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Knott

 
   

 

Karl and Ali

 

 

Height: 710m (2,329ft) GPS: NY 29622 32985 Walking Routes

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.

Knott itself 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.

From the 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.

The 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.

Amidst 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.

The view 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 Scafells.

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 Calva.

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.

Fell Side 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 summit.

The access road to Carrock Fell Mine can be used to lead onto Coomb Height for an ascent from Mosedale.

Walking routes near Knott

 

 

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