A Return to Skiddaw   12 comments

One week after my last post and we were all the way back up north again for another of our grown-ups only weekends that seemed to have dropped away in recent years. The Saturday was, as you can see, a quite breathtaking day. We were staying at the north end of Bassenthwaite Lake and as Skiddaw was looking down on us it was the obvious target.


Skiddaw is one of the Lakes four big 3000 feet peaks but I’ve not climbed it since my university days back in he 80’s. It has a reputation of being something of a dull, grinding plod from Keswick to the South but much better from the North. We were taking the circuit of Southerndale over Ullock Pike and Longside Edge and thence onto Skiddaw.


A large group of us which always slows down the walk but on a day this stunning that hardly matters. Waiting for friends to catch up, and chatting to people I don’t see all that often is part of the pleasure of these gatherings


What the photos don’t show is just how windy it was – difficult to stand up at times. Always feels odd to have such a clear cloudless day combined with such strong winds that would normally herald stormy weather.


The grey stony mass of Skiddaw itself.


Yours truly.


Across the pastureland to the Solway Firth and the Galloway Hills


Topping out on Ullock Pike


Looking back on our route of ascent.




The flat top of Carl Side gives a cracking view across Derwent Water to the central Lake District.


West over Blencathra to Cross Fell and the Pennines.


The climb to Skiddaw Man is steep, stony and brutal – seemed to go on forever. A rest was therefore much in order.


The summit ridge of Skiddaw. I was pleased to find such a fine summit and extensive views. It had been a dreary and dismal day when I’d last done it. I was a keen and fit walker in those days – we did Blencathra as well!


This day was a day to chat and admire views so despite having had a rest on Skiddaw Man we had another rest on the summit itself!


Our route down took us over the excellently named eminences of Bakestall and Cockup.


The wild and quiet hills to the north, another area I’ve never explored.


The distinctive hill of Binsey.


Out to the west the first signs of the following days wet weather was on the horizon and advancing.


But as we dropped back down the slopes to the car the late afternoon clear light was just stunning.


Once out of the wind its positively hot and humid and felt more like July than late September. A view taking in most of our circuit.


We strode back across the fields in very high spirits and looked forward to a few beers and a slap up evening meal in the local pub. A Carlsberg day.


12 responses to “A Return to Skiddaw

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  1. A totally awesome, magnificent day in one of my favourite parts of the world.


  2. That’s a great walk. I’ve not done Bakestall and have nearby Great Calva to do as well so I’ll be tagging those two together. The fells to the north are a fantastic place to go, rolling hills, easy to walk (unless you go in a near blizzard like I did!!). Most importantly they are quiet, hardly a soul to be seen on the hills around Meal Fell, Brae fell and Knott


  3. Amazing photos. I have never done this hike it looks great.


  4. Great set of photos, of a brilliant day. Those blue skies! I seem to remember that the meal at the end was delicious too. Roll on the next get-together (not long to wait!).


    • Still can’t get over days when its so windy yet the skies are blue and there is no cloud – doesn’t seem to fit together somehow. I think the food was good but you know, I can’t remember anything about what I ate (other than it was a lot). I wasn’t that impressed with the place we stayed but it did the job. Need to hassle Ann to sort out another weekend – it was top drawer this one


      • I’d second that last idea.
        I’ve scoured my memory and I think I had half a roast chicken, with some sort of fancy fries and coleslaw – it was very good.
        I know what you mean – the blue skies make it look idyllic, but enjoyable though it was it was also quite rough, weather wise.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Skiddaw by Ullock Pike – Beating The Bounds

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