Broad End - Lake District Walk

Wednesday 13th November 2019

This was our third attempt at doing this walk this year, having abandoned it due to parking problems in September and then because John's knee was playing up. It was nearly abandoned for a third time when I found I couldn't cross Dead Beck at what should have been the start of the ascent of Cockup.

Start: Peter House Farm (NY 2491 3232)

Route: Peter House Farm - Cumbria Way - Hare Crag (417) - Broad End (418) - Bakestall (419) - Cumbria Way - Peter House Farm

Distance: 8 miles     Ascent: 713 metres      Time Taken: 5 hrs 50 mins

Terrain: Predominantly clear tracks

Weather: Cold but dry

Pub Visited: Royal Oak, Braithwaite    Ale Drunk: Jennings Cumberland

Route Map >>


Sale Fell

Before we started the walk we had a nice view of Sale Fell and Bassenthwaite across the fields opposite our parking spot.


We head out along the Cumbria Way and looking back soon get a clear view of Binsey.

Brockle Crags

Looking across to Brockle Crags and Great Cockup from the track.

Little Calva

Heading along the Cumbria Way with views of several of the fells that make up the Back o'Skiddaw.

Dash Falls

Dash Falls shouldn't have been visited until the end of the walk but as crossing Dead Beck had proved trickier than expected we opted to continue walking along the Cumbria Way for a bit.


Having continued along the Cumbria Way we get a second look at Binsey as we pause close to the top of Dash Falls.

Dash Falls

At the top of Dash Falls the options are to start the climb up to Bakestall
or continue along the Cumbria Way.

Little Man

Having opted to continue along the Cumbria Way we decide to head across the moor to the summit of Hare Crag. As we cross the beck we get a view across to Sale How and Little Man.

Hare Crag

The sumit of Hare Crag is soon reached despite there being no distinct path.

Blake Hill

The cloud is drifting in and out but the top of Broad Crag doesn't look that far away and the snow doesn't seem too bad so we decide to continue on to the next summit. A decision that is made easier by the clear path we can see going up Blake Hill.

Hare Crag

Looking back to Hare Crag as we make good time up Blake Hill.

Bowscale Fell

As we climbed we were presented with a constantly changing scene as the clouds moved around the fells below us. Here the clouds can be seen hugging the lower slopes of Great Calva whilst in the distance Bowscale Fell is above them.

Solway Firth

As we climb the Solway Firth, beyond the summit of Bakestall, comes into view.

Broad End

Shortly after the previous photo was taken we hit the snow and although for most of the route it was soft snow and easy to walk in, literally a few yards from the top, where it was sheltered, it became much icier and trickier to walk in. Thankfully once we crossed the fence the more exposed top of Broad End has plenty of areas clear of snow making it easier to avoid. Having visited several of the piles of stones found on the top the GPS suggested this was the actual Birkett summit, which makes it 400 up for John.


We quickly head back towards the fence, which we will be following all the way back to the Cumbria Way. Below us the clouds are still moving around and changing the scenery, here the summit of Blencathra is clear of clouds.


The summit of Skiddaw might look close enough to justify a quick up and down but the snow and lack of spikes means we don't even consider it as a possibility.


Instead we head downhill, following the fence and avoiding the snow as much as possible. The summit of Bakestall soon appears through the cloud, which we briefly find ourselves walking in.


The summit cairn of Bakestall is somewhat difficult to miss.


We make the short trip to Bakestall's northern cairn and enjoy the view across Great Cockup to the Solway Firth.


In the opposite direction we can look across Birkett Edge and Hare Crag to a now cloud-topped Blencathra.

Birkett Edge

Rather than risk not being able to cross Dead Beck we pass on visiting Cockup and instead return to the fence which we follow down Birkett Edge. Ahead of us the summit of Little Calva is in cloud whist Great Calva's summit is currently clear of cloud.

Back o'Skiddaw

As we descend, when we aren't watching where our feet are going, we can enjoy the views across White Hause to the tops that make up the Back o'Skiddaw. There is always something quite satisfying about being able to look at a scene like this and know you have stood on every summit you are looking at.

Hare Crag

As we look across Hare Crag we can make out a distant Skiddaw House and the summit of Sale How, which we stilll have to do. Missing out Cockup today means we still have 4 tops on the Skiddaw Massif to do and given they are all on different sides of the summit we must make sure at least one of them is done on a fine day so we get to visit and enjoy the view from the summit of High Man on Skiddaw.

Dead Crags

Having not found a suitable shelterd spot for lunch when we reach the Cumbria Way we enjoy a late lunch next to the Cumbria Way before heading back down the track to the car.


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