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Binsey

 
   

 

Ann Bowker


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Height: 447m (1,467ft) GPS: NY 22513 35525 Walking Routes

Binsey is a hill on the northern edge of the Lake District and is detached from the rest of the Lakeland hills.

It provides a good spot to look out at the Northern and North Western Fells of the Lake District, the coastal plain and across the Solway Firth to Scotland. Snaefell on The Isle of Man is also visible on a clear day.

Binsey stands on the otherwise low-level watershed separating the catchments of the Ellen to the north and the Derwent to the south. A slight ridge connects it to Great Cockup in the main massif of the Northern Fells, two miles to the south east.

Binsey itself has a rounded form, but somehow manages to impress the eye more than the similar Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell.

The "pudding basin" shape holds all around Binsey except to the north west where a ridge descends over Whitas Park to a depression containing the remains of a Roman fort.

Beyond is St John's Hill (950 ft) - called Caermote Hill in Wainwright's Outlying Fells, which is topped by an earthwork called "The Battery".

Finally the ridge descends to the village of Bothel in the Ellen Valley.

Binsey sends out a further spur to the east, culminating in the shapely top of Latrigg (1,030 ft), not to be confused with Latrigg near Keswick.

Beneath Latrigg is Over Water, a large tarn which was raised by damming in 1920 to provide drinking water for Wigton. The ouflow of Over Water feeds the Ellen, as does the gloriously named Humble Jumble Gill which drains Binsey's northern flank.

The hill is largely grass and heather with only one significant outcrop of rock, West Crag.

Flanking the eastern slopes of the fell is a thin belt of mixed woodland and a further plantation sits below West Crag.

The summit is crowned by a mound whose stones have been raided to produce several small circular wind-shelters. There is also a modern cairn atop the mound and a trig point.

Far to the south the Coniston Fells can be seen, almost 25 miles away, while to the north the Solway Firth and the hills of Scotland are visible.

The furthest point visible on a clear day is the top of Slieve Donard in Mourne, 115 miles away.

The hill can be climbed by several routes, perhaps most simply beginning in the south east (Parking on the road between Binsey Lodge and Fell Side Farm), following a track to the summit.

An alternative is along a lane from the A591 road just north of Bewaldeth.

From the top of the lane a loop to the left and behind a disused pit will enable the track across the summit to be picked up. Wainwright also lists a further route from High Ireby.

Latrigg would make a fine short walk from Binsey Lodge, but the landowner does not allow public access.

Walking routes near Binsey

 

 

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