the summit of Water Crag
View from the summit of Water Crag

Water Crag had sea views that were even better than the panorama from Rough Crag. The sea was a lovely bright shade of blue.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Water Crag
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Water Crag

The Summit – White Pike

From Water Crag we dropped down to the south-west, through wet grass that is probably quite boggy after a spate of wet weather but was fairly firm for us. We aimed for the western edge of the tarn where we planned to cross Linbeck Gill and head up the fells on the south side of Devoke Water, starting with White Pike.

James on the ascent of White Pike with Devoke Water in the distance
James on the ascent of White Pike with Devoke Water in the distance

We started hiking uphill on the other side looking for faint paths but there was nothing but a few misleading sheep trods. We paused for a drink and a snack and identified all the fells we could see from this vantage point, from Whin Rigg in the north, we cast our eyes right across the skyline of bigger fells over to Crinkle Crags.

Setting back off walking, we pushed to the summit of White Pike.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Pike
Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Pike

The top of White Pike was rocky and we were greeted by a slim columnar cairn.

Views from the summit of White Pike towards Bowfell
Views from the summit of White Pike towards Bowfell

The Summit – The Knott

From the summit of White Pike we left the usual trail for the Circuit of Devoke Water and made our first diversion.

We dropped down, picking our way around the crags and boulders on this side of the hill. We avoided the steepest parts by heading south around the rocks.

After reaching the grassy col we walked over a small hill which led to The Knott, our fourth outlying fell.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of The Knott
Adventurer Nic on the summit of The Knott

We had our lunch here – cheese and pickle sandwiches. A game James and I often played whilst sitting in front of a Lakeland view was to survey the scene and select which cottage out of the valley you’d most like to live in. On this occasion, James picked what looked like a stately home, while I opted for a more modest white washed cottage close to woodland. There were no prizes associated with this game of course, we could never afford a cottage in the Lake District National Park, but nobody can stop us dreaming. We admired the views a little longer, with the exception of Sellafield nuclear power station, which was visible to the north west.

The Summit – Stainton Pike

After lunch we headed off to the south east, picking our way towards next fell – Stainton Pike. Tussocky, hard, grassy, ankle-breaking lumps slowed us down somewhat. I was grateful I’d opted for boots.

The ground then turned a little bit boggy. We crossed Stainton Beck at the point where it forked, before crossing a fence at the most appropriate point. We continued uphill following a grassy rake to the left of the summit of Stainton Pike.

View from the summit of Stainton Pike
View from the summit of Stainton Pike

Once we’d gained the ridge, we turned right to head south west to the summit.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Stainton Pike
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Stainton Pike

The Summit – Whitfell

From the summit of Stainton Pike, we dropped off summit heading for Whitfell, or Whit Fell, if you use the spelling Alfred Wainwright adopted in his guide book.

We crossed the fence by Holehouse Tarn and picked up a faint path which led to the top of Whitfell.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Whitfell
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Whitfell

Whitfell’s summit was marked with a trio of features – a very large cairn, an adjoining wind shelter and a trig pillar.

View from Whifell's large summit cairn towards the trig pillar
View from Whifell’s large summit cairn towards the trig pillar

The Summit – Burn Moor

From the summit of Whitfell, we followed a faint path over grassy terrain to the rather lacklustre Burn Moor – the seventh fell on this extended circuit of Devoke Water. It was quite rounded and featureless in comparison to its neighbours, but it made a nice change.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Burn Moor
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Burn Moor

From Burn Moor, a view opened up of Duddon Sands in the south east.

The Summit – Buck Barrow

From Burn Moor we followed a faint path to Buck Barrow, our eighth outlying fell of the day.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Buckbarrow on the extended circuit of Devoke Water hike
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Buckbarrow on the extended circuit of Devoke Water hike

In stark comparison to Burn Moor, Buck Barrow was rocky on top, but there was plenty of space between the rocks to walk up to the summit without any scrambling.

View towards Kinmont Buckbarrow from Buckbarrow
View towards Kinmont Buckbarrow from Buckbarrow

We looked across to the west at our next target – Kinmont Buck Barrow.

