Latterbarrow and Claife Heights

A beautiful mountain view over Wise Een Tarn in the Lake District
View from Latterbarrow, The Lake District
View from Latterbarrow, The Lake District

Route Introduction

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights are two of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They’re situated in the south 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 Wednesday 29th July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 70 and 71 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights Route Stats

Fells: Latterbarrow (244m) and Claife Heights (270m)

Total Distance: 12km / 7.48miles

Total Ascent: 304m / 1,000ft

Approx Walk Time: 4 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 379954

Latterbarrow and Claife Heights Route Report

The Lead Up

I’d walked all of my previous Outlying Fells of Lakeland with either my boyfriend James or with friends so it was refreshing to hike these two outliers alone. The previous week I’d hiked the Naddle Horseshoe in the far east of the Lake District National Park.

Starting the Hike

Donation point for the car park at Braithwaite Hall in Far Sawrey
Donation point for the car park at Braithwaite Hall in Far Sawrey

I parked in the car park at Braithwaite Hall and paid by donation in the box by the entrance. Heading left out of the car park I walked past the Cuckoo Brow Inn and then turned right to walk steeply uphill on a tarmac road.

The Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey
The Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey

It would be five and half kilometres of walking before I reached the summit of my first Outlying Fell – Latterbarrow.

View over the dry stone wall to beautiful English countryside
View over the dry stone wall to beautiful English countryside

The view over the dry stone wall was beautiful, overlooking rolling fields of green. I walked over the cattle grid and then followed a finger post onto a track, which led to a foot bridge over the Wilfin Beck.

Foot bridge over Wilfin Beck, the Lake District
Foot bridge over Wilfin Beck, the Lake District

Crossing the bridge, I picked up the rocky footpath on the other side which led to a gate. I then went through another gate before turning right onto a wider track which continued north with walls on either side.

After passing through another gate, I hopped over the Wilfin Beck yet again, this time on stepping stones.

Stepping stones over Wilfin Beck
Stepping stones over Wilfin Beck

The path then led up until Moss Eccles Tarn came into view on my left.

Moss Eccles Tarn, the Lake District
Moss Eccles Tarn, the Lake District

I carried on, following the finger posts, as the path wound through fields of calm cattle, until I reached another gate.

Gate on the ascent of Latterbarrow
Gate on the ascent of Latterbarrow

Beyond this gate was a wow moment. A simply stunning view of the higher Lakeland fells opened up in front of me over the top of Wise Een Tarn.

Sheep in front of Wise Een Tarn with the Lake District mountains as a backdrop
Sheep in front of Wise Een Tarn with the Lake District mountains as a backdrop

The Langdale Pikes looked sharp and jagged on the right of the skyline and the Scafell range loomed in the centre with Wetherlam off to the left. I was in awe!

Continuing the Ascent

Mountain bikers on the trail ahead cycling towards Latterbarrow
Mountain bikers on the trail ahead cycling towards Latterbarrow

After passing the Scale Tarn on my right, the path became grassier underfoot. I followed the path which soon ran alongside a wall on my left and then continued up and into the woodland through a gate.

Gate leading into the woodland
Gate leading into the woodland

I really enjoyed the woodland trails of this walk, they were so full of bird chatter, it was much cooler thanks to the shade of the tall tress and I found the earthy woodland scent to be so calming.

Woodland trails en route to Latterbarrow
Woodland trails en route to Latterbarrow

350m after passing through the gate into the woods I followed a finger post which branched off the main path to the left. This led to a crossroads at the bottom, where I turned left to follow a wider track.

Left at the crossroads
Left at the crossroads

At the next major crossroad I turned left again, and followed the path for another 200m before turning right, avoiding passing through the gap in the wall ahead and instead following the path north.

The right hand turn before the wall
The right hand turn before the wall

This part of the route was narrow and muddy at times.

I followed the trail downhill before it rose up again up some steps.

The steps on the trail towards Latterbarrow
The steps on the trail towards Latterbarrow

It weaved, twisted and turned for a while before I turned left at the next t-junction, surrounded by Christmas trees. I followed the trail over a large gap in a wall before it led to a stile. Over the stile, I turned right to start the final ascent of Latterbarrow.

I could see the summit of Latterbarrow from a distance due to the prominent summit obelisk
I could see the summit of Latterbarrow from a distance due to the prominent summit obelisk

The Summit – Latterbarrow

The summit of Latterbarrow is not the huge monument (that you’d probably expect it to be), it is in fact a small rock 3 metres away. But there’s no doubt about it, the tower on the summit of Latterbarrow is what draws the eye, both when you’re nearing the summit and from afar.

Summit of Latterbarrow
Summit of Latterbarrow

The obelisk is many metres tall and stands proud atop the 244m fell.

Summit of Latterbarrow, the Lake District
Summit of Latterbarrow, the Lake District

The walk from Colthouse is a popular one and I saw multiple families all arrive at the summit and sit down in their small groups to enjoy lunch on the summit of Latterbarrow. It was a glorious day to enjoy the views across the Lake District. As good as the views were towards the nearer fells like Wansfell Pike to the north east, I couldn’t take my eyes of the Langdale Pikes to the north west over the top of Black Fell.

Summit of Latterbarrow, an Outlying Fell of Lakeland
Summit of Latterbarrow, an Outlying Fell of Lakeland

Linking Latterbarrow and Claife Heights

I left the summit of Latterbarrow with a full stomach and retraced my steps.

View down to Hawkshead from the descent of Latterbarrow
View down to Hawkshead from the descent of Latterbarrow

I enjoyed a lovely view of Hawkshead as I returned to the stile at the bottom of the hill and continued back along the same path I’d taken earlier. When I came to the second of the two main crossroads I’d encountered earlier, this time I continued straight on.

As the main track bent around to the right, I took the footpath which led straight on following a finger post.

The left turn from the main track
The left turn from the main track

230m later the path forked again, and I turned right to head uphill on a forest path.

Forest trails
Forest trails

As I glanced to the right through the trees I caught a glimpse of Lake Windermere and the Fairfield fells beyond.

View to Lake Windermere through the trees on the Claife Heights section of the walk
View to Lake Windermere through the trees on the Claife Heights section of the walk

This section of the route was by far the quietest of the day. I didn’t see many people at all between here and the Claife Heights (High Blind How) trig pillar.

The path led me through the woodland, over a foot bridge, before leading me down onto another wide track.

Footbridge en route to Claife Heights from Latterbarrow
Footbridge en route to Claife Heights from Latterbarrow

I turned right onto this track for only a short distance before following another finger post marked ‘Far Sawrey 2 Miles’.

Finger post to Far Sawrey
Finger post to Far Sawrey

This section of the walk was really pretty, with established woodland and beautiful fox gloves popping up all over.

Foxgloves in the woodland
Foxgloves in the woodland

I forked right before the path started to dip downhill to continue uphill towards the summit.

At the next fork in the path, I turned left which led through bracken to the Claife Heights trig pillar (High Blind How).

The Summit – Claife Heights

Touching the summit trig point of Claife Heights (High Blind How)
Touching the summit trig point of Claife Heights (High Blind How)

Alfred Wainwright wrote in his book – the Outlying Fells of Lakeland – that this trig pillar was now lost in conifers and inaccessible, but it is possible now, you just have to follow the trail, weaving through a sea of shoulder-height bracken to get there!

The summit trig pillar of Claife Heights (High Blind How)
The summit trig pillar of Claife Heights (High Blind How)

I paused for quite some time on the summit rocks. It was so peaceful. There was nobody else around and it was so quiet. I just sat alone and listened to the breeze pass through the trees for what felt like ages.

The Descent

When it came time to leave, I continued along the bracken-filled path to rejoin the woodland path which was covered in pine needles and soft underfoot.

Woodland trails to start the descent
Woodland trails to start the descent

I reached the valley bottom and crossed a foot bridge over a stream which fed Three Dubs Tarn over to the west.

Bridge over the stream
Bridge over the stream

I picked up the path on the other side of the foot bridge and walked up past a finger post signed to ‘Sawrey Ferry’.

Signpost to Sawrey Ferry
Signpost to Sawrey Ferry

The trail led up and over lumpy terrain to reach a view point of Windermere lake and weaved around some large crags.

View towards Windermere
View towards Windermere

I continued along the trail, following the finger posts which were now very regular. At one point I stopped to give directions to Three Dubs Tarn to a Scottish couple who were away on holiday.

Signpost to Far Sawrey across with a Windermere backdrop
Signpost to Far Sawrey across with a Windermere backdrop

At a t-junction in the path I turned right, again signposted for ‘Far Sawrey’. Along this path I went through a gate and continued south, keeping the wall on my left.

Views from the descent towards Far Sawrey
Views from the descent towards Far Sawrey

At this point the track twisted and undulated beside some impressive dry stone walls and later, there were walls running either side of the trail.

Walled footpath
Walled footpath

At the next path junction I turned right to join the bridleway.

Right to join the bridleway at the finger post
Right to join the bridleway at the finger post

Keeping the wall on my right, I followed the bridleway down to meet the track at the bottom. Passing through the gate a beautiful view opened up on my right.

Final view of the descent of my Latterbarrow and Claife Heights adventure
Final view of the descent of my Latterbarrow and Claife Heights adventure

The path brought me out right opposite my car.

Wrapping Up

Next on the list was Orrest Head, School Knott and Brant Fell, a walk where the phrase ‘break a leg’ was taken quite literally!

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.

