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The Northern Fells Great Calva, Knott And Carrock Fell

Written by George Fisher

Image for article This month's walk: The Northern Fells - Great Calva, Knott and Carrock Fell

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This month's walk: The Northern Fells - Great Calva, Knott and Carrock Fell

To be declared a fully-fledged Lake District expert, you need to spend at least a couple of days wandering around the oft-overlooked northern fells - Great Calva, Knott, Carrock Fell and their surrounding tops. Buses are sparse round here, so you will have to wander in and out from the south-eastern corner. There is good accommodation in Hesket Newmarket or Caldbeck to the north. It's also prime wild camping territory for those who prefer to sleep under canvas.

Loop or linear? Linear 2-day walk

Map: OS Explorer Maps OL4 and OL5, The English Lakes NW and NE areas

Total distance: 36km (roughly 22 miles)  

Total height gain: 2,008m (6,589ft)

Start: Bassenthwaite, OS Grid: NY231324

End: Threlkeld, OS Grid: NY325255

Unsuitable for: children, buggies, wheelchairs

  1. Bassenthwaite OS Grid: NY231324
    Take the bus to Bassenthwaite village, with your rucksack packed for the two days. Take the bridleway heading east; this soon joins the Cumbria Way footpath.

  2. Dry Gill OS Grid: NY273313
    4.3 km (roughly 2.7 miles) from 1
    The footpath takes you into the Dash Beck valley, between Bakestall and Little Calva. From here, you have a free reign in the access land - the route here is a suggestion, but the uncluttered hills are ideal for wandering as the mood takes you.

  3. Little Calva OS Grid: NY282315
    1 km (roughly 0.6 miles) from 2
    Follow the slopes by Dry Gill onto Little Calva.

  4. Great Calva OS Grid: NY290311
    0.9 km (roughly 0.6 miles) from 3

  5. Burn Tod OS Grid: NY286323
    1.2 km (roughly 0.8 miles) from 4

  6. Knott OS Grid: NY296329
    1.2 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 5

  7. Great Lingy Hill OS Grid: NY309339
    1.6 km (roughly 1 miles) from 6
    Stay on the high ground over Little Lingy Hill and onto Great Lingy Hill (they must have been running out of names by the time they got this far).

  8. High Pike OS Grid: NY319349
    1.5 km (roughly 0.9 miles) from 7
    This is the highest point of the Caldbeck Fells, and the most northerly high point of the Lakes. From here, the land drops and spreads out towards the Solway Firth.

  9. Towards Hesket Newmarket OS Grid: NY328357
    1.2 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 8
    From High Pike, you have a choice depending on your accommodation choice. A good option is Denton House in Hesket Newmarket: Take the footpath heading northeast to reach the village. Otherwise, try in Caldbeck - follow the Cumbria Way north.

  10. Wood Hall OS Grid: NY340372
    2 km (roughly 1.2 miles) from 9
    The footpath leads to Wood Hall. Follow the road north for 300m, then take the footpath on the right-hand side to Hesket Newmarket.

  11. Hesket Newmarket OS Grid: NY340385
    1.3 km (roughly 0.8 miles) from 10
    A lovely place to pass the evening, with views over the fells to enjoy in the evening.

  12. Back to the hills OS Grid: NY338367
    1.8 km (roughly 1.1 miles) from 11
    Start day two by retracing your steps past Wood Hall. Just beyond the hall, take the footpath heading southeast around the foot of the fells to Calebreck.

  13. Calebreck OS Grid: NY344358
    1.1 km (roughly 0.7 miles) from 12
    At Calebreck, take the bridleway heading into the valley alongside Carrock Beck.

  14. Miton Hill OS Grid: NY328342
    2.3 km (roughly 1.4 miles) from 13
    The path leads on to Miton Hill. Head along the summit top to Carrock Fell.

  15. Carrock Fell OS Grid: NY341336
    1.4km (0.9 miles) from 14
    Continue along the top to Carrock Fell (649m). Once bagged, return to the cairn at Round Knott from where you can drop into the Grainsgill Beck valley.

  16. Grainsgill Beck OS Grid: NY326326
    1.8km (1.1 miles) from 15
    If legs are tiring, you can follow the Cumbria Way south out to Threlkeld from here. Otherwise, take the steep shoulder on to Bowscale Fell.

  17. Bowscale Fell OS Grid: NY334306
    2.1km (1.3 miles) from 16
    It's a big long pull onto the summit (over 400m) but it's the last one of the trip, so enjoy!

  18. White Horse Bent OS Grid: NY339285
    2.2km (1.4 miles) from 17
    From Bowscale, it's possible to return via Blencathra, but this is a wilderness walk so avoid the crowds by following Bannerdale Crags and descending via White Horse Bent.

  19. Footbridge OS Grid: NY343279
    0.7km (0.4 miles) from 18
    Cross the River Glenderamakin via the footbridge and take the path heading to Mousthwaite Comb.

  20. Scales OS Grid: NY342269
    1km (0.6 miles) from 19
    The last stretch heads round the southern foot of Blencathra. Follow the path through Scales.

  21. Doddick  OS Grid: NY334264
    1km (0.6 miles) from 20
    and through Doddick...

  22. Gategill OS Grid: NY325259
    ...and at Gategill, take the path into Threlkeld.

  23. Threlkeld OS Grid: NY324254
    0.6km (0.3 miles) from 22
    Finish at Threlkeld and enjoy a well-earned drink in the Horse and Farrier Inn or the Salutation. Buses from Threlkeld towards Keswick or Penrith.