Claife Heights from Windermere

Looking north up Windermere, from the ‘Swan’ steamer. Claife Heights is the plateau on the left.

Summits: Just one in the chapter, noted as 886 feet above sea level. This is marked with an OS trigonometric station and located on the point of High Blind How.

Date bagged: First visit: 29th October 2013 (walk 76), Second visit: 23rd July 2016 (walk 114).

Bagged as number: First round: 231 of the 330 Wainwrights. [ << Finsthwaite Heights (230)  (232) Latterbarrow >> ]

Summit of Claife Heights

The summit of Claife Heights, known as High Blind How.

Second round: 54 of 330. [ << Latterbarrow (53)  (55) The Knott >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Came up from the cross-Windermere ferry terminal. Left for Latterbarrow, which I guess could be called a ‘ridge walk’, although Wainwright did not include any of these in volume 8.

Second visit: Reversed the approach, coming in from Latterbarrow. Descended to Far Sawrey.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 81 of volume 8): “Claife Heights is the naturally-wooded and man-afforested upland rising bteween Esthwaite Water and Windermere. It has not a well defined summit, the highest point… having an Ordnance Survey column now surrounded by conifers but accessible by a path. In this upland Beatrix Potter loved to wander.”

Conifers on Claife Heights

Conifers in (what remains of) the Claife Heights plantations.

What I say: I like some things about Claife Heights but it also has ‘issues’. Being the territory of commercial forestry does it no favours. On my second visit, summer 2016, there was a great deal of it that had been felled and left in an untidy waste, and not at all an uplifting landscape to walk through.

Wainwright’s chapter suggests a circuitous walk that as well as the summit, takes in the tarns to the west side of the plateau. This may well improve the ‘Claife Heights Experience’. The trouble is that there is no way to cross from the west side to the east, where the summit is, without a considerable detour to north or south, so if coming in from (or heading on to) Latterbarrow one has to choose one or the other — and I do not think Claife Heights is worth a visit on its own. So the tarns were not seen by me on either visit, unfortunately.

[ << Caw Fell     Clints Crags >> ]


2 Responses to “Claife Heights”

  1. […] Walk 76 took us both up the west side of Windermere, using the ferry from Bowness then a walk up Claife Heights and on to Latterbarrow. The second summit made the effort worthwhile as it delivered a spectacular […]

  2. […] It also took in three summits, Black Fell from Wainwright’s volume 4, and Latterbarrow and Claife Heights from the Outyling […]

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