Naddle Horseshoe

Views from the Naddle Horseshoe across the far eastern Lake District fells
James Forrest descending Hare Shaw on the Naddle Horseshoe
James Forrest descending Hare Shaw on the Naddle Horseshoe

Naddle Horseshoe Route Introduction

The Naddle Horseshoe is a classic route featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The original route takes in 7 outlier fells in the east of the Lake District National Park. It is a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 18th July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 63 to 69 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Naddle Horseshoe Route Stats

Fells: Scalebarrow Knott (338m), Harper Hills (414m), Hare Shaw (503m), Nameless Summit 1427′ (435m), Nameless Summit 1380′ (435m), Hugh’s Laithes Pike (419m) and Nameless Summit 1320′ (395m).

Total Distance: 12.6km / 7.83miles

Total Ascent: 280m / 919ft

Approx Walk Time: 4 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 528156

Naddle Horseshoe Route Report

The Lead Up

A week earlier we’d hiked a mash up of three horseshoes in the Shap Fells – the Crookdale horseshoe, the Wasdale horseshoe and the Wet Sleddale horseshoe. Next on the agenda -the Naddle Horseshoe – was not too far away from those, in the eastern Lake District. Parking is on the road junction at NY 528156 and there is room for a few cars.

The Ascent

The ascent starts from the car park, heading north along the road for a short distance before peeling off left along a wide track.

Woman walks with her horse on the path at the beginning of the Naddle Horseshoe
Woman walks with her horse on the path at the beginning of the Naddle Horseshoe

We passed a woman with a horse and a dog along this trail. The path narrowed and became grassier as it led south-west towards the first fell of the day, Scalebarrow Knott.

Summit of Scalebarrow Knott, the first fell of the Naddle Horseshoe
Summit of Scalebarrow Knott, the first fell of the Naddle Horseshoe

The Summit – Scalebarrow Knott

The summit of Scalebarrow Knott was marked with a cairn and the views were of rolling countryside, dissected by dry stone walls.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Scalebarrow Knott
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Scalebarrow Knott

I really do love the quietness of these fells. They seem to be seldom walked. This was a sunny Saturday and we didn’t see another person for the rest of the day.

The Summit – Harper Hills

From Scalebarrow Knott, we continued over grassy terrain in a south-westerly direction towards our next summit – Harper Hills.

Adventurer Nic tapping the summit cairn of Harper Hills on the Naddle Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic tapping the summit cairn of Harper Hills on the Naddle Horseshoe

The summit of Harper Hills was clearly marked by a cairn. The views to the higher Lake District mountains became increasingly good as we approached the furthest end of the horseshoe.

The Summit – Hare Shaw

The path between Harper Hills and Hare Shaw
The path between Harper Hills and Hare Shaw

From Harper Hills we continued south-west towards the next outlying fell – Hare Shaw, following a path for most of the way.

As we got deeper into the walk the paths thinned out and we walked through long tussocky grass. At one point we passed a plot where lots of trees had been newly planted.

Newly planted trees on Hare Shaw
Newly planted trees on Hare Shaw

We reached the summit of Hare Shaw, and from here we enjoyed a great view to Selside Pike, Branstree and Harter Fell.

View towards Selside Pike from Hare Shaw
View towards Selside Pike from Hare Shaw

A small cairn marked the summit.

View from Hare Shaw
View from Hare Shaw

As we left the summit of Hare Shaw, we were given a opportunity to appreciate the remainder of the horseshoe.

James Forrest descending Hare Shaw
James Forrest descending Hare Shaw

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1427′

From Hare Shaw, we dropped down over lumpy bumpy grassy terrain to the north-west before Haweswater came into view.

Our first sighting of Haweswater on the Naddle Horseshoe
Our first sighting of Haweswater on the Naddle Horseshoe

We appreciated Kidsty Pike from this vantage point – the sharpest peak on the line of fells which also includes the bulk of High Street.

After navigating through a lot of thick bracken, we approached a wall junction.

Approaching the gate at the wall junction
Approaching the gate at the wall junction

We passed through a large gate and proceeded on towards the fourth of the outlying fells of the Naddle Horseshoe.

En route to the first of three nameless fells on the Naddle Horseshoe
En route to the first of three nameless fells on the Naddle Horseshoe

By this point I’d chewed James’s ear off incessantly about my recent trip to visit family in Lincolnshire.

James en route to the next summit
James en route to the next summit

He finally had a chance to contribute something to the conversation, whoops!

Adventurer Nic approaching the first nameless summit of the Naddle Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic approaching the first nameless summit of the Naddle Horseshoe

A small cairn marked the summit and the light was stunning by this point in the evening.

We normally nickname the nameless summits (generally based on the names of friends who have joined us on the summits) but there were just the two of us on this trip so I’ll nickname them after previous pets of mine. So the first nameless summit is hereby ‘Crixus Crag’ after my pet goldfish.

Views from the summit of the first nameless fell
View from the summit of the first nameless fell

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1380′

We tried to stay high on the ridge making our way through increasing amounts of heather and bracken.

James Forrest walking between the two nameless fells
James Forrest walking between the two nameless fells

We passed through another large gate and then progressed towards the second of the nameless fells.

Gate between the two nameless fells
Gate between the two nameless fells

The summit was marked by a small cairn. By this point, perfect fluffy clouds had formed on the bright blue sky and we were really enjoying the walk.

Adventurer Nic on the second of the nameless fells of the Naddle Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic on the second of the nameless fells of the Naddle Horseshoe

Following the earlier theme, the nickname of this fell is ‘Naevia Nab’ (after another goldfish of mine).

The Summit – Hugh’s Laithes Pike

From there we looped around to Hugh’s Laithes Pike.

James Forrest en route to Hugh's Laithes Pike
James Forrest en route to Hugh’s Laithes Pike

This summit was marked with a more established cairn.

The summit of Hugh's Laithes Pike on the Naddle Horseshoe
The summit of Hugh’s Laithes Pike on the Naddle Horseshoe

The views across Haweswater from here were wonderful.

The Summit – Nameless Summit 1320′

We then left, in long grass and bracken, in the direction of the final Wainwright Outlying Fell of the day.

James Forrest en route to the final summit of the day
James Forrest en route to the final summit of the day

The final summit of the Naddle Horseshoe was also nameless. So, following the earlier theme once more, the nickname of this fell is ‘Gannicus Gable’ (after my third and final pet goldfish).

Adventurer Nic on the final summit of the day
Adventurer Nic on the final summit of the day

Naddle Horseshoe Descent

It felt great to have got seven more Outlying Fells of Lakeland under our belts on such a fab horseshoe.

James Forrest starting the Naddle Horseshoe descent
James Forrest starting the Naddle Horseshoe descent

From the final summit we headed south over steeper terrain, avoiding the thicker vegetation and trees to the bottom track.

Reaching the bottom track
Reaching the bottom track

Once at the track, we followed it north-east, passing through a large gate before turning right at the finger post to pass through another gate and across Naddle Beck at the ford.

Trail back towards the car
Trail back towards the car

We then headed east, up a gravel stony path and through another couple of gates to rejoin the trail that we’d walked on close to the start of the walk. We took a bypass path around the right hand side of Scalebarrow Knott and back to the car.

Wrapping Up

What next? Latterbarrow and Claife Heights beckoned. These would be my next Outlying Fells, I would be continuing on alone without James.

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.

Shap Fells

James Forrest on High House Bank on the Crookdale Horseshoe in the Shap Fells

The Crookdale, Wet Sleddale and Wasdale Horseshoes in One Hike

James Forrest on the summit of Robin Hood
James Forrest on the summit of Robin Hood

Shap Fells Route Introduction

The Shap Fells are blissfully quiet and the Crookdale, Wet Sleddale and Wasdale Horseshoes are classic hill-walking routes featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. This route mashes the three horseshoes together to take in 10 outlying fells in the far east of the Lake District National Park. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 11 July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 53 to 62 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Shap Fells Route Stats

Fells: High House Bank (495m), Robin Hood (493m), Lord’s Seat (524m), Ulthwaite Rigg (502m), Great Saddle Crag (560m), Sleddale Pike (506m), Wasdale Pike (565m), Great Yarlside (591m), Little Yarlside (516m) and Whatshaw Common (485m).

Total Distance: 19.2km / 11.93miles

Total Ascent: 400m / 1,312ft

Approx Walk Time: 6.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 554061

Shap Fells Route Report

The Lead Up

A few days earlier we’d hiked Green Quarter Fell, a short walk from the Kentmere valley. Now it was time for something a little longer. I’d studied the routes for the Crookdale Horseshoe, Wet Sleddale Horseshoe and Wasdale Horseshoe. These three walks in the Shap Fells were very close together. Consequently, I saw no reason not to combine them into a nice 20km route. We started in a large layby on the A6, just 6 miles south of Shap.

There are three large laybys on this stretch of road so finding a parking space even on a Saturday in July wasn’t problematic.

The Shap Fells Ascent

James and I left our car and walked south down the road briefly. We then peeled off through two large gates to gain access to the hills on a track heading west.

James Forrest passes through another gate
James Forrest passes through another gate

After only 250m on this track we turned left through a gate and followed the path, through farmland and a kissing gate, to cross Crookdale Bridge.

Kissing gate
Kissing gate

It was at this early point in the walk that we noticed a large bird of prey taking off into the air from a fence post before hovering above the ground. A majestic sight.

The trail through farmland
The trail through farmland

We could see our first target – High House Bank in front of us.

The Farm by Crookdale Bridge
The Farm by Crookdale Bridge

Upon crossing Crookdale Bridge we turned right to walk up alongside a derelict wall.

Wall rising steeply up Hazel Bank
Wall rising steeply up Hazel Bank

We soon peeled off away from the wall over pathless ground to head south-west to a more established wall running up the side of Hazel Bank.

