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Barf

 
   

 

Ann Bowker


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Height: 468m (1,535ft) GPS: NY 21467 26740 Walking Routes

Barf is a fell in the north-western Lake District and stands on the south-western shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. It is well known for a whitewashed pillar of rock on the lower slopes, the so-called "Bishop's Rock" or "Bishop of Barf".

Barf is properly an eastern shoulder of Lord's Seat but was accorded the status of a separate fell by Alfred Wainwright in his influential Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. The eastern face is a steep wall of scree falling to the Keswick to Cockermouth road and the lakeshore.

The southern boundary of the fell is Beckstones Gill which falls over a series of small waterfalls from near the summit of Lord's Seat. At the base of the slope it flows past the former Swan Hotel and into the head of the lake.

To the south of Barf are Ullister Hill and Seat How, satellites of Lord's Seat which Wainwright chose to leave within the bounds of the parent fell.

To the north of Barf is an unnamed stream which falls to the lakeshore at Woodend, beyond which the land slowly falls away to Beck Wythop.

To the north and south of the BARF fell's borders the slopes are forested with conifers but Barf itself remains bare barring a belt of deciduous woodland at the very bottom.

The eastern face begins with several hundred feet of shifting scree, giving way to rough and loose crags higher up and Slape Crag is the main face. The whole slope falls some 900 ft in a quarter of a mile.

The connection to Lord's Seat is via a broad heather clad depression to the west of the summit, easy walking being possible although there are some boggy patches.

The summit is a small platform with a thin covering of grass only a little way back from the eastern slope.

The view eastward to Skiddaw and Longside Edge is excellent, with Bassenthwaite Lake in the foreground. A selection of the Eastern and Southern Fells can also be seen.

Lord's Seat blocks much of the panorama westward although the sea makes an appearance.

The direct ascent via the Bishop is described by Wainwright as "Not a walk but a very stiff scramble, suitable only for people overflowing with animal strength and vigour".

A line further to the south following Beckstones Gill is perhaps to be preferred and Barf can easily be gained indirectly via Lord's Seat.

Walking routes near Barf

 

 

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