Yew Bank summit

Yew Bank summit, cairn, Joe and others.

Summits: The chapter lists two summits, Yew Bank at 678 feet above sea level and Wool Knott at 730’. However, some observations. First, the allocation of fells to chapters in this region seems a little arbitrary. Wool Knott would be as logically listed with Beacon Fell, which it is rather nearer (and more naturally connected) to than it is Yew Bank. Then there is a third summit, Bell Knott, within the landform, indicated on Wainwright’s map and quite obvious ‘in the flesh’, but not listed as one of the 116 in the book.

Volume: Book Eight (The Outlying Fells).

Date bagged: First visit: 17th January 2014 (walk 78). Second visit: 9th August 2017 (walk 135).

Wool Knott and Beacon Tarn

Wool Knott and Beacon Tarn

Bagged as number: First round: 236-237 of the 330. [ << Beacon Fell (235)  (238-239) Blawith Knott >> ]

Second round: 116-117 of 330. [ << Gavel Fell (115)  (118) Beacon Fell >> ]

Route of ascent and descentFirst visit: Approached Yew Bank from Beacon Fell, and left Wool Knott for Blawith Knott.

Second visit: I again did Yew Bank first, but this time, came up from the valley below, via the lane that ends at the farm of Haveriggholme. Not outlined in the book, but a decent way up. This time, left Wool Knott for Beacon Fell.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 103 of volume 8): “Woodland, both valley and fell, is a corner of Lakeland unspoilt by modern development and bypassed by new forms of exploitation. Early man knew the place and left traces of settlements, cairns and walls, while medieval man practiced his primitive industries. But present-day man races past in his car, bound for the Coniston fells. Perhaps it is asking too much of him to tarry here while yet he is strong and energetic but he would do well to bear Woodland Fell in mind for the time when he is neither.”

View from Yew Bank

View from Yew Bank. Bell Knott (connected to Wool Knott) and Blawith Knott are the rises on the ridge. And yes, it’s raining.

What I say:  Wainwright gives Woodland Fell a pretty good write-up and there certainly are some decent things about it. Both summits are worth a visit and in August the top of Yew Bank will be a riot of purple heather.

The problem with Woodland Fell is not its two summits, therefore; it’s the walk between them. Wainwright very much underplays its difficulties in the book. I have done it both in summer and winter now, and on both occasions it was quite unpleasant thanks to a variety of factors including bracken, dense heather, a lack of paths, and some unexpectedly deep gullies. All of this afflicts, unavoidably, any attempt to traverse between the two tops.

Summit of Wool Knott

Summit of Wool Knott

My suggestion, therefore, is to do Yew Bank on its own (on a sunny day in August), as part of an easy ramble south from Torver or Coniston and ending somewhere like Kirkby or Foxfield. Then, bag Wool Knott along with Beacon Fell, with which it is far more logically associated. Both would be good, simple walks not defaced by the dross in the middle.

[ << Whiteside     Yewbarrow >> ]

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2 Responses to “Woodland Fell”

  1. […] to the south-west of Coniston Water, which appear in the book as Beacon Fell, Blawith Knott and Woodland Fell. Combined, my perambulations over this territory makes up walk 78 which is described in all its […]

  2. […] walk 135, which bagged three of the Outlying Fells a second time: Yew Bank and Wool Knott from the Woodland Fell chapter, and Beacon Fell. Mostly a good walk, on a very fine day: but there is a crappy passage in […]

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