View from the ascent
View from the ascent

We followed this wall until there was a gap in it. Crossing it here enabled us to make a beeline for the 495m summit of High House Bank over tussocky ground.

The Summit – High House Bank

At the summit of High House Bank we admired views down to the Borrowdale valley with Borrow Beck running down the centre.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of High House Bank, the first of the Shap Fells we hiked that day in the Lake District
Adventurer Nic on the summit of High House Bank

In the distance, the most noticeable peak was Ill Bell of the Kentmere horseshoe, seen over the top of the fells of the Bannisdale horseshoe.

View from High House Bank
View from High House Bank

The Summit – Robin Hood

James Forrest on the trail to Robin Hood, vast and not another soul around, the Shap Fells are so quiet
The trail to Robin Hood

We left High House Bank to the north-west in the direction of Robin Hood following a small path.

Robin Hood looking towards the Bannisdale Fells
Robin Hood looking towards the Bannisdale Fells

After reaching the summit and posing for the obligatory ‘Robin Hood firing an arrow’ photo, we made swift progress towards Lord’s Seat, our third fell of the day.

Adventurer Nic as Robin Hood on Robin Hood
Adventurer Nic as Robin Hood on Robin Hood

The valley of Crookdale separated us from the fells that we’d walk at the end of the day.

The Summit – Lord’s Seat

We continued walking north-west on the clear path to Lord’s Seat, making good progress whilst we still had a path to follow.

Adventurer Nic approaching Lord's Seat, part of the Crookdale Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic approaching Lord’s Seat, part of the Crookdale Horseshoe

We knew we wouldn’t have the privilege of an obvious trail when we made our attempt to link the Crookdale Horseshoe to the next two sets of hills.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Lord's Seat
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Lord’s Seat

It was great to look back from the summit of Lord’s Seat to the fells we’d just hiked, plus we could see Whinfell ridge in the background.

Shap Fells – Linking the Crookdale Horseshoe with the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe

At this point in the walk we left the natural Crookdale Horseshoe in order to link up with the next horseshoe – the Wet Sleddale. This involved leaving the summit of Lord’s Seat to the west, before making our way over lumpy, bumpy, rugged terrain to the north.

James Forrest between Lord's Seat at Ulthwaite Rigg
James Forrest between Lord’s Seat at Ulthwaite Rigg

We stuck to our northern bearing almost all the way to Ulthwaite Rigg. The terrain was often wet, but I managed to keep my feet dry despite a few near misses. We passed a pair of large frogs who were jumping high through the grass.

Two frogs hopping though the grass
Two frogs hopping though the grass

The route led us uphill at first to the saddle between Harrop Pike and Great Yarlside at 560m where we crossed a wire fence, before heading downhill towards Ulthwaite Rigg (502m). This felt quite unnatural at first but there was a slight raise to the summit at the end.

James Forrest descending towards Ulthwaite Rigg, to pick up the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe part of the route
James Forrest descending towards Ulthwaite Rigg, to pick up the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe part of the route

The Summit – Ulthwaite Rigg

James Forrest jumping over boggy ground, which is common on the Shap Fells
James Forrest jumping over boggy ground

The summit of Ulthwaite Rigg is largely protected by a moat of swampy, saturated ground and a bit of bog hopping was required to get to the cairn. Once there, we had our first view of the Wet Sleddale Reservoir.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Ulthwaite Rigg
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Ulthwaite Rigg

The Summit – Great Saddle Crag

From Ulthwaite Rigg we headed down to the south-east to cross the Sleddale Beck where it forks. We sat on a rock while we ate our lunch before continuing uphill in the direction of Great Saddle Crag. At this point sitting in the valley it struck me how unbelievably quiet it was. Not only had we not seen another hill walker, we hadn’t heard anything other than bird song and the soft sound from the light breeze all day.

After lunch we ascended up alongside the stream before crossing the top of Widepot Sike and up onto the summit of Great Saddle Crag.

James Forrest en route to Great Saddle Crag in the Shap Fells
James Forrest en route to Great Saddle Crag in the Shap Fells

From this point in the walk, there was a notable change from grassy, boggy terrain to bouncy heather.

Adventurer Nic on Great Saddle Crag, the 5th of the Shap Fell we'd hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Great Saddle Crag

The Summit – Sleddale Pike

We left the summit of Great Saddle Crag and headed off towards Sleddale Pike to the north-east. It was slow going through the heather and there was one wire fence to cross en-route.

Wire fence amongst purple heather en route to Sleddale Pike
Wire fence amongst purple heather en route to Sleddale Pike

We happened across an area where some trees had recently been planted and tree protector guards were in place.

Recently planted trees between Great Saddle Crag and Sleddale Pike
Recently planted trees between Great Saddle Crag and Sleddale Pike

On the summit of Sleddale Pike there was a thick pole in the ground.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Sleddale Pike - Shap Fells
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Sleddale Pike – Shap Fells

Of all the hills on the Shap Fells route, this top had the best view to Wet Sleddale Reservoir.

Shap Fells – Linking the Wet Sleddale Horseshoe with the Wasdale Horseshoe

From Sleddale Pike we ventured on over pathless ground south towards Wasdale Pike. We were in the heart of the Shap Fells. This point in the walk marked our departure from the Wet Sleddale horseshoe and the beginning of the Wasdale horseshoe. The distance between the two fells though was negligible, a mere 1km.

James Forrest en route to Wasdale Pike
James Forrest en route to Wasdale Pike

It was as we were approaching Wasdale Pike that we noticed three deer – an adult and two red deer fawns. Naturally, they ran away as we approached but it was lovely to see them effortlessly bounding over the terrain.

Deer on Wasdale Pike
Deer on Wasdale Pike

The Summit – Wasdale Pike

This point in the walk marked the end of the pathless route-finding.

Adventurer Nic on Wasdale Pike, the 7th of the Shap Fells we'd hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Wasdale Pike

A high level path led from Wasdale Pike to the summit of Great Yarlside. This would mark the highest point of the walk and the third highest of all the Outlying Fells on the list at 591m.

Trail leading away from Wasdale Pike towards Great Yarlside
Trail leading away from Wasdale Pike towards Great Yarlside

The Summit – Great Yarlside

We followed the path alongside a fence up to a corner. Here, the fence met another boundary, just short of the summit of Great Yarlside. We crossed over this and marched the short distance to the summit.

Adventurer Nic on the 3rd highest of Wainwright's Outlying Fells of Lakeland - Great Yarlside
Adventurer Nic on the 3rd highest of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland – Great Yarlside

The Coniston Fells were just visible in the distance.

The old Ordnance Survey trig ring on Great Yarlside
The old Ordnance Survey trig ring on Great Yarlside

We spotted an old trigonometrical survey station in the ground just as we were leaving to head for Little Yarlside along the path to the south-east.

The Summit – Little Yarlside

James Forrest en route to Little Yarlside
James Forrest en route to Little Yarlside

There is some confusion as to whether or not the summit of Little Yarlside is on the left or right side of the wall. Alfred Wainwright himself placed it on the left side, while our hill-bagging app described it as a ‘ground by shallow pit’ on the right hand side of the wall. In all fairness, I don’t think it matters greatly.

Adventurer Nic on Little Yarlside, the 9th of the Shap Fells we hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Little Yarlside

From this part of the Wasdale Horseshoe we had a good view down to Crookdale Beck. The view to the fells we’d hiked that morning was also lovely.

The Summit – Whatshaw Common

James Forrest heading for Whatshaw Common
James Forrest heading for Whatshaw Common

From the summit of Little Yarlside, we continued on the right side of the wall to a col. It was from there that we continued uphill to the top of Whatshaw Common, our tenth summit of the day.

Adventurer Nic on Whatshaw Common, the tenth of the Shap Fells we hiked that day
Adventurer Nic on Whatshaw Common

Shap Fells Descent

We proceeded to descend to the west alongside a fence and wall. There were paths on either side so we were uncertain which would be best. We picked the right-hand side. In hindsight, the left-hand side would have been better as we had one more boundary to get over towards the bottom which was a tad awkward.

Views on the final descent of the Shap Fells route
Views on the final descent of the Shap Fells route

This returned us to the three gates we’d passed through at the beginning of the walk and we retraced our steps back to the car.

Wrapping Up

I prioritised some family commitments before returning to hike more of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland a week later, starting with the Naddle Horseshoe.

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.

Green Quarter Fell

View back to Kentmere from the ascent of Green Quarter Fell
View to the Kentmere Horseshoe from the summit of Hollow Moor - Green Quarter Fell
View to the Kentmere Horseshoe from the summit of Hollow Moor – Green Quarter Fell

Route Introduction

Green Quarter Fell comprises of two of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. They’re situated on the 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 Tuesday 7th July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 51 and 52 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Green Quarter Fell Route Stats

Fells: Green Quarter Fell – Hollow Moor (426m) and Green Quarter Fell – Nameless Summit (411m)

Total Distance: 6.89km / 4.28miles

Total Ascent: 260m / 853ft

Approx Walk Time: 2.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 456041

Green Quarter Fell Route Report

The Lead Up

The previous day we’d hiked Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell in the western Lake District. My friend Becky was coming up to stay in a camping pod near Kentmere so I suggested she join us for a hike of some of the eastern Outlying Fells of Lakeland and we settled on the Green Quarter Fell walk.

A few other friends who were in the area also decided to join us so we met Anna, Aggie and Laura at the small parking area by the church, together with two pooches – Willow and Mollie.

Starting The Walk

We walked through the pretty village, crossing the River Kent before peeling off Hellwell Lane up some stone steps and through a gate on the right of the road.

Leaving the road for a path leading to Green Quarter Fell
Leaving the road for a path leading to Green Quarter Fell

The grassy terrain rose steeply and the trail led us through a gate and onto Lowfield Lane.

