The Loweswater Fells from Felldyke

6th June 2024

This walk began it origins on the flanks of Swinside just above the Lorton Valley on a lovely Spring day back in March. David and I were tackling the viciously steep hillside and stopping to get our breath back breaks were plentiful. During one of these breaks I looked over to the Loweswater Fells and explained to David that it had been sometime since I last walked them, in fact, it had been eight years and the last time I approached them from Felldyke was fourteen years ago.

The Loweswater Fells are probably the closest to Lakeland fells to Davids home and therefor, regularly walked by David and I asked would he mind coming up with a route which included Cogra Moss. .

Months went by and we never really spoke about the walk again until the night I called David confirming due to health issues it would probably be wise to call the Dartmoor wild camp off. During this conversation the Loweswater Fells were mentioned and we agreed if we weren't walking Dartmoor, then lets dust the Loweswater walk off and set about planning a route.

 
Wainwright Guide Book Seven
The Western Fells
Blake Fell (locally known as Blake) is the highest of the Loweswater uplands, over topping the others considerably and asserting this superiority by a distinctive final upthrust that makes it prominent in views of the group.
 

Overview
Ascent: 2,767 Feet - 843 Metres
Wainwrights: 3, Gavel Fell - Blake Fell - Burnbank Fell
Visiting: 4, Knock Murton - Godworth - Carling Knott - Sharp Knott
Weather: Overcast to Start With Sunny Spells From Mid Morning. Cold Wind at Hieght. Highs of 14°C Lows of 9°C Feels Like 4°C
Parking: Car Park, Felldyke Lamplugh
Area: Western
Miles: 10.4
Walking With: David Hall
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken: 5 Hours
Route: Felldyke - Knock Murton - Cauda Brow - Godworth - Fothergill Head - Gavel Fell - Fothergill Head - Blake Fell - Carling Knott - Burnbank Fell - Sharp Knott - Cogra Moss - Felldyke
 

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA14 4SH
Grid Reference: NY 085 019
Notes: The car park at Felldyke is small in terms of size and can fill up quite easily due to its close proximity with Felldyke Bunkhose which shares the car park, however due its remoteness and if early, you should have no problems parking here. Parking is free.


 

Map and Photo Gallery

 
 

Sharp Knott and Blake Fell from Felldyke, Lamplugh 7:40am 9°C

I left home at 5:00am and arrived at the car park at Felldyke around 7:20am, its been a while since my car alerted me to take a rest but that's just what it did as I left the A66 while heading towards Lamplugh. The forecast had taken a dip with what the experts called 'cold arctic air mass' which had arrived from the Scandinavia. You've probably noticed yourself these last few days haven't exactly been T-shirt weather. I had the car park for myself until David arrived about 7:30am by which time I was lacing up looking forward to waking fells I hadn't been on for eight years, in my head the last time I walked these fells it just seems a couple of years ago remembering the routes like they were yesterday.

It wasn't long before we were ready to leave the both of us wearing shorts topped up with a soft shell jackets and waterproofs in our packs just in case the forecasted showers arrive. The clouds were scuttling across the sky with breaks of sunshine in between but that bitter wind was still present and from the off, I wondered if the shorts were a good idea.


Owsen Fell, Burnbank Fell and Sharp Knott from Felldyke.
We left the car park, walked up the narrow lane and joined the track which would eventually lead onto Gogra Moss. It was here we passed two cars who's occupants were tending to horses in the adjoining field and mornings were shared. We'd only left the cars moments earlier when the skies darkened, the wind increased and spots of rain began to fall.

Knock Murton twin summit shelters.
Despite there being a path shown on the map we had to hop over three fences to reach the slopes of Knock Murton which was a tad awkward to say the least. We're ascending via the western slope which starts off gradually before the last steep pull towards the summit. Both the north and eastern aspects are viciously steep. By the time we had reached the summit it had stopped raining and blue skies were starting to appear.

Heading for Godworth with Gavel Fell on the horizon.
We descended Knock Murton steeply via Harris Side before joining the road at Cross Rigg which we left less than quarter of a mile later after passing the banking of the dismantled Kirkland railway. Despite our Dartmoor plans being put on hold we spoke at length about the days we'd be out on the moorland just to keep them live for when I'm back to full fitness. We follow the track flanked by Knock Murton to our left beyond the treeline ahead from where we begin our ascent on Godworth.

Godworth is just ahead.
With Blake Fell, Low Pen and High Penn seen over on the letf. The outlined fell behind Godworth is Gavel Fell. It looks like we're back in the sunshine again!

Banna Fell and Great Borne from Godworth.
We left the track at a gate and negotiated mossy ground before gaining the gentle slopes of Godworth with fantastic views of Banna Fell and the might Great Borne beyond.

From Godworth we take in the views into Ennerdale.
Towards Crag Fell and Grike.

Looking back on Knock Murton.
Brightness returned as we descended Godworth and negotiated more boggy ground before linking back up with the path bound for Fothergill Head.

The Grasmoor fells come into view as we reach Fothergill Head.

If we had listened to the forecast we should be drenched and drying out by now. The inaccuracy of the forecast especially by its leading provider is topic of conversation and is probably the fell walkers number one nightmare at the moment.

On reaching Fothergill Head we turn right towards Gavel Fell then we'll double back once summited.


Splendid views over Fothergill Head towards Blake Fell and Carling Knott.
Fothergill Head was soon reached by which time the sun had been on our backs for the last half hour but we just couldnt escape that cold wind which was making it feel like the middle of October rather than June!

Distant views of Fleetwith Pike and the High Stile ridge from Red Pike (Buttermere) to Starling Dodd and Great Borne.
Other than the bogs there was little effort required to reach Gavel Fell summit where we spotted walkers ascending from the direction of High Nook Tarn.

Blake Fell ahead.
From Gavel Fell we re-traced our steps back down to Fothergill Head where we spotted a fell runner descending Blake Fell at speed "blimey their covering some ground" The fell runner soon passed us who turned out to be a teenage girl "you made it down there in double quick time" I chirped "testing my new shoes, the grip is excellent" she smiled back. From Fothergill Head we followed the fence until the gate was reached before making our way towards the summit under more morning sunshine.

Looking back on High Pen and Low Pen towards Knock Murton.
It might be sunny but its bloody cow'd.

Knock Murton from Blake Fell summit.
The sun remained out but the wind had picked up and with it came another drop in temperature. This cannot be June weather! To escape the cold we dropped off the back of Blake Fell where we were sheltered from the wind, talk about freezer to oven temperatures within less than a minute.

Carling Knott ahead.
 

Views towards Hopegill Head, Grisedale Pike, Grasmoor, Wandope, Whiteless Pike, Mellbreak Hindscarth, Robinson, Fleetwith Pike, the High Stile Ridge and finally Hen Comb.
Nestled within the valley below lies High Nook Tarn.

Carling Knott summit shelter.
The shelter isn't the actual summit of Carling Knott which lies about a quarter of a mile to the north-east also known as Loweswater End.

Blake Fell from Carling Knott.
 

Owsen Fell and Burnbank Fell.
Seen as we make a pathless descent from Carling Knott towards the sheep in the distance.

Views over Loweswater towards Fellbarrow and Loweswater Fell.

David reminds me of the time when during my Walking the Wainwrights in 30 walks project we linked Mellbreak, Hen Comb, Gavel Fell, Blake Fell and Burnbank Fell, Fellbarrow and Low Fell into one walk covering 5,000ft of total ascent over 15 miles and it never stopped raining from beginning to end. Today we can look back at days like that with fondness and even have a laugh about how soaked we got.

David went onto say that he wished I could have joined him when he was walking the Lakeland Passes. One such walk started in Brotherilkeld, Eskdale and went all the way to Stonethwaite in Borrowdale then returned ro Eskdale via Seathwaite. I still struggle getting my head around David's car being parked in Eskdale when he was in Borrowdale, mind blowing stuff. I'm trying to talk David into repeating his favorite passes walk, even it means the use of two cars so watch this space.


Burnbank Fell ahead.
We left Carling Knott and used the sheep as a marker who were grazing alongside the fence line. The sheep scattered as soon as we approached which is a sign their not used to human company, much like you'd see on the Shap fells.

Red Pike (Buttermere) and Carling Knott from Burnbank Fell summit.
It was no use we'd been at height for around an hour now and my hands were starting to turn red raw so I slid a pair of gloves on, in June!

Sharp Knott.
We left Burnbank Fell and spotted a narrow path around the head of Wisenholme Beck which we crossed with ease with the exception of a few boggy bits. Down below is the path we'll use to descend back to Cogra Moss by. Back in 2016 when I was last here the trees had only just been felled and the path was littered with off cuts looking like a bomb had just been dropped.

Owsen Knott beyond Wisenholme Beck.
Such was todays weather one minute we were in the sunshine...

Low Pen and Knock Murton from Sharp Knott summit.
And the next, it had clouded over again.

High Hows (Birkett)
We descended Sharp Knott steepling back onto the forestry track which zigzagged its way towards Cogra Moss passing High Hows which I collected as a Birkett with these fells back in 2016 David asked will I ever pick up the Birkett project again? There will be a time when I'll complete the Birketts by Bill Birketts original routes; I may start this year and I may not, there's just so many walks I want to do which keep getting in the way and, my extra workload isn't helping.

Knock Murton comes into view.
 

As did Blake Fell.
 

Sharp Knott and Blake Fell from Cogra Moss.

It had gone midday day by the time the forestry track had leveled out by which time the sun was blazing and the gloves packed away. We pass a couple heading towards Sharp Knott and then an elderly couple and their two Labradors at the head of the tarn from where we were treated to views of bracken swaying in the wind on the steep flanks of Knock Murton. On the opposite side of the Tarn now as we take in the last mile, its still breezy and the sun is warm. In the Tarn two fishermen cast their rods and we were surprised to see the water only went up to the knees on their waders, left exposed they looked chilled too.

More fisherman on the banks of the Tarn as we take one last look at Burnbank Fell before the track ascends gently passing Felldyke Bunkhouse where in the March of 2016 I'd spent the night celebrating my friend Tim's 40th. Our views widened over Lamplugh towards the Cumbrian Coast where we could clearly make out the turbines turning on the Wind farms. I've enjoyed every minute of todays walk, but maybe not so mucg moment we had to add gloves in June.


 

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