Route: Kirkhouse, Hill's Wood, Watch Hill, Setmurthy Common, Setmurthy Plantation, Kirkhouse, (DRIVE), Blindcrake, Clints Crags, Blindcrake
From: Isel / Blindcrake
Parking: Isel Road / Blindcrake
Start Point: Isel Road / Blindcrake
Region: North Western Fells / Northern Fells
Route length: 2.9 miles (4.6 km) / 1.2 miles (1.9 km)
Time taken : 01:02 / 00:23
Average speed: 2.8 mph /3.0 mph
Ascent: 238m / 112m
Descent: 243m / 102
Outlying Fells on this walk: Watch Hill (235m), Setmurthy Common (254m), Clints Crags (245m)
Additional summits: None
Other Points of Interest: None
Watch Hill and Clints Crags are two of the most northerly fells in the Lake District and a return to the Wainwright Outlying Fells (having climbed Orrest Head a couple of years ago. I had thought I'd make a start on the eastern fells around Shap or Bannisdale but, having completed a morning walk from Whinlatter quicker than planned, I had a free afternoon for some old-school peak bagging.
This comprises two very short walks to create one short report - in total, these two fells comprise of just three miles of walking and a couple of miles driving - you probably do both on foot if you out for the whole day.
Leaving Whinlatter, my first task was to drive to Cockermouth and beyond, into the quiet areas to the north of the main National Park. Watch Hill would by my first objective.
Watch Hill is a small hill lying on the fringe of the Lake District. The name Setmurthy Common is sometimes used (including by Alfred Wainwright in his book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland) to refer to the area including the highest point, with "Watch Hill" describing the area to the west of the summit.
To create a short circuit (I do love a good circuit), I parked at the end of a bridleway close to Kirkhouse on the northern side of the hill. The bridleway gradually climbs the slopes, heading directly for the Watch Hill summit. It's an easy stroll - this time in some very pleasant weather.
|The long bridleway towards Watch Hill|
|The bridleway at Hill's Wood|
|The Derwent valley|
|Looking west towards the Solway Firth|
|The Solway Firth and the hills of Scotland|
|Approaching the top of Watch Hill|
|The top of Watch Hill|
|Looking towards the Vale of Lorton|
|The Vale of Lorton and the high Buttermere fells|
|Ling Fell backed by the Coledale fells|
|Heading back to the car|
|The lane at Allison House Farm|
|Heading up to Clints Park|
|Dodd and the Helvellyn range|
|The old quarry|
|The view along the summit|
|Binsey, the Uldale fells and Skiddaw|