The Summit – Kinmont Buck Barrow

We descended to find a large wall split Buck Barrow and Kinmont Buck Barrow, so we headed for a large gap in the wall before ascending.

Views from the summit of Kinmont Buckbarrow
Views from the summit of Kinmont Buckbarrow

It wasn’t long before we’d reached the large cairn that marked the summit of our ninth outlying fell. It was also the furthest point from the car where we’d started the walk.

Views from the summit of Kinmont Buckbarrow
Views from the summit of Kinmont Buckbarrow

Black Combe was visible from here.

The Summit – Yoadcastle

We returned to the same gap in the dry stone wall and followed it north. We bypassed the bulk of Burn Moor and walked along a faint path that led all the way back to Whitfell.

By this point in the walk we’d noticed that there had been skylarks above us for much of the walk. In fact, they were the only other living thing we’d seen all day! Their melodic chirping was a great soundtrack to the walk.

As we re-ascended Whitfell from the south we passed another couple – these would be the only other people we encountered on the whole 20km route.

We descended back to Holehouse Tarn and then headed for Yoadcastle, keeping the crags on our left. We weaved around a couple of craggy tops before heading up onto the summit, officially rejoining the original Circuit of Devoke Water route from here on in.

Adventurer Nic sitting on the summit of Yoadcastle, part of the Circuit of Devoke Water walk
Adventurer Nic sitting on the summit of Yoadcastle, part of the Circuit of Devoke Water walk

Whilst on Yoadcastle, we scouted out two fells that we’d return to and hike another day – Hesk Fell and The Pike.

The Summit – Woodend Height

We left the summit of Yoadcastle and made our way with ease to our penultimate hill of the day and boy was it worth the wait! Woodend Height soon became my favourite fell of the extended circuit of Devoke Water.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Woodend Height
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Woodend Height

The summit offered the best view of the trip – with at least 16 Wainwrights visible to the north, over Devoke Water – starting with the Wasdale fells and extending east, it was a feast for the eyes.

View over Devoke Water from the summit of Woodend Height
View over Devoke Water from the summit of Woodend Height

Woodend Height really offered a stunning panorama. I didn’t want to leave!

The Summit – Seat How

We headed down over pathless but firm grassy terrain to the valley bottom again. Seat How appeared to be a little rocky lump in the middle distance.

View over Devoke Water as we approached Seat How
View over Devoke Water as we approached Seat How

Seat How appeared craggy on all sides but we headed to its eastern side where it was possible to weave easily up through the rocks.

View of Devoke Water from the summit of Seat How
View of Devoke Water from the summit of Seat How

The view from the summit was lovely. We’d now appreciated Devoke Water from every possible angle, completing the full extended circuit.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Seat How, our final Outlying Fell of the day
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Seat How, our final Outlying Fell of the day

Extended Circuit of Devoke Water Descent

We dropped down from Seat How, again finding the best way off to the east, before heading around back to the track where we’d started the day that morning.

A short walk to the car and that was that. 12 of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the bag!

Wrapping Up our Devoke Water Hike

Burnt shoulders and big smiles! That pretty much summed up the day as we stretched our tired muscles back at the car. The Lake District was truly on top form and we were thankful we were there to appreciate it.

What next? Clints Crags beckoned – this would be our next Outlying Fell.

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.

Flat Fell and Dent

Adventurer Nic walking on the summit of Flat Fell, a Wainwright Outlying Fell in the Lake District

Route Introduction

Flat Fell and Dent are two of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They’re situated on the western edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 30th May 2020. These were Outlier numbers 1 and 2 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Flat Fell and Dent Route Stats

Fells: Flat Fell (272m) and Dent (346m)

Total Distance: 8.2km / 5.09miles

Total Ascent: 390m / 1,280ft

Approx Walk Time: 2.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 031144

Flat Fell and Dent Route Report

The Lead Up

My boyfriend James and I discussed easing ourselves back into hill walking gently after a long absence during the corona virus pandemic, where we stayed at home alongside the rest of the nation during late March, April and early May of 2020.

We have both ‘compleated’ rounds of the Wainwrights so Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland seemed like the perfect way to recommence hill walking whilst remaining sensitive to the pandemic restrictions and guidelines.

