The Caldbeck Fells

Sketch map will appear here

The hills rising north of Keswick and the river Greta form a close-knit group entirely separated from the rest of the district. These hills, the subject of Wainwright's Northern Fells book, divide down naturally into three subsections - the Skiddaw and Blencathra massifs to the southwest and southeast, and the Caldbeck fells to the north.

Skiddaw and Blencathra both have a high profile - they dominate all views to the north from just about every fell in the Lakes, they are poular and fascinating and well frequented. The Caldbeck fells, however, stand apart in all these respects. Known officially as the Skiddaw Forest and colloquially as "back o' Skiddaw", the Caldbeck fells are remote and lonely and relatively barren of scenic highlights. These are bare, rolling hills cloaked in rough grasses and heather. There are few paths and few rock features.

Wainwright's guides catalogue nine fells in this area, which I've extended to include a tenth, Binsey, which stands on its own at the northwestern edge of the district. The parent fell is Knott, a sprawling hill of 2329 ft. Surrounding Knott are Great Calva to the south, Carrock Fell and High Pike to the northeast, and Great Sca Fell and its neighbours to the northwest, a group that includes the earthily named Great Cockup. Carrock Fell is arguably the finest hill of the group, the only one posessed of a decent share of scenery on its slopes, while the most accessible is High Pike, standing immediately south of Caldbeck village. The attraction of these fells lays in their remoteness and their wide open spaces - here one can wander at will, for mile upon mile, often without seeing another soul. Pick a fine day and its charms will be revealed.

Gallery Index

A Back O' Skiddaw walk (30th April 2005)

A first visit to the fells "Back o' Skiddaw" during the Mayday weekend of 2005..

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This page last updated 16th May 2005