Knott is a mountain in the
northern part of the English Lake District and is the highest point of
the Back o'Skiddaw region, an area of wild and unfrequented moorland to
the north of Skiddaw and Blencathra. Other tops in this region include
High Pike, Carrock Fell and Great Calva.
The fell's slopes are
mostly smooth, gentle, and covered in grass with a few deep ravines. It
stands a long way from a road and requires a long walk across the moor
top get to it; this, as well as the fact that it is hidden from the rest
of the Lake District by the two aforementioned giants, make it one of
the most unfrequented tops in the Lakes.
When it is climbed, it
is most often from Mungrisdale or from the north via Great Sca Fell. The
word Knott is of Cumbric origin, and means simply "hill".
Skiddaw and Blencathra are the best known of the Northern Fells,
fronting the range as they loom above Keswick and the road to Penrith.
Behind this wall is a further group of fells, commonly referred to as
Back o' Skiddaw. Knott stands at the centre of this group, in addition
to being the highest point.
The Back o'Skiddaw group is separated
from Blencathra and the Skiddaw massif by Skiddaw Forest. Confusingly
this Forest contains no trees, other than the windbreak of Skiddaw
House, but is a marshy upland area at around 1,300 ft surrounded
on all sides by higher fells.
Three major streams flow from
Skiddaw Forest, dividing the Northern Fells into three sectors. Dash
Beck runs north west, the River Caldew north east and the River
Glenderaterra south, between Skiddaw and Blencathra.
is a long whale-backed ridge running for three miles in an east west
direction. With the exception of the extreme east and west, the fell has
broad and gentle contours clad primarily in grass. Many of the streams
draining it have cut deeply into Knott's flanks, exposing yellow and red
soils which are visible in distant views.
The western end of the
fell is Burn Tod which descends roughly between Burntod and Hause Gills,
both tributaries of Dash Beck.
To the north is a parallel but
shorter shoulder, Frozen Fell, and these two spurs are the only part of
the fell which drain westward to the River Derwent.
south of the summit a ridge descends across a narrow col to the
neighbouring fell of Great Calva. A further spur on this flank, across
to the east, is named Snab. Wiley Gill and Burdell Gill fall on this
side to the River Caldew and, ultimately, the Eden at Carlisle.
The eastern terminus of the summit ridge is Coomb Height. At the base of
the slope, amid rough ground, are the remains of Carrock Fell Mine.
Coombe Height is bordered by Wet Swine Gill and Grainsgill Beck, further
tributaries of the Caldew.
Two connecting ridges run north from
Knott, separated by the deep ravines of Roughton Gill.
western arm drops across an area of bog and with little reascent arrives
at the summit of Great Sca Fell. The eastern branch crosses Miller Moss
and then runs at high level for two miles to High Pike, first passing
the subsidiary tops of Great Lingy Hill and Harestones.
the grass a cairn has been built and further such markers adorn the tops
of Coomb Height, Burn Tod and Snab, but the ridge top is otherwise
featureless and the paths faint and intermittent.
southward is constrained by Blencathra and Skiddaw, neither displaying
their best side, but between the two is a narrow slice of central
Lakeland. This includes a section of distant Thirlmere along with the
To the north are the Solway Firth and the hills of
south west Scotland, but there is little interest to the foreground.
The Knott ascent from Orthwaite to the north west, a track can be
followed to the source of Hause Gill and the col between Knott and Great
Alternatively, a start can be made at Longlands, crossing
the intervening ridge between Meal Fell and Great Cockup and then
following a path up between Burn Tod and Frozen Fell.
provides access from the north, along the old mine track beside Roughten
Gill. Once the mine is reached a pathless climb can be made to the
The access road to Carrock Fell Mine can be used to lead
onto Coomb Height for an ascent from Mosedale.
routes near Knott