Date - 8th March 2012 Distance - 5.25 miles
Ascent -
1340 ft
Map - OL4 Start point - Binsey Lodge (NY 235 352)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Binsey 1466 447 NY 2251 3553



Allen rushed in, mainly because the tea had been poured and he did not want to miss out, but also to give his pals the good news about a walk.

"Thanks Tetley", he said accepting the steaming mug. "Dad wants to combine a walk with a visit to Armathwaite Hall for lunch, so we are going to do Binsey."

"But.....", started Little Eric.

"Yes I know we have all done it at least twice before, but we have always just climbed up and down by the same path. This time Dad intends to descend the far side then make a circle back to the start."

By now Shaun had got the map open and was peering closely, to work out the route. "We start as before from Binsey Lodge to the summit, continue north to eventually pick up the bridleway passing High Houses, then return through Whittas Park to Fell End and along the road to the start."

"My goodness you certainly are an expert map reader and route finder Shaun", said Little Eric. "We will never get lost while you are with us."



The Walk

So on a day that was to be cloudy and grey and with a cold wind, we set off north on that ever so familiar journey up the M6 and along the A66 to Keswick.

"Where are we going?", called out Grizzly, as Dad turned off into the town.

"Uncle Brian and I have booked The History Boys at the Theatre by the Lake, for when we come to stay at Armathwaite Hall, at the end of the month. So I am going to pick up the tickets", said Dad. "It won't take very long", he went on.

That done, we then took the road along by Dodd Wood to, at the Castle Inn, turn right up hill on the Uldale road.

Shaun said, "at the junction we take the road towards Ireby, and then immediately turn left by Binsey Lodge. The verge parking is just a few yards ahead on the right."

One of the 214 Wainwright fells, Binsey is isolated from any others.

Dad was soon ready and with us safely tucked in the rucksack, it was through the gate, climbing steadily the clear path with extensive views behind over the Uldale Fells.

"That's Overwater", pointed Tetley. "We have started walks from there in the past."

"Shame the views are so hazy", said Little Eric. "What are the hills we can make out?"

In the centre is Orthwaite Bank with Little Cockup on the left. Lost in the cloud behind is Great Cockup", replied Tetley. "On the right Cockup."

"We climbed that in January last year, as we were ticking off the few remaining Birkett fells", said Grizzly. "We just have Pen left to complete the challenge."

"Ooh", called out Allen, "That will make a striking shot with the rays of the sun. It shows up Cockup more clearly. The ascent was made by one of the walls rising up the fell. Then through the cross wall and up to the summit."

It was not a long climb and soon the summit came into view. This is the best part of the fell, in the form of a small ridge surmounted by a great heap of stones (an ancient tumulus), with a Ordnance Survey column alongside and a modern cairn.

The wind was blowing hard, but Allen asked, "even though we have been up here before, will you still take our picture?"

"Of course, but you will have to sit by the trig point as it is far too windy to sit on top." replied Dad.

We sat as best we could out of the wind, but with it seemingly swirling around. Dad had to have two goes as poor Tetley was blown over before he could snap the shot first time. Evidence of the wind can be seen by the way Grizzly's scarf has been blown to one side.

Grizzly told us, "according to Diana Whaley it is not entirely clear as to the meaning of the name. It is possible that the final syllable could derive from how(e), from Old Norse haugr 'hill, mound'. Somewhat more conjecturally the first element could be dialect bing from Old Norse bingr 'a heap'. This would be apt as Binsey is smoothly conical hill topped by the cairn of unknown origin."

Glad to be settled in the rucksack again, Dad headed down off the fell.

"We want to go roughly north, heading for a wall corner just beyond a strip of woodland to the left" said Shaun.

Grassy on its south side, the northern slopes are covered in heather. Any path was very intermittent path, but the wall corner we were heading for was clear to see, and after not too long we had reached it.

"OK, we go through the gate, and continue ahead by the wall on the right", called out Shaun. Then looking ahead, he went on, "we then cross to that ladderstile, which we climb to get on to the bridleway."

This was soon accomplished, and as Dad climbed the stile, Tetley remarked, "that's interesting, according to the sign on the gate, the field we have just crossed is private and there is no right of way"

"Well the map clearly shows it is not access land, but the latest Wainwright book shows a footpath", replied Shaun.

"Just as well then we did not meet the landowner", said Grizzly.

Over the stile we turned left to walk by the wall, the grass soon becoming a track. In a dip we forded a stream.

"That goes under the glorious name of the Humble Jumble Gill!" exclaimed Shaun.

"Fantastic", said Tetley. "There are certainly some wonderful names. I wonder what the origin of this one is."

"Sadly it is not mentioned in Diana Whaley's book.", replied Grizzly. "But maybe because it is not very wide for the 'humble', and 'jumble' as it has a meandering course." Then peering at the map he went on, "it starts in Whittas Park and flows into Cockshot Beck."

There was now no doubt of our route, just keeping on ahead on the track.

Sheep were grazing, and to Allen's dismay, Dad quickly had the camera out.

"Shoo", he called out. It worked as the sheep Dad had aimed the camera at darted away.

However others were less cooperative and just stood and posed. Perhaps it was because it saw Shaun?

"Hey ho", said Allen resignedly. "No sheep picture free story again!"

The track continued coming close the farm at High Houses, and reaching this signpost.

Shaun said, "we keep on ahead following the bridleway, climbing to the brow, until we reach a gate in the wall on the right, where according to the map a footpath comes in."

"OK lad", Dad replied, striding out.

"Our way is not actually along the footpath, but it will provide a marker, for our turn left over the closely cropped grass of Whittas Park", advised Shaun.

There was no path as such, but Dad just kept on ahead, passing below a small hill, and then dropped down to a wall.

"There is no stile", stated Little Eric.

"Yes lad, but I reckon that we are a bit too high up", replied Dad. "However that small section of the wall that has partially collapsed, will allow us to get across."

"Oh where we have to go now does not look to be very pleasant Dad", remarked Allen. "The path seems to me to be pretty close to that wall over to the right, and I bet the going will be rough and muddy."

And yes, he was right, but Dad has had to contend with much much worse.

We were now walking below Binsey once again and its rocky West Crag rising up to the left.

After about half a mile or so, Shaun again piped up, "Dad, we should go through that gate ahead, so that we can gain the opposite side of the wall, and then drop down to Fell End Farm."

"Right lad", Dad replied.

At the bottom, Dad climbed the fence and so gained the road. Turning left, it was a gentle stroll to the car.

Away to our right was Skiddaw. Tetley said, from the left is Bakestall, Broad End, Skiddaw, Carl Side, Long Side and the pointed summit of Ullock Pike."

"There is not much to Binsey itself, but it has made it a lot more interesting, doing this circle", said Grizzly. "Thanks Dad."

Now it was on to Armathwaite Hall for lunch in the Brasserie, but we decided to stay in the car and have our picnic, after which we went for a walk on our own in the grounds. Dad saw Lorraine, who told him that her walk with Sunshine and Gemma, last Sunday had been the Newlands Round. Well done them! There had been snow too, which had added to the adventure. We were able to visualise the walk having more than once climbed the summits in that round - Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth, descending via the ridge over Scope End.

Prem, who was the first person that Dad and Uncle Brian got to know, served him today. He told Dad that he was leaving at the end of the month. Dad and Uncle Brian too, are very sad to see him go, but the new job is a promotion into management. When he went on his break, Justine, who had made the birthday cake for Dad, took over. From France, she is a lovely person, and chatted to Dad a while. Before leaving he saw Rytis who serves in the main restaurant. He made a fuss and chatted a while too.


shopify analytics