9th August 2007

An afternoon in the far south - Blawith Knott and Great Burney


Walk Overview
Time 13.00 to 17.00
Duration 4 hr
Distance 9.1 mile
Ascent 2030 ft
Walking with On my own
Grizebeck - Ashlack Hall - Knittleton - Fell Road - Blawith Knott - Tottlebank Height - Lang Tarn - Blawith Knott - Little Burney - Great Burney - Beanthwaite - Grizebeck
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Grizebeck

I suppose this could be described as a 'daft' place to start a walk, but on the one occasion when I started from here it just happened to fit in with the places I wanted to walk, so perhaps it wasn't so daft after all.


Route Map

Black Combe seen from the narrow road I was following between Grizebeck and Ashlack Hall.

And Ashlack Hall itself.

Knittleton with Cat Nest behind.

When I was thinking about where to walk today, I had in my mind to drive Wasdale Head and then decide where to walk from there. But, as this picture shows, there was quite a bit of cloud over the higher fells a little further into the lakes. It wasn't so much that I didn't want to walk in the shade as I really wanted to walk in some warm sunshine for a change. So I headed south instead, down the coast and eventually stopped at Grizebeck.

Looking ahead to Blawith Knott and Tottlebank Height.
Quite a bit of today's walk was done along the fell roads, which isn't too bad really, especially when they're as deserted as this one.
Notice the old churn stand next to the road. You can quite often see these at the end of the farm tracks, but most of them seem to be in a bit of a sorry state nowadays; especially the wooden ones. I suppose there just isn't any need for the farmers to look after them anymore. In the days before the milk was collected by tankers which now drive straight up to the milking parlour, the farmers would take their milk churns to the end of the "lonning" to be collected from there.

The view across to Caw.

And a little further on the left is Stickle Pike.

By the time I reached Blawith Knott the cloud was almost beyond the Coniston fells and well away from the area I was walking in. Now this is what fell walking in Summer should be like.

Passing by the unnamed tarn found between Blawith Knott and Tottlebank Height, and realising I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on. Although this tarn is unnamed it is actually the largest of the tarns in the "immediate" area. In fact there is only one named tarn close to Blawith Knott - Lang Tarn and it was this that I'd intended to get some pictures of while I was here.

If I did want to get the pictures then I knew I'd have to double back at some point and as I was closer to Tottlebank Height than Lang Tarn I decided to carry on and then walk all the way back along the ridge. This meant totally changing the route I'd intended to take to reach Great Burney later in the walk. Upon reflection, I should have gone back to Lang Tarn first and then carried on with plan (A) which would have taken me along a couple of paths I hadn't been on before. Never mind; there's always another day.

Tottlebank Height summit.

A close up of Dow Crag and Goat's Hawse.

It looks like the Bracken is fed up with waiting for Summer to arrive so it's started to die off already.

Lang Tarn.
All the books, websites and general acceptance among people is that Foxes Tarn, rather difficult to reach and found high on the fells below Scafell, is the smallest "named" tarn in the Lake District. Having visited almost every tarn in the Lakes over the years, I've often had my doubts about this, but this one removes any uncertainty. I'm not trying to claim that Lang Tarn is the smallest, but I'm confident enough to say that Foxes Tarn is definitely bigger than this.

The view back to Blawith Knott from the fell road. Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man are behind on the left.

The must have thought who's that lunatic standing in the road taking a picture, but they still gave me a friendly nod and a wave.

Standing on Little Burney and getting quite a view from such a little fell.

Coniston Water seemed to have quite a few people out sailing today, no doubt taking advantage of the good weather.
The fells in the background are the Southern end of the Eastern fells, stretching from Fairfield on the left to Red Screes on the right of the picture.

Great Burney's summit.

Looking across the fields at Moor House Farm to Great Burney. It was here that I stepped outside the Lake District for a little while and followed a footpath to avoid walking down the busy A5092 (T). I did rejoin the A5092 again at Beanthwaite, but the section of road between Beanthwaite and Grizebeck does have a grass verge or a pavement to walk along.

Beanthwaite Bed & Breakfast.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks