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.

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.

Caermote Hill

View from the summit of Caermote Hill in the Lake District
Memorial on top of Caermote Hill
Memorial on top of Caermote Hill

Route Introduction

The two tops of Caermote Hill, the main top and the north top which is also known as St. John’s Hill, are included in Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland book. Caermote Hill is situated on the northwestern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests the shortest route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It should be noted from the outset that these fells are not on open access land and permission should be sought from the landowner before proceeding.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Thursday 11th June 2020. These were Outlier numbers 22 and 23 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag these outlying fells too.

Caermote Hill Route Stats

Fells: Caermote Hill (289m) and St John’s Hill – Caermote Hill North Top (285m)

Total Distance: 3.5km / 2.17miles

Total Ascent: 80m / 262ft

Approx Walk Time: 1 hour

Grid Reference Start: NY 203365

Caermote Hill Route Report

The Lead Up

The Wednesday of this week was a terribly grim weather day. We didn’t venture outdoors at all, but Thursday was better. The cloud base was high and it was windy but at least we’d get a view. The previous weekend we’d had a lovely evening bagging Reston Scar and Hugill Fell on our quest to tick off Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

The Ascent

Caermote Hill from the road
Caermote Hill from the road

We parked in a layby after turning off the A591 and set off uphill along the road until we reached a gate. Gingerly, we negotiated a thin line of barbed wire and gained access to the edge of the field.

We walked uphill, keeping to the right of a fence until we spotted a break in the wall up ahead. Crossing the collapsed wall, we ascended easily up to the summit of Caermote Hill.

View to Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw from the ascent of Caermote Hill
View to Bassenthwaite and Skiddaw from the ascent of Caermote Hill

Behind us, wonderful views across Bassenthwaite Lake emerged, with a dark and fearsome-looking Skiddaw looming above it.

The Summit – Caermote Hill

Memorial at the top of Caermote Hill
Memorial at the top of Caermote Hill

The summit of Caermote Hill is marked by a memorial rock. Weathered plaques remember locals whose ashes were scattered here. One is Walter S Dean 1890-1967, another is Jack Routledge 1905-1965. Memorial plaques to Ethel M Dean and Gwen Routledge join them.

Adventurer Nic on Caermote Hill
Adventurer Nic on Caermote Hill

The summit offers beautiful views to Bassenthwaite lake, Skiddaw and Binsey.

Linking the Fells

We walked along the hill towards St. John’s Hill but soon spotted cows.

Looking back to Caermote Hill on the ascent of St John's Hill
Looking back to Caermote Hill on the ascent of St John’s Hill

We’d read previous route reports referencing a bull in the field so knew to be cautious and considered turning back. It was clear there were calves in the field. But we patiently waited for them to head down the field before we passed through the gate and reached the second summit.

The Summit – St John’s Hill – Caermote Hill North Top

View to Criffel, Scotland from St. John's Hill, The Lake District
View to Criffel, Scotland from St. John’s Hill, The Lake District

At the top of St. John’s Hill was an uninterrupted view across the Solway Firth to Criffel, a large hill in Dumfries and Galloway. The strong winds were giving the west coast turbines a good run for their money.

Adventurer Nic on St. John's Hill
Adventurer Nic on St. John’s Hill

The view to Bassenthwaite Lake had disappeared at this point, but Binsey and Skiddaw still looked really grand from this top.

The Descent

Views on the descent of St John's Hill
Views on the descent of St John’s Hill

We headed down and found a gate in the wall, before picking up our route of ascent back to the car.

Wrapping Up

It wasn’t the best of walks what with the cows and barbed wire to negotiate. Consequently, we were left wondering why Alfred Wainwright picked these two tops as he wasn’t very complimentary of the walk in his book either. In short, the view to Bassenthwaite Lake is adequately covered by Clints Crags which has the added bonus of having no access issues to contend with. Only hardcore peak baggers will head to these two fells.

Next in our peak bagging adventure, we ventured to Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Reston Scar

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

Route Introduction

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

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

Reston Scar Route Stats

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

Total Distance: 4.8km / 2.98miles

Total Ascent: 160m / 525ft

Approx Walk Time: 1.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 471983  

Reston Scar Route Report

The Lead Up

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

The Ascent

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

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

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

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

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

Green hills of south Lakeland
Green hills of south Lakeland

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

The Summit – Reston Scar

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

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

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

The Summit – Hugill Fell

We followed the trail north though fields.

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

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

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

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

Adventurer Nic on Hugill Fell
Adventurer Nic on Hugill Fell

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

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

The Descent

We descended down following a path to the south east.

Descending Hugill Fell
Descending Hugill Fell

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

Wrapping Up

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

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Whitbarrow

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

Route Introduction

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

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

Whitbarrow Route Stats

Fells: Whitbarrow (215m)

Total Distance: 10.2km / 6.34miles

Total Ascent: 200m / 656ft

Approx Walk Time: 3 hours

Grid Reference Start: SD 452840

Whitbarrow Route Report

The Lead Up

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

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

The Ascent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Limestone along the Whitbarrow ridge
Limestone along the Whitbarrow ridge

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

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

The Summit – Whitbarrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The large cairn on Whitbarrow
The large cairn on Whitbarrow

The Descent

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

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

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Watch Hill

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

Route Introduction

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

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

Watch Hill Route Stats

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

Total Distance: 7.3km / 4.54miles

Total Ascent: 180m / 591ft

Approx Walk Time: 2.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 137313

Watch Hill Route Report

The Lead Up

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

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

The Ascent

Two lambs on Watch Hill

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Forrest ascending Watch Hill
James Forrest ascending Watch Hill

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

The Summit – Watch Hill

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

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

Linking the Fells

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

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

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

The Summit – Setmurthy Common

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

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

Adventurer Nic at Setmurthy Common
Adventurer Nic at Setmurthy Common

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

The Descent

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

James Forrest entering Setmurthy Woods
James Forrest entering Setmurthy Woods

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

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

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

Woodland View in Setmurthy
Woodland View in Setmurthy

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

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

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

Wrapping Up

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

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.