Saturday 13 April 2013

Castle Knott and Calf Top

Saturday 13th April 2013 

A sunny day walk up Calf Top above Dentdale on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales

Distance: 20km; Ascent:690m; Mainly sunny, but quite windy; with Colin

Colin and I had been due to spend the weekend Munro bagging in the southern Highlands, however the forecast 80-100mph winds for the weekend put us off a bit!  Instead we decided to take advantage of the last of the calm weather this morning and head out for a day walk a bit closer to home.  Therefore just after 10am we set off walking from the village of Barbon on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, with the intention of climbing the nearby hill of Calf Top.

Barbon church
It was pleasantly warm as we walked past the village church and entered the parklands of Barbon Park; in fact it was so warm that I was walking in a t-shirt with no fleece – a first for 2013!  Soon we left the parkland and began our steep ascent up to the cairn on Eskholme Pike, with a little bit of optional scrambling on route.

The Lune Valley
Eskholme Pike
From here there were good views of the surrounding area, although it was necessary to don an extra layer as we were now exposed to the easterly wind.  A pleasant ascent on a good grassy path brought us to our first summit of the day: Castle Knott (Dewey), which was marked by a cairn.

Ascending Castle Knott, with views to Crag Hill
Summit of Castle Knott
Calf Top from Castle Knott
After a short rest here we pushed on over the slightly boggy col to ascend up to the trigpoint and nearby summit cairn on Calf Top (Marilyn, Dewey), which apparently is only 2cm short of 2000ft!  However this didn’t deter Colin as he stood on the trigpoint to make sure his entire body was higher than 2000ft!

On Calf Top
Calf Top summit
There were excellent views from the summit, although it was beginning to get quite windy up here.  As it was now a little after midday we decided that lunch was in order, so after descending north-eastwards for a few hundred metres we stopped in the shelter of a wall for a bite to eat.  From our lunch spot we could make out many of the Yorkshire Dales peaks and also the hazy eastern Lakeland fells to our west, beyond a few wind turbines, Killington Reservoir and the M6.

Heading towards Barkin Top
Descending Barkin Top
After crossing Birkin Top, we continued to follow the good path alongside the wall as it curved round to the north and then the north-west over Long Bank End.  By now the sky had pretty much clouded over and it seemed as if rain might be imminent.  We continued past many sheep and lambs to reach the end of a minor road at Fellside farm.

The Howgills
Long Bank End
Using a small slither of access land we cut a corner to reach the main A683 road near to a pub.  Luckily we only had just over a kilometre to walk along this busy road before we turned off onto the High Road, which was a minor road running parallel to the main road all the way to Barbon.  After a further couple of kilometres it began to rain, initially quite lightly before a short heavier bust.  Luckily however this soon stopped so we didn’t don our waterproofs!

We reached Barbon and hence the car just before 3:30pm after a pleasant hill walk of a little over 5 hours, and we only saw a handful of other walkers out on the hill!  Soon after setting off south the rain began again, this time in earnest, and we were very pleased that we weren’t still out walking!

N.B. 03/06/13 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 13/04/13 (from 17/04/13).  Link to trigpoint also added. 

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