Bowland & Pendle Walks
White Hill & Bowland Knotts
Date: 1st October 2006
Distance: 9.7 miles
Ascent: 1659 feet
Time: 4 hours 50 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD702590
A mainly pathless, and often rough, walk to While Hill before heading for Bowland Knotts via Catlow Fell.
Route Summary: Cross of Greet Bridge - White Hill - Cross of Greet - Raven's Castle - Catlow Fell - Bowland Knotts - Old Moss - Cross of Greet Bridge
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: The initial climb was steady and the ground was fairly wet with plenty of surface water, something that was typical of the whole walk. As the shooters track petered out I struck out across the pathless heather and peaty groughs to locate the watershed which I then followed over some rough terrain to the summit after having first detoured out to visit the two towers.
While it is the second highest point in the area White Hill is not the most inspiring of summits and the views are all of distant hills and moorland with the Bowland fells themselves being relatively shapeless. The highlight for me was identifying the obvious hump of Wolfhole Crag along the ridge from Ward's Stone.
The walk down to the road was initially on a nice moist path in the grass but this soon changed into the usual grough hopping I've come to expect from the area. Further down I stepped on the biggest, smelliest bit of blanchmange outside of Fountains Fell.
The climb up Catlow Fell (very shapely from where I'd parked but much less so from this approach) was steady and I stopped behind the short section of stone wall on Raven's Castle to eat my lunch. The top of Catlow Fell itself was sadly unmarked and I did not linger with the prospect of the more interesting surrounds of Bowland Knotts ahead of me.
After temporarily getting my foot stuck while trying to climb over a fence I eventually reached the trig point on Bowland Knotts and to what was easily the best summit of the day. It is amazing what a difference a minor outcrop of rock can make!! It helped that the sun was coming through in nice patches now and this enhanced the overall view taking in Bowland round to the Three Peaks and then on to Pendle Hill.
The return path was a little difficult to follow but thanks to the assurance of one of the few other walkers I had seen I was confident I was heading in the right track.
This was one of the more demanding walks I've done in the area with plenty of rough, pathless ground covered. While height wise White Hill and Catlow Fell were the main objects of the walk it is probably the modest outcrops of Bowland Knotts that linger in the mind and which may repay further investigation.