Date - 16th April 2011 Distance - 6 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL6 Start point - Roadside pull off by path to Blawith Knott (SD 256879)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Blawith Knott 814 248 SD 2607 8839
Tottlebank Height 775 236 SD 2692 8851
Little Burney 705 215 SD 2626 8657
Great Burney 979 298 SD 2608 8587



Shaun, with Little Allen riding on his back, trotted in with Grizzly, to find Tetley looking rather mournfully out of the window.

"What's up pal?, asked Grizzly.

"It's almost three weeks since the last walk, when we climbed Pen-y-ghent with Uncle Bob, so I am feeling a bit down in the paw about not having been out with the rest of you in the hills."

Shaun was about to commiserate with his pal, when the whirlwind that was Allen, burst into the room.

Rather breathlessly, he managed to get out, "I come bringing good news, that will cheer you up Tetley. Dad has just told me that we are off for a walk tomorrow."

"Great" cried Tetley, his face brightening with a broad smile.

"Where to?", asked Little Eric.

"Well, as you know Dad and Uncle Brian are visiting Uncle Bob and Aunt Ann on Monday, so he does not want to have to drive too far to the start. So, as most of the outstanding Birkett tops are a long way away, Dad he has decided to do some Outlying Fells, in the Blawith area. Specifically, Blawith Knott, Tottlebank Height & Burney."

"It was August 2006 when we last visited those tops, before our pal Little Eric joined us, so at least he will bag the tops", said Tetley.

"Just great", cried Little Eric. "Shaun and I have brought the flasks, so we can have a mug of tea to celebrate."

"Wonderful", cried Allen, "I'm gasping for a drink."

"I'll get the tuck tin, so we can have a biscuit too", called out Grizzly.


The Walk

As we were driving to the start, Dad said, "I have decided to do the walk via a different route starting with Blawith Knott, so we will in fact cover some ground we have not walked before."

Shaun was looking at the map, "oh yes I can see what you have in mind."

By now we were just beyond the village of Gawthwaite, and Tetley said, "look Little Eric, there's Burney to the right and you can just make out the trig point on the summit, which we will visit later today."

"I can see. Thanks for pointing it out pal."

It was the first outing on a walk in Dad's new car, so we were very glad that he did not meet another vehicle on the very narrow road from the A5092 to the start by the Giant's Grave, which we went to have a closer look at, while Dad got ready. It is thought to be a Bronze Age barrow, perhaps 4000 years old. From this picture it looks to have a headstone with a circle of stones on its southern side.

I'm ready", called out Dad.

"OK", replied Shaun, as we dashed over to settle in the rucksack.

The day was dry and warmish, so Dad started off just walking in his t-shirt, however a cool wind got up so it became necessary to put a jumper on. Initially the views were hazy, but visibility improved as the day went on. From the Giant's Grave a clear path climbed up the fell.

After a while, Grizzly said, "those little flowers are rather pretty."

"They're wild violets", said Dad as he hauled the camera out.

Walking on, it was not long before a cairn came into view, and then another to its right. This second one by the path marks the summit. We immediately scrambled out of the rucksack and settled for our picture, grouping ourselves companionably round Little Eric. The lady in the right of the picture was one of a group of walkers, that Dad chatted to for a short time.

If you look carefully at the above picture, you might just make out in the distance just to the left of the cairn, Lang Tarn. This was our next objective before we then crossed to the hill on the right in the background, which was our second summit Tottlebank Height.

Crossing the summit area, where on a rocky outcrop stood another cairn, we then descended gently, the path curving to climb to tiny Lang Tarn. This with Foxes Tarn, Scafell, shares the distinction of being the smallest named tarn in Lakeland.

The route Wainwright's Outlying book, indicates follows the narrow trod to the left of the tarn. However a new path seems to have developed, that cuts diagonally right, so Dad decided to follow this, and soon we were on Tottlebank Height, where some large stones on an outcrop marked the summit. Safely in the rucksack again, we descended over rough ground, then picking up a path, to the buildings of Tottlebank.

His eyes on the map, Shaun called out, " we need to walk left for a short distance, then take the gate on the right into the large pasture."

This was full of sheep and lambs, and the farmers were busy tagging them. Of course Dad could not resist getting the camera out, so we say our apologies here and now. First this lamb on his own by a gate. Lovely markings on his face.

Passing the farmers hard at work, Dad exchanged a few words, to confirm his route, then once through the gate out of the pasture, he took this shot looking back, giving you some idea how busy they were dealing with all the lambs.

The path now led along by the wall to a corner, where a kissing gate allowed further progress over the next boggy field, to intersect a cross path. This was crossed to a gate ahead, then we drifted right to a small footbridge over a stream, where this wild plant gave a splash of colour.

All the time in front had been higher ground - Little and Great Burney, our climbs to come. Once over the stream we continued up the field beyond to the buildings of Crooked Birch. All the way from Tottlebank the fields had been full of ewes & lambs, a lovely sight, but thankfully Dad did mostly keep the camera in its bag!

We followed the access track to the road, and continued for a short distance until it became unfenced. Here we took a narrow path on the left, to climb first to Little Burney, and on to Great Burney the top having a trig point, seen here on approach. This was what we had seen from the road driving to the start this morning.

The wind was light enough to allow us to sit on the trig point, while Dad took our picture, close-up.

As we jumped down, Dad announced that it was time to have lunch, so we promptly gathered round, Grizzly saying, "get the sandwiches out Allen."

There was no one else about, so we enjoyed a quiet time, and then suitably refreshed we took some time to look at the views before setting off again. Great to the Coniston Fells, and west over many of the Outlying Fells down to Black Combe, and we recalled our adventures climbing them. Below these is the Duddon Estuary.

In the foreground can be seen the road we had driven along to the start. The large workings on the left are the massive Kirkby Slate Quarries operated by Burlington Slate.

"Where now?", asked Little Eric.

"We have to retrace our ascent, down to the road by Crooked Birch then keep ahead to Birch Bank", replied Shaun.

"What would we do without your map reading skills, pal" said Little Eric.

It seemed like no time at all we were down at the road, and we looked ahead in the direction we needed to go. "Can't see a path", said Allen.

"No", replied Dad. "There is none shown on the map, so it looks like we will be ploughing over rough ground, but I am well used to that."

It was pretty boggy in places, but the rough terrain did not extend as far as on some walks, and after a little while we reached the access road to Birch Bank. Where this entered the farm, we continued left on the track, that was flooded deeply in a number of places, but fortunately there was plenty of verge to get past. This then joined the bridleway from Tottlebank, and turning left, brought us to the start. As Dad got his boots off, we sat looking at the view to Black Combe, the clouds just occasionally dusting the top of the fell. The next ridge is White Combe, and the highest point further right is Stoupdale Head. Once again we mused about the days climbing to these summits.

"A nice view Lads", remarked Dad, snapping away with his camera.

Little Eric called out, "thanks for a nice walk Dad, and for allowing me to tick off three more Outlying Fells."

"Time for tea, I guess Dad", said Allen laughingly. "I bet you will be going to Jane and Sam's at Low Newton."

"Spot on lad, and I will take you in to see them."

"Thanks Dad", replied Tetley.

They were pleased to see us, and Dad had their lovely ham lettuce & tomato sandwich, followed by gorgeous apple rhubarb & cranberry crumble with cream. A nice time and as usual Dad exchanged plenty of banter with Jane and Sam. He also chatted to a lady and gentleman from St Bees - they come for the coffee!


shopify analytics