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.

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.

Ben Klibreck

Ben Klibreck, seen from the starting point of the walk

Ben Klibreck Route Introduction

Scotland’s second most northerly Munro is Ben Klibreck. This route card explains the quickest way of getting to the summit for a peak bagger.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on 22nd August 2019 as part of her Munro Bagging Challenge. It was Munro number 191 of 282 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this Munro too.

Ben Klibreck Route Stats

Mountain: Ben Klibreck (962m)

Total Distance: 9.75km / 6.1miles

Total Ascent: 780m / 2,559ft

Approx Walk Time: 4 hours

Grid Reference Start: NC 545305

Ben Klibreck Route Report

The Lead Up

James and I left Achnasheen on a Thursday morning (22nd August 2019), after spending a night at Ledgowan bunkhouse. We were buoyant after climbing Slioch the previous day in good weather. After a breakfast of cereal, it was a two and a half hour journey up to the start of the Ben Klibreck walk and we had two Munros on the agenda. Ben Klibreck in the morning and Ben Hope in the afternoon.

Inevitably, the roads got narrower the further north we drove, but there was barely any traffic heading from the area we were visiting, so it was a surprise when we needed to yield at a passing place. Initially, we struggled to find the parking spot for the start the Ben Klibreck walk. Our Cicerone guidebook had printed incorrect coordinates of the lay by on the A836 for the walk start point and we were too far north.

One of the motivating factors for producing this website was to push out useful and accurate information to fellow Munro baggers. Consequently, if you notice an error on this page, please let me know by email so I can correct it.

The Ascent

Ben Klibreck, seen from the starting point of the walk
Ben Klibreck, seen from the starting point of the walk

We were grateful to be able to stretch our legs as we set off through tall grass to cross River Vagastie over stepping stones. But due to a lot of recent rain, the river was in spate. Knowing I’d have to get my boots wet right at the start of the walk, I returned to the car to change into my non-GORE-TEX trail running shoes. These are able to dry out much quicker than boots after a dunk! I find GORE-TEX boots or shoes simply hold in the water when they get submerged and this slows me down terribly. James actually managed to get across by taking long brave leaps across the wet stones but I tried, failed and ended up marching straight through in my trainers. The river was up to my knees but it wasn’t too cold which was a blessing!

We started the pathless trudge past the southern shore of Loch na Glas-choille over to the northern shore of a bigger body of water, Loch nan Uan. This loch had a lone, white upturned rowing boat on its shore. ‘How had the owner got it there?’ I wondered. From the edge of the loch, we mapped out a general route by eye which went up the pathless hillside to gain the ridge of A’Chioch at its lowest point. A mixture of wet rock, grass and heather, the ground was steep and slippery.

Heavy showers hit on and off throughout the morning. The wind picked up as we gained the ridge and veered north along it. The ground undulated before we started the final ascent, following a faint path from here.

The Summit

Ben Klibreck’s Munro summit is actually Meall nan Con. The true summit is a large rock 5 metres east of the trig point. So in this case, I did what I always do, jump on all of the large rocks in the vicinity to be sure I’ve hit the true summit!

Adventurer Nic and James Forrest smile in the summit shelter of Ben Klibreck

I remember, it was extremely gusty on the top itself, but there was a shelter cairn and a broken trig pillar. Laid on its side in three parts, the trig pillar looked how we felt after 191 Munros in close succession…..broken! That said, we’d made good time despite the conditions.

We didn’t see anyone else on the summit, in fact we didn’t see anyone else on any part of the route all morning!

I found the views from Ben Klibreck to be slightly underwhelming, there are few other hills nearby and nothing close to matching the dramatic, awe-inspiring peaks of the north west that we’d been treated to earlier in the challenge. The weather gods had treated us to perfect conditions on Liathach in the Torridon area only two mountains ago. That said, if you always compared everything to Liathach you’d live in perpetual disappointment!

The Descent

We returned to the car by the way of our ascent. James commented that the Sutherland area didn’t feel as remote as he thought it might. It was his first visit to the far north of Scotland. In contrast, I had explored as far north as Sandwood Bay before on a solo wild camping trip in 2018. We both agreed that it didn’t feel like we’d ventured too far from the A836.

I was frustrated during the descent. I’d jarred my shoulder when I slipped on wet grass and then the insole of my shoe kept creasing up which made walking uncomfortable. After adjusting it on a number of occasions, I finally lost my rag with it and removed it entirely.

Adventurer Nic contemplating sliding down the mountain on her rear after another slip on wet grass

Following a slip on the wet grass, I continued down the steep grassy hillside on my rear for a short distance, which was by far the most enjoyable part of the descent! It put a smile back on my face as we reached the loch and retraced our steps towards the river. On this occasion, we both kept our feet dry on the river crossing, which was slightly further south this time, before returning to the car.

Wrapping Up

The day wasn’t over yet! We changed out of our wet clothes and shoes and headed further north to bag Ben Hope – read the walk report here.

We nicknamed Ben Klibreck ‘Ben Kill Bill’ – in homage to the Tarantino blockbuster. Find out why we nicknamed all 282 Munros here.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist and ‘compleated’ the list over a six month period in 2019. She stood atop each of the 282 Munro summits with her peak bagging partner in adventure – James Forrest. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Ben Hope

James holds onto his hat, descending Ben Hope in very windy conditions
Adventurer Nic standing next to the trig point at the summit of Ben Hope, a Munro in the north of Scotland
Adventurer Nic standing next to the trig point at the summit of Ben Hope, a Munro in the north of Scotland

Ben Hope Route Introduction

Ben Hope is Scotland’s most northerly Munro. This route card explains the quickest and easiest way of getting to the summit for a peak bagger.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on 22nd August 2019 as part of her Munro Bagging Challenge. It was Munro number 192 of 282 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this Munro too.

