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Yorkshire Dales Walks

Cosh & High Green Field Knott

Date: 26th Apr 2015
Distance: 9 miles
Ascent: 1564 feet
Time: 5 hours 20 mins
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD881764

Walk Summary:
A super walk exploring the Cosh valley and visiting the tops of Blaydike Moss and High Green Field Knott - superb views.

Route Summary: Halton Gill - Foxup - Cosh House - Blaydike Moss - Ber Gill Caves - Cosh Beck Head - Cosh Outside - Cosh Knott - High Green Field Knott - Eller Carr Moss - Great Pasture - Halton Gill

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

The small Littondale village of Halton Gill
A Jacob's sheep just outside Foxup
Following the track alongside Cosh Beck
Looking up the Cosh valley towards Cosh House
Cosh House, one of the remotest dwellings in the Yorkshire Dales
Cosh Beck
Primroses above Cosh Beck
By the fledgling cairn on the top of Blaydike Moss
High Green Field Knott from Blaydike Moss
By the entrance to one of the Ber Gill Caves
Windtunnel Cave
The twin entrances to Cosh Beck Head Cave looked like the sockets in a skull
Cosh Beck just below the caves
Posing on a limestone outcrop on Cosh Outside
Pen-y-ghent and a distant Pendle Hill from Cosh Outside
The trig point on Cosh Outside looking towards Ingleborough
The cairn on Cosh Knott with Ingleborough appearing impressively in the distance
By the cairn on Cosh Knott with Whernside in the distance
Ingleborough from Cosh Knott
Looking across Cam Rakes to Dodd Fell Hill
Following the wall towards the top of High Green Field Knott
On the unmarked summit of High Green Field Knott
Littondale from High Green Field Knott
Looking across Langstrothdale towards Woldside
Looking down at Blaydike Moss
Looking back at High Green Field Knott
Descending Great Pasture with Fountains Fell in the distance
The Cosh Valley from Great Pasture
A closer view of the remote Cosh House
Darnbrook Fell above the fields of Littondale

Walk Detail: A recurring theme of my walks in the Yorkshire Dales so far this year has been returning to places that, on my first visit, I experienced weather conditions that were at best moderate and at worst downright awful. Indeed looking back at my first two years of hill walking there is quite a long list of summits that I didn't get a view from on first acquaintance, including the likes of Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent, Great Shunner Fell, Nine Standards Rigg, Dodd Fell, Wether Fell and Fountains Fell to name just a few.

Among this litany of failures was High Green Field Knott / Cosh Outside which I first walked on a particularly wet day in August 2005. Seeing some pictures recently posted by other walkers on Facebook reminded me what I had missed out on so, postponing my original plan to head for the North Pennines, I set off to do this walk.

Starting from the small village of Halton Gill I walked along the road leading to the even smaller village of Foxup, passing along the way a small field containing some Jacob's Sheep - not a breed I can recall seeing before in the Dales. From Foxup I then enjoyed an easy couple of miles following a track alongside, and then above, Cosh Beck as far as Cosh House. Surely one of the remotest houses in the Yorkshire Dales I believe it is currently occupied though it didn't seem like there was anyone in.

Having already noted the herd of cows spread across the pastures immediately beyond Cosh House I avoided them by dropping down to Cosh Beck which I then preceded to follow upstream. The next couple of hundred metres was enlivened by having to repeatedly cross the stream, an entertaining and easy enough interlude. Suddenly, and rather unexpectedly, I came across a section of the steep south bank of the beck covered in patches of pale yellow primroses - a delightful sight.

After spending a while laid on the ground taking photos of the flowers I decided to make a detour up the facing slope to visit the nearby summit of Blaydike Moss. Here I was slightly surprised to find a small pile of stones marking the highest point, I'm fairly sure this fledgling cairn was not present when I first visited this top almost ten years ago. Due to the poor weather on that occasion Blaydike Moss did not make much of an impression on me. However on this occasion the weather was glorious and the view to the west towards Ingleborough was particularly striking.

Dropping back down towards Cosh Beck I visited the entrance to one of the Ber Gill Caves before continuing on to Cosh Beck Head. There I found two further caves, Windtunnel Cave and Cosh Beck Head Cave. The former was indeed a very low tunnel, the other opening being on the opposite side of a nearby wall. To my eye the twin openings of Cosh Beck Head Cave looked like the eyeless sockets of a skull with water pouring out of them.

From a handy stile in the wall behind the two caves I then climbed north-west up the pathless slopes beyond to a small but fairly prominent limestone outcrop a short distance to the east of the trig point on Cosh Outside. Continuing on to the trig point I was treated to an absolutely stunning panorama, quite possibly one of the finest I've had in the Dales. In addition to the famous Three Peaks the view encompassed Pendle Hill, the Bowland Fells. the Howgill Fells, the Scafells in the Lake District and finally, to the north, Cross Fell and the Dun Fells in the North Pennines.

From the trig point I dropped down to a fence immediately to the west (this was electrified on my first visit so I was very careful crossing it this time) before climbing up to the top of the limestone knoll called Cosh Knott. Adorning the summit of the knoll is a fine 8ft high cairn which so far seems to have avoided appearing on any OS maps. Again the views were superb and I took shelter from the cool wind to sit and eat my lunch while basking in the sun and enjoying the view south to Pen-y-Ghent.

After refueling I crossed back over the fence on to Cosh Outside before heading east on the north side of the ridge wall for a mile or so to reach the 602m spot height on High Green Field Knott. While the panorama from the unmarked highest point of the fell could not compete with the trig point on Cosh Outside it was still very good indeed and included a fine view along Littondale.

Continuing alongside the wall I gradually dropped down to the peaty col with Horse Head. There were a few moist moments but nothing too tricky. My original intention had been to carry along the broad ridge as far as the trig point on Horse Head before descending to Halton Gill. However, when I arrived at the junction with the Beckermonds to Halton Gill path I decided instead to follow the latter. This decision was mainly because I judged, quite rightly as it turned out, that I'd get more extensive views of the Cosh valley. All in all it was a lovely descent back in to Littondale.

This was yet another smashing walk and one that contrasted more intimate features such as the caves and bank of primroses with some of the finest views to be had in the Dales. I expect that I'll be returning to this area again sooner rather than later.

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