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
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
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
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.
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.
routes near Binsey