Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 16th April 2005
Distance: 13.5 miles
Ascent: 2515 feet
Time: 5 hours 35 mins
With: Matt and Jo
Start Grid Ref: SD630824
A long circular walk from Barbon to Calf Top, the highest point on Middleton Fell then returning over Castle Knott.
1. An old farmhouse near Mill House Beck
2. Mill House Beck
3. Looking down the unnamed gill that leads up to Holme Knott
4. A view of the Howgill Fells from Holme Knott
5. The trig point on Holme Knott backed by Middleton Fell
6. Middleton Fell from Holme Knott
7. Looking back at Holme Knott
8. Great Coum from Middleton Fell
9. Matt and Jo by the trig point on Calf Top
10. Looking back at Middleton Fell from Castle Knott
11. By the cairn on Eskholme Pike
12. Devil's Crag and Lunesdale
Walk Detail: This was the first walk that Matt and I did with Jo as a threesome. I drove the three of us to Barbon, which was a pleasant little village in the shadow of Eskholme Pike and Casterton Fell.
With a few exceptions the first five miles or so was a bit of a monotonous plod through fields and farmyards all the time trying to avoid the many lambs that were around at this time of year. At places such as Millhouse Beck we caught tantalising glimpses of our destination but it was not until we got to Middleton Head by the Lune that things began to get interesting. It was here that we got our first full view of the Howgills, the tops of which were covered in snow.
After a nice stretch of woodland we eventually began to climb and shortly after the appropriately named Fell View we finally reached the open fell. Not long after though we made an enjoyable detour to the trig point on Holme Knott. Along the way we discovered a beautiful gill and gully that is unnamed on the map. The ground itself was a succession of rocky hillocks and the highest point of Holme Knott commands an exceptional view of Sedbergh and the southern Howgills as well as providing a fine view southeast to Calf Top.
We ate our lunch on Holme Knott before returning to the main path to continue our circuit of Middleton Fell. As we followed the path round the views changed from those of the Lune Valley and the Howgills to Dentdale and Three Peaks country. The weather was permanently outcast but for once the cloud cover was high which meant views of the wintry landscape were excellent. In particular I enjoyed the views across Dentdale to Baugh Fell, Rise Hill and Great Knoutberry Hill.
Finally we made it to Calf Top only to find someone there with a pitched tent. We discovered we had chosen to do this walk on the same day as the annual Barbondale Round which accounted for us seeing so many people on what was supposed to be an under walked fell.
From Calf Top we continued south to the subsidiary top of Castle Knott, along the way Jo’s hip became troublesome and I remember Matt half pulling her to the top of Castle Knott. Our time spent at the top of the latter was curtailed by a heavy downpour though this did not last long.
Another excellent viewpoint was Eskholme Pike whose cairn has an excellent sighting of the Lune Valley flowing down into Lancashire. This was an excellent walk and though I’d definitely like to walk up Middleton Fell again I’d rather not do the Lune Valley stretch again.