Summary & Summits

Walk statistics Name of Summit Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Date - 23rd January 2011 Cockup 1657 505 NY 2590 3143
Map - OL4        
Distance - 4.25 miles        
Ascent - 1460ft        
Start - Layby-Orthwaite road (NY 236310)        


Walk Blog

Our first walk in the Lakes this year, and a day of two halves. First a walk to a Birkett summit we had never been to before, then in complete contrast a visit to Dad and Uncle Brian's luxury retreat of Armathwaite Hall. We had not been here before either, although we had heard all about it from our pals.
Having less than 30 Birkett tops to climb, it is inevitable that some of the walks will involve just summiting an individual fell, and this was the case today. Leaving the M6 at Penrith, we drove west on the ever so familiar A66, and soon the mighty bulk of Blencathra came into view. From this approach the saddle between Hallsfell and Atkinson Pike, is clearly defined, giving the mountain its nickname 'Saddleback'. Taking the road under Dodd, Dad then went right on the narrow Orthwaite road, parking in the first layby.
The day was bright with a few sunny intervals and little wind, even on the summit. Just a few yards further, through a gate, we took the bridleway, the clear sign pointing out the route led to Skiddaw, Barkbeth & Melbecks. Beyond reared up Ullock Pike, and that prompted memories of the walk to its summit last year, with Uncle Eric. This overshadows Barkbethdale, with the steep craggy slopes of Broad End on to its left side. The OS map actually calls this part of the fell White Horse. Crossing the fields, we soon reached Barkbeth Farm. The path is now diverted to the right of the buildings to avoid the farm, after which it turned left above the Barkbeth Gill to descend to Hole House, then cut back right to the footbridge over the rushing beck - a pretty sight. Then on ahead to a gate, and so by a fence on the right, through more gates to cross Mill Gill. Rounding sharp left and right turns the track led to a t-junction with another bridleway. Here we went right to start the ascent of Cockup, clearly in front, its summit some 1000ft above. After an initial muddy section along a track, the pathless way is then over pastures, an unrelenting and steep ascent to reach a gate in a distant cross wall, beyond which the access land starts. Not slackening in gradient, the track continued ahead, trending left, where a narrow path left off this climbed ever steeply to reach the flat summit with its cairn. Despite the modest 1657ft height, this fell is no push over. We immediately jumped out to settle on the cairn for our picture. There were fine views across the Solway to Scotland. Also to the Uldale Fells, Binsey and Lord's Seat, Broom Fell and Sale Fell above Bassenthwaite Lake. We enjoyed these views, while we had a snack and drink. It was not possible to make this into a circular walk, so we just returned by the outward route, and that was the walking done for the day.
Dad now wanted to get some sustenance. Being so close, he decided to have a snack lunch at Armathwaite Hall, the luxury hotel that Dad and Uncle Brian go to, with a few of our pals notably Fletcher, who has written a number of accounts elsewhere on our site. He was kind enough to take us in too, and we sat in the comfort of the sumptuous lounge. Dad enjoyed a lovely cheese savoury bloomer and his favourite Assam 2nd flush tea. What a relaxing place - we can see why they like to come here. A number of the staff recognised Dad and made a fuss, enquiring too, where Uncle Brian was. Having never been here before, Dad kindly took our picture inside, and then in the grounds, so that we have a record of our visit. How lucky our pals are to come here for their holidays.
On the way home we did some reconnaissance for the next Lake District walk. We have just two other fells to climb in the Northern Area as defined by Bill Birkett, and the plan is to start from the end of the narrow road in the Mosedale valley between Bowscale Fell and Carrock Fell. None of us, Dad included had ever been along this road before, hence the need to establish if there was space to park. There is, so all is well, weather permitting to tick these two fells off next weekend. This was the plan, but the walk had to be deferred, as Uncle Bob rang to see they could walk together instead in the Yorkshire Dales. Great, as it is ages since we saw Uncle Bob!



Walk Scenes

Sturdy sign points the way. Not bound for Skiddaw today, but its northernmost Outlyer larger image

The rushing Barkbeth Gill larger image


Cockup viewed from the ascent route. The gate to the access land in the distant wall can be see on the right larger image

Posing for our picture at the summit cairn of Cockup larger image


The Uldale Fells from the summit of Cockup larger image

Armathwaite Hall - posing on the half landing of the stairs larger image


Armathwaite Hall-the terrific view to Bassenthwaite Lake, mirror smooth larger image

Armathwaite Hall-posing in the grounds larger image

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