Lake District Walks
Lord's Seat & Barf
Date: 18th November 2005
Distance: 6.2 miles
Ascent: 2141 feet
Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY220265
A steep climb through the plantations on to Barf and then on to Lord's Seat, the highest of the Whinlatter Fells.
Route Summary: Powter How - Beckstones Gill - Barf - Lord's Seat - Ullister Hill - Seat How - Comb Plantation - Thornthwaite - Powter How
1. Looking up at Barf from the start of the walk
2. Looking across Barf to Skiddaw Little Man
3. Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw from Barf
4. Lord's Seat from Barf
5. Lisa on Barf
6. Lisa climbing Lord's Seat
7. Looking towards Broom Fell from Lord's Seat
8. On the heathery top of Ullister Hill
9. In the plantations of Whinlatter Forest
10. Skiddaw from Seat How
Walk Detail: This was our last full day and we had agreed on what proved to be an ambitious walking double bill with Barf and Lord’s Seat in the morning before driving around the other side of Bassenthwaite Lake to climb Skiddaw Dodd.
It was a very cold morning and the path up through Beckstones Plantation was unswervingly steep and enclosed until a small rockface required a bit of scrambling. While the plantations were pleasant enough it was a relief when we finally got out on to the open fell to make the short climb on to the top of Barf.
Although one of the smaller Lakeland fells and really nothing more than a particularly aggressive looking shoulder of Lord’s Seat Barf is a fine top. The main attraction is the full-length view of Bassenthwaite Lake backed by Skiddaw and its satellites, a classic picture.
The walk to Lord’s Seat was fairly easy - even more so due to the frost freezing up some boggy sections in the middle. Lord’s Seat is the highest of the North-Western Fells north of Whinlatter Pass and as such commands a goods view particularly of the other Whinlatter Fells, the Aiken Valley as well as Grisedale Pike.
It was a pleasant top and while I was tempted to head along the ridge to Broom Fell I knew we had better head in the other direction. Along the way I bagged Ullister Hill which I correctly guessed would be classed as a Dewey before beginning the long descent through Thornthwaite Forest.
This proved to be more difficult than I imagined as the paths on the map were but a fraction of those in the plantations and so finding anything approaching a direct route was impossible. Coupled with the fact that we were running to a tight deadline meant I did not enjoy this section.
There was one brief respite with some nice views from the exposed outcrop of Sale How but thereafter it was a frustrating hour or so until another walker finally pointed us in the right direction.
I’d visit both Barf and Lord’s Seat again but I’d either make sure I had plenty of time to ‘get lost in the wood’ or I’d find another route of descent.