Bowland & Pendle Summits
Totridge is both one of the highest and one of my favourite fells in the Forest of Bowland.
|No. of Visits||1, 2|
Totridge Gallery: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
More about Totridge: Totridge is the sixth highest fell in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Beauty and, if we exclude Pendle Hill, the fifth highest fell in the Bowland fells proper. Totridge's height of 497m means that is just a few metres short of qualifying as a Dewey. However, the fact that Totridge fails to appear on any of the most recognised hill lists shouldn't deter people from actually climbing it.
Totridge belongs, along with Hawthornthwaite Fell, Parlick and Fair Snape Fell to the southern Bowland region which is separated from the moors to the north by the Trough of Bowland. When viewed at a distance from the east Totridge appears to form the northern terminus of a steep wall of fell side that also features Fair Snape Fell and Parlick to the south west. In fact the northern flanks of Totridge are in fact almost entirely encircled by the lower Mellor Knoll and Hareden Nab.
To the north and east Totridge's slopes are steep and grassy while to the west gentler heathery slopes lead down to the valley of Hareden Brook. The eastern and northern flanks provide the finest aspect of the fell and can best be appreciated from Mellor Knoll. The steep path that climbs this side of the fell from the saddle with Mellor Knoll is also the quickest route up to or down from the summit. Alternative routes exist via the valleys of Bleadale Water or Hareden Brook but both of these options feature pathless sections across rough heathery terrain which should only really be attempted in good conditions or by experienced walkers.
The top of Totridge is covered mainly in heather and bare peat. The highest point is marked by an Ordnance Survey column which sits on a large peat hag. The summit provides an extensive panorama of the neigbouring area with nearly all the main Bowland fells on view. Other prominent hills that can be seen include Winter Fell in the West Pennines to the south, Pendle Hill to the east and Pen-y-Ghent and Fountains Fell to the north. The very top of Ingleborough can also be seen peaking over White Hill. It is a fine view which can be improved by walking closer to the northern or eastern edge of the summit plateau.
Totridge is the first Bowland fell that I have visited more than once. This is primarily because I wanted to visit the top once again to enjoy the excellent view. On my first visit I took the roundabout route via Langdale Brook and Bleadale Water. This was a fine walk though the section between Bleadale Grains and Totridge was quite rough and peaty. On my second visit I ascended by the more direct path and returned via Hareden Brook. Once again the scenery was first class but there was some rough walking involved on the descent.
From my experience therefore if you want to visit Totridge as part of a circular walk you have to expect a bit of heather bashing and peat hopping. This might perhaps explain why I didn't see anyone else on either walk. Great views and solitude - an excellent combination!