We headed north-east for a very short distance before we spotted a big gate on the right by a finger post. This track would lead us onto the hillside.

Following the finger post
Following the finger post

The Ascent

The path rose gently in a southerly direction, leading us around the back of Green Quarter Fell.

Rising away from Kentmere village
Rising away from Kentmere village

Conversation flowed freely between us, there was so much to catch up on in this strange post-COVID-19 isolated world. I really appreciated the opportunity we now had to meet friends safely outdoors.

Views back towards Kentmere
Views back towards Kentmere

The view behind us down into Kentmere was beautiful. Small smatterings of buildings – cottages, farm buildings and the obvious church. It was so picturesque with a beautiful mountainous backdrop of the Kentmere Horseshoe.

The ascent of Green Quarter Fell
The ascent of Green Quarter Fell

Dry stone walls separated the swathes of green farmland, applying order to the natural beauty.

The trail was firm underfoot and easy to follow. We passed through a gate and our direction changed to point north-east.

View back to Skeggles Water with the Bannisdale Horseshoe visible in the distance
View back to Skeggles Water with the Bannisdale Horseshoe visible in the distance

The path would continue towards Sadgill without visiting our required summits so we peeled off to the left when we were opposite Skeggles Water to head west onto the first summit – Hollow Moor (Green Quarter Fell).

Anna and Laura ascending Green Quarter Fell
Anna and Laura ascending Green Quarter Fell

It was a pathless trudge over wet long grass but it was short (less than 100m of ascent to the top).

Anna and Laura gain the summit ridge of Hollow Moor, Green Quarter Fell
Anna and Laura gain the summit ridge of Hollow Moor, Green Quarter Fell

The Summit – Green Quarter Fell – Hollow Moor

From the summit we enjoyed a marvellous view looking down the centre of the Kentmere Horseshoe – the pointy tops of Ill Bell and Froswick stood out the sharpest. Behind us, our eyes passed over Skeggles Water to the hills of the Bannisdale Horseshoe.

Adventurer Nic admiring the view to the Kentmere Horseshoe
Adventurer Nic admiring the view to the Kentmere Horseshoe

There was no summit marker on the top of Hollow Moor (Green Quarter Fell).

Anna broke out the Grasmere Gingerbread she’d purchased on her way to the start of the walk and we all had a slice. We all agreed that there really is no better Lakeland hill snack.

The Summit – Green Quarter Fell – Nameless Summit

Fence separating the two tops of Green Quarter Fell
Fence separating the two tops of Green Quarter Fell

We left the first summit with the second in our sights. A fence was easily crossed before a short rise to the second top, which was marked by a small cairn.

All the girls at a social distance on the nameless summit
All the girls at a social distance on the nameless summit

It was another of Alfred Wainwright’s nameless summits. We’d already encountered a few of these during our Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland hikes, on both the Bannisdale Horseshoe and our long Walna Scar hike. We had started a trend of nick-naming them after the people we were with so this one became the regal sounding – The Old Man of Angell Doling Dudlik Mollart-Solity. Rolls off the tongue doesn’t it!

View to Skeggles Water from the Nameless summit
View to Skeggles Water from the Nameless summit

The distance between the two tops was negligible so the views were pretty much the same.

The Descent

We headed down, crossing the boundary through a large gate.

Anna, Aggie and James start the descent into Kentmere
Anna, Aggie and James start the descent into Kentmere

Looking back we could appreciate the views to nearby Wainwright Shipman Knotts and beyond to Tarn Crag and Grey Crag in the distance.

Wainwright views to Shipman Knotts, Tarn Crag and Grey Crag from the descent
Wainwright views to Shipman Knotts, Tarn Crag and Grey Crag from the descent

We then picked our way over pathless ground to the main track which led into Kentmere village.

View to the Kentmere Horseshoe on the descent
View to the Kentmere Horseshoe on the descent

It was cloudy but wind-free and we were thankful for the visibility. This area is so green and lush.

Beautiful countryside on the descent
Beautiful countryside on the descent

As we followed the road back to the car, we had a gorgeous view of the church.

The Church in Kentmere
The Church in Kentmere

Wrapping Up

What a fantastic evening walk. We couldn’t believe it was 9pm when we finished. Making the most of these long sunny days is a real joy.

Next on the list were the Shap Fells.

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.

Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell

River through the Lake District valley with a hiker to the right of the image
Adventurer Nic enjoying the views on the summit of Ponsonby Fell
Adventurer Nic enjoying the views on the summit of Ponsonby Fell

Route Introduction

Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell 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 Monday 6th July 2020. These were Outlier numbers 49 and 50 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell Route Stats

Fells: Cold Fell (293m) and Ponsonby Fell (315m)

Total Distance: 15.1km / 9.38miles

Total Ascent: 320m / 1,050ft

Approx Walk Time: 4.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 056101

Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell Route Report

The Lead Up

It had been a while since our last walk – Walna Scar and nine other Outlying Fells a week and a half earlier. So we were ready for another reasonable leg stretch.

We parked up in the good sized parking area near the cattle grid and ours was the only car there. A good sign that we would be the only people out on the hill.

The Ascent

Adventurer Nic, setting out at the start of the walk towards Cold Fell
Adventurer Nic, setting out at the start of the walk towards Cold Fell

To start the walk we crossed over the cattle grid and followed a finger post up a track in a south-easterly direction.

Adventurer Nic ascending Cold Fell after leaving the track at the bottom
Adventurer Nic ascending Cold Fell after leaving the track at the bottom

After following the track for a short while, it was necessary to peel off it and hit the open hillside on the northern side of Cold Fell.

Adventurer Nic ascending Cold Fell
Adventurer Nic ascending Cold Fell

The ground was a little mushy after the recent rain, with fairly uneven grassy tufts right up to the summit.

View to Sellafield power station from the ascent of Cold Fell
View to Sellafield power station from the ascent of Cold Fell

The Summit – Cold Fell

The summit of Cold Fell was marked by a small cairn that consisted of a few rocks and one skull that looked like it had come from a sheep.

Summit cairn of Cold Fell, complete with skull
Summit cairn of Cold Fell, complete with skull

The view to the surrounding fells was partly blocked by some woodland on the eastern side of the fell, so the dominant view was down over Sellafield power station and out to sea. Consequently, Cold Fell is probably down as one of the most disappointing of the Outlying Fells when it came to offering up a good summit vista.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Cold Fell
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Cold Fell

Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell aren’t commonly hiked together, but they seemed close enough for us to link them, so after a short while studying the map we gave it a go.

James Forrest admiring the countryside views from Cold Fell
James Forrest admiring the countryside views from Cold Fell

Linking The Fells – The Descent

Mushroom growing in a cow pat

We descended from Cold Fell to the south-west and aimed for the minor road that runs along the bottom of the fell.

For some reason on this route there was an abundance of cow pats with fungi growing in them.

Not something I normally notice a lot of but there were countless of them here!

The slopes were gentle but the ground was still grassy and uneven so we took it steady.

Lining the roadside were a flock of recently sheared sheep.

The road at the bottom of Cold Fell
The road at the bottom of Cold Fell

Linking The Fells – The Flat

We walked along the road for around 1km before we turned up another minor tarmacked road towards Beckcote Farm.

Minor road providing access to the farm
Minor road providing access to the farm

We passed the main farm buildings on a track lined by hedgerow and trees before turning right through a gate and down a path where nature had created a tunnel for us to pass through.

Path through the tunnel of vegetation
Path through the tunnel of vegetation

Passing through another gate, we found ourselves in a field.

James Forrest passing through the gate on the route linking Cold Fell with Ponsonby Fell
James Forrest passing through the gate on the route linking Cold Fell with Ponsonby Fell

We hugged the right hand boundary before turning left at the bottom of the field. Mature trees separated us and a herd of cows. We crossed the stream at the bottom end of the field and went through a gate on the other side which led over a bridge and up a stairwell with a useful hand rail.

James Forrest crossing the small bridge
James Forrest crossing the small bridge

We passed over a stile at the top and came out into another field.

The trail towards the woodland
The trail towards the woodland

Keeping left, we followed the right of way down towards and through woodland.

James Forrest entering the woodland
James Forrest entering the woodland

We watched squirrels jump and scurry from tree to tree as we made our way down to a wider track and out onto a road.

View from Stakes Bridge
View from Stakes Bridge

Crossing over Stakes Bridge, we walked along the road for a short distance before peeling off through a gate and towards the next stile.

Following the fingerpost
Following the fingerpost

This stile led into a field and we followed the perimeter of the field up to the left, rising uphill once again.

Linking The Fells – The Ascent

View from the trail
View from the trail

White butterflies danced around us as we made our way, following the path through overgrown bracken. We passed over a stile which was a traditional wooden stile on one side and a ladder stile on the other and followed the stream uphill under the shade of the trees.

This led to a larger track where we passed through a gate and headed east towards Ponsonby Fell.

Adventurer Nic admiring the view
Adventurer Nic admiring the view

At this point the trail was lined by gorse bushes and small trees and we spotted a hare up ahead.

The trail passed through multiple gates and was often lined on both sides either by bushes, walls or fences.

The trail passing through fields towards Ponsonby Fell
The trail passing through fields towards Ponsonby Fell

It ultimately led us into a large field, where in the top left corner there was a walled passage that led to a larger track and some ruined farmed buildings.

Ruined farm buildings on the way to Ponsonby Fell
Ruined farm buildings on the way to Ponsonby Fell

Passing through what would have been the courtyard of the ruined buildings, we made it to a stream. Here there was an option to proceed on the north side of the Birrel Sike before crossing it. Alternatively, we could cross it here and walk on the south side. We chose the south side as the ground was very wet and the south side was higher, but it was quite overgrown. Both sides have their pros and cons but they both lead to the foot of Ponsonby Fell.

