Scout Scar

…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.

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