Ben Hope Route Stats

Mountain: Ben Hope (927m)

Total Distance: 7km / 4.3miles

Total Ascent: 880m / 2,887ft

Approx Walk Time: 3.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NC 462476

Adventurer Nic films the strength of the wind as it flies over the ridge of Ben Hope

Ben Hope Route Report

The Lead Up

It was the morning of Thursday 22nd August 2019. We awoke in Ledgowan bunkhouse in Achnasheen. The previous day we had climbed Slioch in good weather. We made an early start on a steady two and a half hour drive to the two most northerly Munros – Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck.

After bagging Ben Klibreck in the morning, we drove to the start of the Ben Hope walk along single track roads with rough surfaces that had very little traffic on them. We passed Dùn Dornaigil broch on the way to the Ben Hope route. A friend at Mammut Mountain School once told us about the role the Scottish brochs played Iron Age history. Shortly after this we reached a a small car park running along the edge of the road parallel to Strathmore River – the start point of our walk.

We were tired after taking a battering of wind and rain on Ben Klibreck and we knew the forecast was for much of the same on Ben Hope. Friends had told us how great the views were so this was disappointing. One friend said “Oooft! Ben Hope, one of my best days on a mountain” – @jamieneillscotland. Before we’d even started on the path I’d already made the decision that we’d have to return here in better weather.

The Ascent

After eating lunch in the shelter of the car (a masterpiece of tortilla wraps with Nutella and crunchy coconut clusters smashed in to add texture) we started the walk by a large sign by the car parking area, on an established well trodden path. To our surprise, on this mid-week poor weather day, we passed an abundance of people coming down (including a family with two young children). Every person we passed commented that the wind was getting stronger and looked at us worryingly. After 191 Munros, I had lost a lot of weight and perhaps looked like a gust of wind might carry me off the summit of Ben Hope!

There was a clear path and plenty of cairns to follow in the event of visibility being poor. As we headed north on the trail we experienced light rain showers on and off but surprisingly there was good visibility until the last 50m. Persistent thick cloud shrouded the top of the mountain. The wind, which had been strong but manageable up until the summit ridge, all of a sudden sounded like a jet engine. It thunderously roared up from the crags in an easterly direction over the ridge. The forecast sites had predicted gusts of up to 70mph. Consequently, we debated long and hard about whether or not we would risk it, but we knew Ben Hope had a wide grassy ascent to the summit and there were no precipitous drops to our right.

The Summit

Passing an initial false summit, we made it to the summit trig pillar. We paused briefly for the all important summit photo before seeking the comfort and safety of lower ground. Until we can return, I have a beautiful portrait in my head of what the views to Kyle of Tongue, Ben Loyal, Loch Hope and the Orkney Islands would look like. A blue cloudless sky coupled with an expanse of lochs, unspoilt land in the shadow of inviting hills.

The Descent

James holds onto his hat, descending Ben Hope in very windy conditions
James holds onto his hat, descending Ben Hope in very windy conditions

On the descent, the wind whooshed over the ridge with increasing ferocity and we were buffeted heavily. But we stuck to the grassy areas on the left which would be safer to fall on if we needed to. This proved a sensible decision as I was thrown to the ground on more than one occasion! During one fall my walking pole got caught under my glove, catapulting it ten metres into the air! Somehow, James was able to dash back at retrieve it before we continued retracing our steps down the mountain.

We made it down safely but not without struggle – it was like being in a washing machine. The wind was so loud, it was as if there was a high speed motorway just below the crags! A constant roar. The clouds were flying over the ridge with such speed the wind swirling them in multiple directions. We were thrown one way one minute and another way the next!

Wrapping Up

One phrase sums up how we felt as we made it back to the car. Completely and utterly worn out! Being buffeted by high winds is like being hit by a rugby tackle. Above all, it takes so much energy out of you, having to brace constantly. Simply staying upright and holding your ground is exhausting. We nicknamed this particular Munro ‘Ben Despair’ for that reason – the opposite of Hope! Find out why we nicknamed all 282 Munros here.

We cooked up and ate Summit To Eat expedition meals in the car park to replenish our lost calories. Remarkably, the Ben Hope Route was only a 7km walk but it was up there as one of the toughest we’ve done (although don’t be perturbed, it would be wonderful on a calm day!)

Adventurer Nic during her first visit to Loch Assynt in 2018. She looks over her Terra Nova Southern Cross 2 tent towards Castle Ardvreck
Adventurer Nic during her first visit to Loch Assynt in 2018, glancing over her tent to Ardvreck Castle.

As the day drew to a close, we drove to Inchnadamph, in readiness to climb Conival and Ben More (Assynt) the next day and checked into a double room at Inchnadamph Lodge. This was a real treat after a tough day on the hill. Paintings of Loch Assynt adorned the walls and I reminisced about my first ever solo wild camp being on those shores by Ardvreck Castle. I promised James I’d take him there. After a well deserved, hot, powerful shower we had a good giggle at Master of None on Netflix before retiring to bed.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist and ‘compleated’ the list over a six month period in 2019. She stood atop each of the 282 Munro summits with her peak bagging partner in adventure – James Forrest. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.