From here we made a beeline to the summit of Ponsonby Fell over lumpy grass.

The Summit – Ponsonby Fell

The summit of Ponsonby Fell far exceeded my expectations. It was amazing! Scafell and Scafell Pike were both visible with Mickledore (this was not mentioned at all in Alfred Wainwright’s description of the view so it was a wonderful surprise!).

Adventurer Nic looking towards the Scafells from the summit of Ponsonby Fell
Adventurer Nic looking towards the Scafells from the summit of Ponsonby Fell

The screes of Illgill Head and Whin Rigg also domineered.

View to the screes of Illgill Head and Whin Rigg from Ponsonby Fell
View to the screes of Illgill Head and Whin Rigg from Ponsonby Fell

Closer were Lank Rigg, Haycock and Seatallan.

Black Combe was also visible to the south.

View to Black Combe from Ponsonby Fell
View to Black Combe from Ponsonby Fell

The Descent

We descended to the north-east over pathless terrain with Haycock in front of us. The cattle grid on the road at the bottom of the valley was the feature we were aiming for as this would lead us back towards the car.

James Forrest descending Ponsonby Fell
James Forrest descending Ponsonby Fell

After trudging through the high grass that was wet in places we were ready for the firm track that led past the farm house and into Scalderskew forest.

Track to Scalderskew Farm
Track to Scalderskew Farm

We followed the beautiful trails through the woodland.

View through Scalderskew woodland
View through Scalderskew woodland

After a lovely walk through the tall trees, we then peeled off to the right to cross Worm Gill.

River crossing - looking upstream
River crossing – looking upstream

After all the rain we’d had recently this was easier said than done! Some of the stepping stones were submerged so we waded through on this occasion before picking the trail up on the other side through bracken.

River crossing - looking downstream
River crossing – looking downstream

The trail rose slightly to traverse along the lower slopes of Lank Rigg.

A skull on a rock looking down into the valley
A skull on a rock looking down into the valley

The views down the river were absolutely stunning the fading light.

James Forrest towards the end of the hike
James Forrest towards the end of the hike

The trail led down into the valley and we crossed a bridge.

View from the bridge
View from the bridge

After we crossed the bridge, the trail led us directly back to the car.

Wrapping Up

James Forrest and Adventurer Nic smiling on the summit of Ponsonby Fell - the highlight of the day
James Forrest and Adventurer Nic smiling on the summit of Ponsonby Fell – the highlight of the day

What a day! Mashing these two Wainwright Outlying routes together made for a great adventure. Next on the list was Green Quarter Fell in the Kentmere Valley.

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.

Walna Scar

Adventurer Nic descending Green Pikes before heading to Walna Scar

…Caw, Stickle Pike and more!

Adventurer Nic and her friend Laura heading to Stickle Pike
Adventurer Nic and her friend Laura heading to Stickle Pike

Walna Scar, Caw, Stickle Pike and More – Route Introduction

Walna Scar is the highest of all of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. This hike links Walna Scar to 9 other outlying fells in the south of the Lake District National Park over a distance of 26km. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Wednesday 24th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 39 to 48 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Walna Scar, Caw, Stickle Pike and More – Route Stats

The trig pillar on Great Stickle
The trig pillar on Great Stickle

Fells: Great Stickle (305m), Dunnerdale Fells (280m), Tarn Hill (313m), Stickle Pike (375m), a nameless summit 1183′ (361m), The Knott (284m), Caw (529m), Pikes (469m), Green Pikes (420m) and Walna Scar (621m)

Total Distance: 26.1km / 16.22miles

Total Ascent: 1,090m / 3,576ft

Approx Walk Time: 10 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 201917

Walna Scar, Caw, Stickle Pike and More – Route Report

The Lead Up

A few days earlier we’d hiked the Bannisdale Horseshoe and Knipescar Common, two great walks on the far eastern edge of the Lake District National Park. After a couple of days rest we headed to Ulpha to take on another big day in the hills.

James and I met our good friend Laura in the car park on the road between Ulpha and Stonestar. Laura is a postal worker in the Windermere post office but was making the most of her week off with some hiking.

The Ascent

The ascent was straight forward as there was a clear path which led through thick bracken right from the edge of the small car park virtually to the summit of our first Outlying Fell of the day – Great Stickle.

The ascent of Great Stickle through the bracken
The ascent of Great Stickle through the bracken

The ground was firm underfoot and the gradient wasn’t too steep. The view up to the crags ahead was beautiful.

Views from the ascent of Great Stickle
Views from the ascent of Great Stickle

I love the colour of bracken in June and there seemed to be a sea of green in every direction we turned.

Looking back on the ascent of Great Stickle towards Whitfell
Looking back on the ascent of Great Stickle towards Whitfell

We looked back and could pick out the summit of Whitfell quite clearly as we’d hiked that as part of our extended circuit of Devoke Water previously.

Continuing up towards Great Stickle
Continuing up towards Great Stickle

As the trail zigzagged gently through the ferns towards Great Stickle, we were chatting away intently. It was one of those ascents that passed quickly due to great conversation.

The Summit – Great Stickle

The summit cairn of Great Stickle
The summit cairn of Great Stickle

A large cairn marked the summit of great Stickle, five metres south-west of a trig pillar. From here we were treated to an excellent, albeit hazy, view down to Duddon Sands.

The summit cairn of Great Stickle and Stickle Pike in the background
The summit cairn of Great Stickle and Stickle Pike in the background

I also loved the view to the other side, which featured Stickle Pike with a backdrop of higher Lake District mountains. I had the feeling this was going to be a great hill day.

The Summit – Dunnerdale Fells

From Great Stickle we pondered over which route to take to Dunnerdale Fells. We followed a series of small interconnecting paths through the bracken to the edge of this pretty tarn which was teeming with wildlife.

Tarn between Great Stickle and Dunnerdale Fells
Tarn between Great Stickle and Dunnerdale Fells

The ground was firm enough as we were in the midst of a heatwave, but I would imagine this area could be very slushy in poor weather.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Dunnerdale Fells
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Dunnerdale Fells

A very modest cairn of two rocks marked the summit of Dunnerdale Fells.

The Summit – Tarn Hill

From Dunnerdale Fells we headed towards Tarn Hill, weaving around ponds and through bracken, avoiding the crags.

Looking up on the route to Dunnerdale Fells and Tarn Hill
Looking up on the route to Dunnerdale Fells and Tarn Hill

I’m sure the size of the cairn on Tarn Hill made the two stones on Dunnerdale Fells feel woefully inadequate.

The view from here, overlooking a tarn (no surprises there) towards Buck Barrow and Whitefell was stunning.

View from Tarn Hill towards Buck Barrow and Whitfell
View from Tarn Hill towards Buck Barrow and Whitfell

But it couldn’t compete with the view to the other side. Stickle Pike looked so grand up ahead. We were keen to press on.

Laura looking from Tarn Hill towards Stickle Pike
Laura looking from Tarn Hill towards Stickle Pike

The Summit – Stickle Pike

We left the summit of Tarn Hill to the north, all the while Stickle Pike was getting closer and closer. It looked far bigger than its lowly 375m height tag!

Adventurer Nic and Laura en route to Stickle Pike
Adventurer Nic and Laura en route to Stickle Pike

We aimed for the col between the two fells and followed another path through bracken which wound up and over steeper, rockier ground to the summit. And boy was it a handsome summit.

Approaching the summit of Stickle Pike
Approaching the summit of Stickle Pike

Hiking fells like this is one of the reasons I love being a peak bagger. I’d never heard of Stickle Pike prior to walking the Outlying Fells of Lakeland but it’s such a fantastic hill and an absolute must for lovers of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Stickle Pike
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Stickle Pike

We settled down to eat an early lunch at 11:30 am. Laura put us both to shame with her lovely, fresh prawn salad while James and I picked the mould off the bread of our peanut butter sandwiches!

Lunch on Stickle Pike whilst looking over the rest of the route
Lunch on Stickle Pike whilst looking over the rest of the route

At this point in the walk we were so happy. We already had four of the ten fells under our belts but Walna Scar seemed a long way away. We were under no illusions we would be back at the car at tea time. Thank goodness for the late sunsets at this time of year!

Looking to Caw from Stickle Pike
Looking to Caw from Stickle Pike

From our summit vantage point we took the opportunity to scout out the route ahead, looking across Stickle Tarn to the junction at Kiln Bank Cross and on to our next Outlying Fells.

The Nameless Summit – 1183′

We descended to the car park at Kiln Bank Cross and followed the trail to the east, passing a cave in the crag.

Cave in the crag to the left of the trail
Cave in the crag to the left of the trail

From there we took a left fork in the trail, which traversed up the western side of Raven’s Crag.

The trail up the side of Raven's Crag
The trail up the side of Raven’s Crag

This trail led us straight to the nameless summit which Alfred Wainwright, in his book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, fondly referred to as – nameless summit 1183′.

Looking from the nameless summit towards Caw
Looking from the nameless summit towards Caw

This fell reminded me how must I enjoy bagging the hills that are close to the sea. You get a completely different perspective to the land locked fells in the centre of the Lake District. On a hot day like this was it almost felt like we were abroad!

View to Duddon Sands from Raven's Crag
View to Duddon Sands from Raven’s Crag

It felt unnatural to be walking away from Caw, the 529m hill looming behind me in the photo below, but first we needed to lose some height to bag The Knott, at 284m.