Based out of Cockermouth, we started with the western and northern fells, prioritising those with parking outside of the national park and away from residents.

We selected Flat Fell and Dent as our first two fells, for a sunny afternoon hike.

We parked the car in a large layby in the Wath Brow area of Cleator Moor and headed north east over a bridge to start the walk.

The Ascent

Views on the ascent of Flat Fell
Views on the ascent of Flat Fell

The initial part of the walk took us along the tarmacked road before we turned right to head southeast up Nannycatch Road.

Views on the ascent of Flat Fell
Views on the ascent of Flat Fell

At the end of the road, we followed a finger post signed for Nannycatch Gate before heading up the grassy hillside towards the summit of Flat Fell.

The Summit – Flat Fell

We reached the summit in glorious sunshine.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Flat Fell in the Lake District National Park
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Flat Fell in the Lake District National Park

The summit of Flat Fell is marked by an elaborate cairn.

Summit of Flat Fell
Summit of Flat Fell

You can clearly see the Wainwright of Grike from the summit, and beyond to Great Borne and Grasmoor beyond that.

Linking the Fells

We followed Alfred Wainwright’s advice from his book – The Outlying Fells of Lakeland – and descended down in a south easterly direction.

James Forrest on the descent of Flat Fell towards Nannycatch Gate
James Forrest on the descent of Flat Fell towards Nannycatch Gate

The terrain steepens here as you descend through sparse bracken to the valley bottom. Aim for Nannycatch Gate which is visible from above.

James Forrest pauses just above Nannycatch Gate
James Forrest pauses just above Nannycatch Gate

We passed through Nannycatch Gate and headed down the wide track.

James Forrest crosses a stream in the picturesque valley bottom between Flat Fell and Dent
James Forrest crosses a stream in the picturesque valley bottom between Flat Fell and Dent

There are useful wooden footbridges over the small streams.

Walking through the valley, linking Flat Fell with Dent
Walking through the valley, linking Flat Fell with Dent

The valley was really quiet and beautiful as we walked alongside Kirk Beck.

We started climbing again at the side of Raven Crag following a clear path. We sat for a while on the slopes and had five minutes truly re-connecting with nature.

Views from the ascent of Dent
Views from the ascent of Dent

Having been cooped up for so long due to the pandemic we wanted to really appreciate being in the hills again. We watched the sheep grazing, a butterfly landing on the ground beside us, a bee buzzing behind us and we admired the woodland beside Lagget Beck that rose up in front of us. What a joy it was to be back.

Views from the ascent of Dent
Views from the ascent of Dent

We recommenced our walk and passed through two gates. A the second, we turned around and realised Scafell Pike and Scafell were now visible behind us. Two giants of the Lake District (the highest two points in England).

Looking through the cotton grass to Scafell Pike and Scafell
Looking through the cotton grass to Scafell Pike and Scafell

The Summit – Dent

Gaining the summit plateau of Dent, we first passed a small cairn, which indicated the true summit (the highest point at 352m).

The highest point on Dent
The highest point on Dent

But Wainwright favours the north west summit further along (at 346m), marked by a much bigger cairn.

Adventurer Nic approaching the Wainwright summit of Dent
Adventurer Nic approaching the Wainwright summit of Dent

The Descent

We enjoyed sea views on the descent.

Looking towards the Isle of Man
Looking towards the Isle of Man

We could see the hazy outline of the Isle of Man rising up out of the water in the distance.

Adventurer Nic descending Dent
Adventurer Nic descending Dent

Sellafield nuclear power station was visible on one side. I preferred the view to Criffel in Dumfries and Galloway on the other.

We descended until the grass gave way to woodland.

Woodland on the descent of Dent in Cumbria
Woodland on the descent of Dent in Cumbria

Passing through the woodland, we reached the road, which led back to the bridge at the beginning of the walk.

Wrapping Up

The bridge at the end of the walk
The bridge at the end of the walk

All in all it was a great afternoon hike. Next on the list was something a little more challenging, 12 Outlying Fells of Lakeland situated south of Devoke Water.

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.