Finsthwaite Heights

Finsthwaite Heights, with the village below, viewed from near the exit of Great Knott Wood

Summits: There is only the one fell in the chapter, Finsthwaite Heights itself. Wainwright states that the fell has ‘no definite summit’ but the highest parts are “about 570’” [reduced from 590′ in the first edition]. This height seems definitely to refer to the top of Summer House Knott, the location of Finsthwaite Tower (pictured below).

However, in the Outlying Fells (pages 74-79), Wainwright describes a walk that also takes in land to the north-west of the village of Finsthwaite, and this is where the label ‘Finsthwaite Heights’ actually appears on the OS map. His walk heads for the reservoir of High Dam, but when I walked it the first time (with Joe) we took a wrong turn and ended up roughly at the point SD362880 (what’s this?) where there is a spot height of 230m, or 754 feet above sea level.

Finsthwaite Tower

Finsthwaite Tower: the Lakes’ biggest summit cairn

Nevertheless, on the second round I visited only the tower, but it seems fair enough to consider this the ‘official’ summit.

Date bagged: First round: 28th October 2013, walk 75.

Second round: 2nd October 2018 (walk 153).

Bagged as number: First round: 230 of the 330 – one hundred to go. [ << Black Combe (227-229) (231) Claife Heights >> ]

Second round: 168 of 330. [ << Bigland Barrow (167)  (169) Troutbeck Tongue >> ]

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Ascended from Newby Bridge and descended to Lakeside. Second visit: Same ascent, and this time I just retraced my steps on descent.

What Mr Wainwright says (on page 74 of volume 8): “Throughout this walk the scenery is sylvan with a few pastoral interludes. The only resemblance to fellwalking is in the ups and downs, but in this case the acclivities and declivities occur under foliage…. Everywhere the surroundings are delightful. But this is not fellwalking.”

Highest section of Finsthwaite Heights

Up on Finsthwaite Heights — the point at which we called it a day and turned back

What I say: On my first visit Joe and I missed the “lovely” Low and High Dams, two reservoirs on the Heights that give some purpose to the second part of the walk.  So we only really saw half the attractions as described in this chapter: namely the tower on top of Summer House Knott, the south-eastern section of the fell. That was an atmospheric spot, and certainly claims the prize of ‘biggest edifice on the summit of any Wainwright’. There are no particular views from this fell, except for some distant views of the Pennines over Gummer’s How, but the best reason to ‘climb’ it is the expanse of beautiful woodland which cloaks it. Autumn is the time to go.

[ << Fellbarrow     Flat Fell and Dent >> ]

One Response to “Finsthwaite Heights”

  1. […] what better way than to go to the Lakes and pick off one of the easier remaining Outlying Fells, Finsthwaite Heights, on walk 75. A ramble through golden woodland colours, rainbows, trains, buses, boats and […]

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