Adventurer Nic on the Nameless Fell with Caw in the background
Adventurer Nic on the Nameless Fell with Caw in the background

The Summit – The Knott

So we continued south along the ridge.

James and Laura heading towards The Knott
James and Laura heading towards The Knott

It was an undulating route, passing over a couple of other tops. Whitfell and Buck Barrow made for an awesome backdrop.

Adventurer Nic on the approach to The Knott
Adventurer Nic on the approach to The Knott

We made it to the top of The Knott and admired our next objective, Caw.

View to Caw and Pikes from The Knott
View to Caw and Pikes from The Knott

The Coniston Fells looked fearsome from this angle. We knew we’d later have to ascend a good chunk of that to reach Walna Scar.

View to the bigger Coniston fells and the direction of Walna Scar, which would be our final Outlier of the day
View to the bigger Coniston fells and the direction of Walna Scar, which would be our final Outlier of the day

The view to Great Stickle, our first Outlier of the day was also stunning.

Looking towards Great Stickle from The Knott
Looking towards Great Stickle from The Knott

And of course we were even closer to the sea.

Duddon Sands from The Knott
Duddon Sands from The Knott

Re-fuelling once more, we had a good giggle during a well earned rest by the summit cairn of The Knott.

Snack and giggles on The Knott
Snack and giggles on The Knott

The Summit – Caw

We retraced our steps for 300m before turning right along the trail, heading north-east towards Jackson Ground on the map.

The path to Caw from The Knott. Walna Scar seemed a long way away at this point
The path to Caw from The Knott. Walna Scar seemed a long way away at this point

This part of the trail was really good underfoot so we made quick progress. We crossed Long Mire Beck and followed the path up to the highest point of the pass before noticing some cairns to the right of the trail. We peeled off the trail and followed the cairns to the foot of Caw, where a steep ascent up the south face was required for 150m.

Around 20m from the summit, an older gentleman passed us with remarkable pace and flexibility. We caught up with him on the summit.

Solo hiker on the summit of Caw
Solo hiker on the summit of Caw

He was a local to south Cumbria, living in Barrow-in-Furness, and after a short chat he ventured off towards his next hill of the day – White Maiden.

The views were simply incredible.

Touching the trig point on Caw
Touching the trig point on Caw

A few friends had recommended Caw as their favourite Outlying Fell of Lakeland so my expectations were high and the views certainly didn’t disappoint!

Views from the trig point of Caw
Views from the trig point of Caw

There were OUTSTANDING views to the highest peaks of the Lake District including Scafell Pike, Pillar, Great End and on to Esk Pike, Bow Fell, Crinkle Crags, Pike O’Blisco and all the Coniston fells – Great Carrs, Swirl How, Dow Crag, Coniston Old Man. In the foreground – Harter Fell and Hard Knott also stood out.

View to Duddon Sands from the trig point of Caw
View to Duddon Sands from the trig point of Caw

The views off to the other side were striking for different reasons. A sea view and then Black Combe and a number of other familiar outliers from trips gone by. What a treat.

The Summit – Pikes

Laura decided to leave us at this point, so made her own way back to the car from Caw. James and I continued on, heading north-east towards Pikes.

The uninterrupted views of the Lake District giants were heavenly.

Leaving Caw in the direction of Pikes
Leaving Caw in the direction of Pikes

It seemed like it was mostly downhill towards Pikes, and there were now only two summits between us and Walna Scar.

The summit of Pikes
The summit of Pikes

A rocky outcrop marked the summit of Pikes.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Pikes, looking towards Walna Scar
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Pikes, looking towards Walna Scar

The Summit – Green Pikes

The amble across to Green Pikes was trouble-free and joyous.

Adventurer Nic on the hike towards Green Pikes
Adventurer Nic on the hike towards Green Pikes

We were now heading directly towards the big mountains in distance and it was difficult to concentrate on where we were putting our feet because of the distraction of the awesome scenery.

Adventurer Nic in awe of the scene between Pikes and Green Pikes
Adventurer Nic in awe of the scene between Pikes and Green Pikes

Green Pikes was my favourite place to photograph of the day. There is no cairn on the summit but the views are out of this world.

Adventurer Nic showing her love for Green Pikes. One more fell to go, Walna Scar
Adventurer Nic showing her love for Green Pikes. One more fell to go, Walna Scar

The Summit – Walna Scar

And just like that we had one Outlying Fell remaining! Walna Scar here we come.

Ruins of quarry buildings on the way to Walna Scar
Ruins of quarry buildings on the way to Walna Scar

We descended off Green Pikes and headed for the wide track known as Walna Scar Road. The path led us past a series of old ruined quarry buildings. What awesome views they’d have if you could stay in them I pondered.

Ascending Walna Scar Road
Ascending Walna Scar Road

The track wound its way up Walna Scar Side and to a crossroads at the col between Walna Scar and Brown Pike. We turned right to head south up and onto the summit.

Approaching the summit of Walna Scar, our last Outlying Fell of the day
Approaching the summit of Walna Scar, our last Outlying Fell of the day

The top was marked by a cairn and overlooked what appeared to be the full length of Coniston Water.

Views from Walna Scar over Coniston Water
Views from Walna Scar over Coniston Water

Looking back, the zigzag path up Brown Pike and on to Dow Crag was so clear as visibility was great.

The summit of Walna Scar looking to Brown Pike
The summit of Walna Scar looking to Brown Pike

We celebrated the milestone, as we were now 40% through Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland and we’d already ticked off the two highest fells – Walna Scar and Black Combe.

Adventurer Nic celebrating hiking the highest of the Outlying Fells of Lakeland - Walna Scar
Adventurer Nic celebrating hiking the highest of the Outlying Fells of Lakeland – Walna Scar

The Long Descent of Walna Scar

Thinking about the long walk back to the car, we left the summit and retraced our steps back to the ruined quarry buildings, before continuing through a gate down Walna Scar Road, heading north-west towards the base of the valley, which contained the Tarn Beck and the village of Seathwaite. We filled our water bottles from the stream and couldn’t quite quench our thirst on what felt like the hottest day of the year so far.

Views to Harter Fell from the long walk back to the car after Walna Scar
Views to Harter Fell from the long walk back to the car after Walna Scar

We reached the road at the bottom and walked along it for almost 2km under the blissful shade of the large trees that lined the street. The view to Harter Fell from the valley was beautiful, surrounded by woodland and quintessentially English dry stone walls.

Another Ascent Before Finishing the Walk

We joined a path which led gently uphill back towards the Kiln Bank Cross car park for around 3.5km.

Looking back over stunning views of Lakeland
Looking back over stunning views of Lakeland

As we regained 200m of height the views opened up behind us once more.

Heading back towards the foot of Stickle Pike
Heading back towards the foot of Stickle Pike

By this point we were very tired and a bit low on energy so some high calorie sugary snacks were on the menu to perk us up.

We made it back to Kiln Bank Cross car park and made a beeline for Stickle Tarn. From there we followed the trail beside Hare Hall Beck, laughing as we spotted two Herdwick sheep in the middle of a swampy tarn having a cool down.

Two sheep swimming in the middle of this swampy tarn
Two sheep swimming in the middle of this swampy tarn

We were back on the bracken lined trails for the remainder of the walk, bypassing Great Stickle and picking up the original route of ascent which led these two weary hikers back to the car.

James Forrest following the trails through bracken back to the car
James Forrest following the trails through bracken back to the car

Wrapping Up our hike up Walna Scar, Caw, Stickle Pike and Friends

What a day! 26km and over 1,000m of ascent on the hottest day of the year probably wasn’t the best idea but the views certainly warranted completing this walk on a clear day.

Our next outing would be Cold Fell and Ponsonby Fell in the western Lake District.

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.

Knipescar Common

Horse on the ascent of Knipescar Common in the Lake District
View from Knipescar Common
View from Knipescar Common

Route Introduction

Knipescar Common is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the far 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 20th June 2020. This was Outlier number 38 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Knipescar Common Route Stats

Fells: Knipesar Common (342m)

Total Distance: 4.7km / 2.92miles

Total Ascent: 110m / 361ft

Approx Walk Time: 1.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 530183

Knipescar Common Route Report

The Lead Up

For the majority of the day, we’d been walking the Bannisdale Horseshoe. It seemed rude not to hike Knipescar Common as we virtually passed it on the way home and the weather was wonderful.

Finger post at the beginning of the walk
Finger post at the beginning of the walk

We parked the car by the start of the route and headed north-east on a footpath, following well-placed finger posts.

We didn’t start the walk until 6:30pm but that didn’t matter as the weather was warm and it was a glorious evening.

James Forrest at the start of the walk
James Forrest at the start of the walk

The Ascent

Grabbing a sneaky peek over our shoulders towards central Lakeland, we could already make out some of the fells that make up the Kentmere Horseshoe. This bode well for the view from the summit.

A sneaky peak to central Lakeland from the ascent
A sneaky peak to central Lakeland from the ascent

Following the right of way though a field, we gingerly made our way around a herd of cattle that looked a bit twitchy. Moving slowly and sticking by the wall seemed to do the trick.

After deftly avoiding the cows, we went through the gate and into another field. This time, we were met with an enthusiastic flock of sheep. The baaaa sounds were deafening, it was clear they had mistaken us for the farmer and were expecting a treat!

An enthusiastic flock
An enthusiastic flock

From there, the right of way led us around the fringes of a farm house and up a field with a resident pony and a horse.

A curious pony
A curious pony

Coming around to the top of the ridge, we could appreciate the rows of limestone that Knipescar Common is famous for.

Limestone pavement of Knipescar Common
Limestone pavement of Knipescar Common

Turning to head west along the ridge, the route had a stone wall to the right and gorse bushes to the left, and a nice wide channel to walk along.

The trail on the start of the Knipescar Common ridge
The trail on the start of the Knipescar Common ridge

The view to the left swept down into the valley of the river Lowther and back up to the beautiful hills. It was here that we first spotted Haweswater, just to the right of the Naddle Forest.

View to the centre of the Lake District over the gorse bushes on Knipescar Common
View to the centre of the Lake District over the gorse bushes on Knipescar Common

Soon the trail peeled away from the wall and we reached the summit.

The Summit – Knipescar Common

As the summit is unmarked (no cairn, trig pillar or other identifying feature and on a fairly flat plateau), grid reference was the only real way of ascertaining the true summit of this fell.

The views were stunning with Selside Pike, Branstree, Harter Fell, Ill Bell, Mardale Ill Bell and High Street all visible from here. It struck me as interesting that most people who set out to bag the 214 Wainwrights will never see the far eastern fells from this angle. They’re definitely missing out!

Adventurer Nic looking at the view from Knipescar Common summit
Adventurer Nic looking at the view from Knipescar Common summit

I didn’t expect to see Blencathra from this vantage point but the distinctive Saddleback shape to the north-west was unmistakable.

View from Knipescar Common towards Blencathra
View from Knipescar Common towards Blencathra

I couldn’t stop smiling by this point, I’d previously thought of Knipescar Common as just a ‘filler’, something to squeeze in on the way home from a bigger peak bagging day. But it was turning out to be worthy of a whole afternoon.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Knipescar Common
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Knipescar Common

The Descent

My increasing hunger was the main reason for us to start descending, although I’d love to come back for a sunset hike here another day.

Adventurer Nic admiring the view to Blencathra
Adventurer Nic admiring the view to Blencathra

We came off the ridge and followed a path network through the bracken down into the valley.

The wide trail down from Knipescar Common
The wide trail down from Knipescar Common

On one occasion towards the end of the route, the bracken was quite overgrown and we ended up in a bit of a mixed bracken and nettle bed accidentally! Regaining the rightful path was momentarily painful thanks to the nettles, but luckily we’d not strayed far.

The bracken closing in towards the end of the walk
The bracken closing in towards the end of the walk

Over a couple of stiles and through a couple of gates and we were back at the car in no time.

Wrapping Up

Next on the Wainwright’s Outlying Fells peak bagging agenda was Walna, Caw, Stickle Pike and 7 other fells on an epic 26km peak bagging hike.

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.

The Bannisdale Horseshoe

The summit of Whiteside Pike on the Bannisdale Horseshoe, Lake District
Sheep and lamb on the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Sheep and lamb on the Bannisdale Horseshoe

The Bannisdale Horseshoe Route Introduction

The Bannisdale Horseshoe is a classic route featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. The hike takes in 9 tops on the far eastern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card is a fantastic option for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 20th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 29 to 37 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

The Bannisdale Horseshoe Route Stats

Fells: Whiteside Pike (397m), Todd Fell (401m), Capplebarrow (513m), nameless summit 1819′ (554m), a nameless summit 1771′ (541m), Long Crag (493m), White Howe (530m), nameless summit 1736′ (528m) and Lamb Pasture (367m)

Total Distance: 17.9km / 11.12miles

Total Ascent: 410m / 1,345ft

Approx Walk Time: 5.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 531001

The Bannisdale Horseshoe Route Report

The Lead Up to the Bannisdale Horseshoe

The previous week we had walked Black Combe, White Combe and Stoupdale Head in the south west of the Lake District National Park on our quest to hike the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Today James and I were meeting our good friend Liz, a nurse who lives over the border in Yorkshire.

There is limited parking for the Bannisdale Horseshoe but we managed to park near Plough Farm.

The Ascent

To start, we walked south-east down the road before turning right towards Mosergh Farm.

Just before we reached the farm we turned right again to follow a track which was lined by dry stone walls on either side.

Walled track at the beginning of the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Walled track at the beginning of the Bannisdale Horseshoe

The wide track was easy to follow. Its end marks the start of the open access land and a series of faint paths lead uphill through grass and bracken towards the summit of Whiteside Pike.

Approaching Whiteside Pike, the first summit of the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Approaching Whiteside Pike, the first summit of the Bannisdale Horseshoe

The summit cairn of Whiteside Pike was visible from quite a distance due to its height.

Views close to the summit of Whiteside Pike
Views close to the summit of Whiteside Pike

A short steep section at the very end enabled us to access the highest point of the fell, we looked back to a gorgeous view of Brunt Knott.

The Summit – Whiteside Pike

Whiteside Pike - one of Wainwright's Outlying Fells on the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Whiteside Pike – one of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells on the Bannisdale Horseshoe

On the summit of Whiteside Pike was a columnar cairn which was higher than my shoulder. A very impressive stack indeed.

As we left the summit of Whiteside Pike, we looked ahead towards Todd Fell, our second peak on the Bannisdale Horseshoe. We could see Todd Fell on the left and Capplebarrow on the right, separated by a wall.

Todd Fell and Capplebarrow from the descent of Whiteside Pike
Todd Fell and Capplebarrow from the descent of Whiteside Pike

There was a stone stile in the wall at the bottom between Whiteside Pike and Todd Fell.

The Summit – Todd Fell

We headed north-west making a beeline for the summit of Todd Fell.

Views from the summit of Todd Fell
Views from the summit of Todd Fell

The summit was marked by two very small rocks that could be easily missed.

Giggles on Todd Fell summit
Giggles on Todd Fell summit

We started a debate amongst ourselves trying to identify the high fells in the distance, beyond the picturesque Long Sleddale Valley. There was one that looked very much like Great Gable, but from this angle it looked suspiciously far away from the Scafells. But none of us could think of an alternative!

Views from the summit of Todd Fell
Views from the summit of Todd Fell

The Summit – Capplebarrow

We mused over the Great Gable conundrum as we made our way off Todd Fell, aiming for a ladder stile in the wall that separated us from Capplebarrow.

Stile on the way between Todd Fell and Capplebarrow
Stile on the way between Todd Fell and Capplebarrow

After crossing the stile we hiked onwards and upwards, through a gate which looked like a new addition.

Gate on the ascent of Capplebarrow
Gate on the ascent of Capplebarrow

By the time we reached the summit of Capplebarrow we were certain we could see Great Gable and made a note to check the map properly when we got home.

Views from the summit of Capplebarrow on the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Views from the summit of Capplebarrow on the Bannisdale Horseshoe

From Capplebarrow we followed the long fence on towards the next summit of the Bannisdale Horseshoe.

A gate looking a little worse for wear on the descent of Capplebarrow
A gate looking a little worse for wear on the descent of Capplebarrow

The Nameless Summit – 1819′

It’s quite difficult to work out why Alfred Wainwright went out of his way to include ‘nameless’ summits in his walks for the book – The Outlying Fells of Lakeland. Together with their height, in feet, he lists them under the shared name ‘nameless summit’. There are three of them on the Bannisdale Horseshoe.

Looking backwards we could appreciate the back end of the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Looking backwards we could appreciate the back end of the Bannisdale Horseshoe

As we approached nameless summit 1819′ we looked back to see the two prongs of the horseshoe with Bannisdale valley a chasm between them.

Nameless summit 1819'
Nameless summit 1819′

In the spirit of being able to remember the nameless summits, it seemed fitting that we nicknamed this summit ‘Preston Peak’ after our hiking companion Liz Preston. The view towards Skeggles Water and Green Quarter Fell was lovely.

The Nameless Summit – 1771′

From one nameless summit to another, we marched north towards the next Outlier.

Views approaching the summit of nameless peak 1771'
Views approaching the summit of nameless peak 1771′

The pointy peak of Ill Bell was the most recognisable mountain on the horizon, together with other fells from the Kentmere Horseshoe.

Adventurer Nic on the nameless summit 1771'
Adventurer Nic on the nameless summit 1771′

An old wall led us to the nameless summit 1771′ which we nicknamed Hardy Hill (after my own name).

The Summit – Long Crag

From here we entered bog territory, but found a few rocks to sit and eat lunch on out of the wind.

We continued on hopping over the bog towards the north-east corner of the fell where two walls meet, in order to use the ladder stile. From here we could see the Shap Fells we had yet to hike over to our left.

Liz on the ladder stile close to the summit of Long Crag
Liz on the ladder stile close to the summit of Long Crag

From here we headed up in a south westerly direction to reach the summit of Long Crag.

Approaching the summit of Long Crag
Approaching the summit of Long Crag

We were in good spirits after lunch. After a weather forecast that promised a bit of sunshine, a lot of cloud and a few showers we’d only caught one short shower and were felling buoyant.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Long Crag
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Long Crag

The Summit – White Howe

We returned to the wall junction and followed the wall to the col between Long Crag and White Howe, before peeling off to approach the summit from the north side.

Following the wall between Long Crag and White Howe
Following the wall between Long Crag and White Howe

White Howe was the only fell on the circuit to have a trig pillar.

Trig pillar on White Howe on the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Trig pillar on White Howe on the Bannisdale Horseshoe

The rain started just as we reached the summit and the mountains in the distance slowly started to disappear into the mist.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Howe
Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Howe

The Nameless Summit – 1736′

Leaving White Howe to the south-west, we hopped over a stile and up to next summit, another nameless one! So this third and final nameless summit adopted the nickname Forrest Fell, after James’s surname.

Adventurer Nic on the nameless summit 1736'
Adventurer Nic on the nameless summit 1736′

Forrest Fell was quite an apt nickname as the general area is marked ‘The Forest’ on the map.

View from the nameless summit 1736'
View from the nameless summit 1736′

The Summit – Lamb Pasture

We headed down from the nameless fell in a south-easterly direction.

James and Liz heading towards Lamb Pasture
James and Liz heading towards Lamb Pasture

Soon we could see Lamb Pasture, but we couldn’t summit it until we’d completed the biggest descent of the day so far.

Looking down towards Lamb Pasture
Looking down towards Lamb Pasture

We walked through a gate in the col and noticed a second gate in the corner to the right, so we headed through that in order to avoid having to cross the boundary further up.

Views from Lamb Pasture into Bannisdale Valley
Views from Lamb Pasture into Bannisdale Valley

We made it to the summit and the poor weather had passed once more. The sun was shining and the view down Bannisdale Valley was beautiful.

Adventurer Nic sitting on the summit of Lamb Pasture on the Bannisdale Horseshoe, The Lake District
Adventurer Nic sitting on the summit of Lamb Pasture on the Bannisdale Horseshoe, The Lake District

I took a well earned rest on the small summit cairn.

The Bannisdale Horseshoe Descent

From Lamb Pasture, we descended down to another pair of gates and followed a quad bike trail to main track.

Fox gloves on the Bannisdale Horseshoe descent
Fox gloves on the Bannisdale Horseshoe descent

The foxgloves framed the English countryside scene beautifully.

The descent of the Bannisdale Horseshoe
The descent of the Bannisdale Horseshoe

We reached the track at the bottom and walked along it to the east for a while before heading south again towards the road, along the right of way next to Thorn Cottage.

Descending down towards the farm
Descending down towards the farm

We walked along the road, which crossed Bannisdale Beck, before turning right onto another footpath.

This trail led us through woodland and out onto farmers fields.

Beautiful fields with a blue sky backdrop towards the end of the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Beautiful fields with a blue sky backdrop towards the end of the Bannisdale Horseshoe

By this time we were roasting hot in the sunshine.

Beautiful fields with a blue sky backdrop towards the end of the Bannisdale Horseshoe
Beautiful fields with a blue sky backdrop towards the end of the Bannisdale Horseshoe

The path exited onto the road where the cars were parked and our 18km Outlying Fell-bagging hike was over. The longest walk in Alfred Wainwright’s book – the Outlying Fells of Lakeland was complete.

Wrapping Up our Bannisdale Horseshoe Hike

What next? We walked Knipescar Common, the 38th hill of Wainwright’s Outlying Fells on our way home.

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.

Black Combe

Adventurer Nic walking on White Combe in front of Black Combe in the Lake District

…White Combe and Stoupdale Head Route Introduction

Black Combe, White Combe and Stoupdale Head are three hills included in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland book. They are situated in the far south-west 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 Sunday 14th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 26, 27 and 28 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Black Combe Route Stats

Fells: White Combe (417m), Stoupdale Head (472m) and Black Combe (600m)

Total Distance: 10km / 6.18miles

Total Ascent: 520m / 1,706ft

Approx Walk Time: 3.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 153847

Black Combe Route Report

The Lead Up

We’d heard good things about the views from Black Combe so selected a good weather day for this fell-bagging outing. The previous day we’d hiked Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar as part of our project ticking off the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

We parked in a small car park at Beckside and set off heading east.

The Ascent

The walk begins half a kilometre up the road. It is possible to avoid the road either partially or fully on a right of way through farmers fields. Sticking to the road would be the most direct route but it’s very tight with lots of blind corners and felt a bit dicey.

We crossed road onto an overgrown path.

Virtually impassable paths but we fought our way through!
Virtually impassable paths but we fought our way through!

It looked like nobody had walked this route in well over a decade.

Adventurer Nic on the barely noticeable path
Adventurer Nic on the barely noticeable path

The hedgerows were virtually meeting in the middle of the trail with nettles, holly bushes and brambles galore. We used our walking poles to fight our way through, picking up a few scratches on the way. The fox gloves on the route were beautiful though!

The countryside looked beautiful through a gap in the trees
The countryside looked beautiful through a gap in the trees

After a barely a quarter of a kilometre of slow going along the overgrown path we exited through a gate and followed a trail which rose uphill surrounded by bracken.

The start of the ascent of White Combe
The start of the ascent of White Combe

It was a glorious day, with blue skies and fluffy white clouds all around us and boy was it hot!

The trail zig-zagged before we peeled off it to aim for the summit of White Combe. We struggled to find the faint path at first but it was there. Why is it that hillside paths are so much easier to spot from above than from below, I pondered.

Views to Duddon Sands from the ascent of White Combe
Views to Duddon Sands from the ascent of White Combe

From here we looked down and out to sea over the top of White Hall Knott, a small hill that looked rather impressive from this angle.

Looking back on the ascent of White Combe over White Hall Knott
Looking back on the ascent of White Combe over White Hall Knott

The Summit – White Combe

The highest point of White Combe appears to be the point marked ‘428’ on the map but the Outlying Wainwright summit is a little further south at 417m and is marked by a large wind shelter.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Combe
Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Combe

From the summit we could see the Coniston fells and the distinctive outline of Caw, an Outlying Fell that we had yet to hike but that many had told us was their favourite.

Views from White Combe to the Coniston fells and Caw, in the Lake District National Park
Views from White Combe to the Coniston fells and Caw, in the Lake District National Park

We could also see clearly down to Duddon Sands and panning to the right, an unfathomable number of wind turbines out in the sea, there seemed to be hundreds of them along the horizon.

Wind turbines in the sea from White Combe
Wind turbines in the sea from White Combe

I’ve loved seeing the Lake District from so many different angles whilst hiking the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Combe
Adventurer Nic on the summit of White Combe

On the other side of the valley was the looming bulk of Black Combe. From here, you can certainly see where Black Combe gets its name, with its dark rock thought to have been formed over 400 million years ago.

Adventurer Nic taking a closer look at Black Combe from the summit plateau of White Combe
Adventurer Nic taking a closer look at Black Combe from the summit plateau of White Combe

The Summit – Stoupdale Head

Adventurer Nic leaving the summit of White Combe and heading to Stoupdale Head
Adventurer Nic leaving the summit of White Combe and heading to Stoupdale Head

It was a straight-forward hike along to Stoupdale Head.

Adventurer Nic walking towards Stoupdale Head from White Combe
Adventurer Nic walking towards Stoupdale Head from White Combe

The ground was grassy but firm on the approach and then turned a little bit peaty and soft on top. But we were lucky we were walking at the end of a dry spell.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Stoupdale Head
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Stoupdale Head

It looks rather lack-lustre on the map but Stoupdale Head was a pleasant surprise.

View towards Black Combe from the summit of Stoupdale Head
View towards Black Combe from the summit of Stoupdale Head

A very small cairn marked the summit on a very flat plateau which was peppered with cotton grass.

View towards Kinmont Buck Barrow and Buck Barrow from Stoupdale Head
View towards Kinmont Buck Barrow and Buck Barrow from Stoupdale Head

I enjoyed the view to Buck Barrow and Kinmont Buck Barrow which we’d hiked as part of an extended circuit of Devoke Water two weeks earlier, and beyond that, the view to the Scafells was marvellous. You can even see Helvellyn peeking up on the skyline in the distance.

View to the Scafells from Stoupdale Head
View to the Scafells from Stoupdale Head

The Summit – Black Combe

As we left Stoupdale Head, the blue skies were replaced by black clouds that had come from nowhere. There weren’t any storms forecast for that day but it certainly looked ominous. We donned our waterproof jackets and carried on towards Black Combe. The ridge was wide and the path was clear.

Then came the thunder. We’d been caught in a surprise thunderstorm once before and knew the drill. Immediately we dropped our poles and electronics and sought lower ground.

We crouched down on our tip toes and waited while the rain poured hard down on our heads and thunder roared around us. Despite this, we didn’t see any lightening on this side of the hill. Both of us were thinking about the way forward. Should we bail on the last summit? Should we sit it out? The most bizarre thing was that the whole time we could see the bigger Lake District fells bathed in sunshine! It felt like we had one of those cartoon black clouds sitting over us while everyone else was unaffected.

The darkness on Black Combe
The darkness on Black Combe

As the rain eased and the thunder and lightening had clearly passed over, we made the decision to continue to the summit.

James Forrest on the summit of Black Combe
James Forrest on the summit of Black Combe

Moving as quickly as we could we made it to the summit trig pillar.

Touching the trig pillar of Black Combe
Touching the trig pillar of Black Combe

With a quick glance at the views we didn’t hang around for long just in case the storm made its way back over to us again.

The trig pillar on the summit of Black Combe
The trig pillar on the summit of Black Combe

The Descent

We left the summit in a south-easterly direction before following a quad bike track for a while.

James Forrest descending Black Combe
James Forrest descending Black Combe

We then turned to head down towards Whitecombe Beck in the valley below.

James Forrest descending Black Combe
James Forrest descending Black Combe

It was largely a pathless descent but over grassy, firm terrain that steepened towards the bottom as the path was guarded by bracken.

Views on the descent of Black Combe
Views on the descent of Black Combe

As we looked up towards Whitecombe Head, we noticed the hills we such a lush green due to the swathes of bracken that grows here.

View from the descent of Black Combe looking up towards Whitecombe Head
View from the descent of Black Combe looking up towards Whitecombe Head

We reached the path and followed it all the way back to the car.

Wrapping Up

After finishing the walk we drove to meet friends Jess and Liz in Torver. They had been stand up paddle boarding on Coniston Water the whole time we were caught in the storm but they’d never felt a single drop of rain. As a result, they couldn’t believe how wet we were. A reminder to the less experienced to never trust a forecast and always go prepared for a change in the weather. Our next Outlying Fells would be ticked off during the Bannisdale Horseshoe the following week.

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.

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.