A super walk on to Brown Knott and Holme Knott, a pair of modest hills with huge views over Lunesdale, the Rawthey Valley and the Howgill Fells.
|Parking:||Roadside, Middleton Bridge|
|Route:||Download Route [GPX]|
In order to update the imagery on the Yorkshire Dales Trig Points section of this website I’m gradually revisiting a number of trig points that I’ve not been to for a long time. High on my list of priorities has been the trig point on Holme Knott, a modest fell at the northern end of the long ridge of Middleton Fell which has its highest point on Calf Top. My only previous visit to Holme Knott was way back in April 2005 and on that occasion the views weren’t great because of the weather. Therefore I not only wanted to get newer pictures but also hopefully a better appreciation of the view.
That said I only finalised this particular route late on the night before the walk. I’d originally tried to plan a route from Sedbergh but was unsure of some of the river crossings over the Rawthey. However, on my way back from walk around Dentdale the previous weekend, I’d spotted a space to park a car on the east side of Middleton Bridge. This looked like it solved some of the issues I was having and meant I didn’t have to cross the River Rawthey at all.
“Without a wall getting in the way the view from the trig point was superior to Brown Knott or the highest point of Holme Knott. The view looked over the meeting of three valleys, Dentdale, Lunedale and the Rawthey valley.”
There is indeed space to park 2-3 cars in a layby immediately to the east of the bridge. Thankfully when I arrived none of these spaces were taken! From the layby a gate gave access to a short-lived bridleway. This led up through some woods, over a viaduct across an old abandoned railway line, through an area of hawthorns, and on to Jordan Lane.
Turning right I followed the narrow road. This section of Jordan Lane is marked on the map as following the course of a Roman road. Being almost dead straight one can believe it. Just before Jordan Lane emerged back on to the A683 a track led up to the access road winding up to the farm at Fellside. Past the farm buildings the track continued on across open fellside. The track crossed a number of small streams while up to the left I caught some glimpses of the upper reaches of Holme Knott.
Ignoring a few tracks branching off I followed the main route until it reached the 360m contour. Here I broke off from the path to make a beeline north-east for the top of Brown Knott. Brown Knott doesn’t have enough prominence to be classed as a separate summit in its own right. My main reason for walking up to it was to get a perspective looking down at Holme Knott from the east in order to take some photos. Looking over the wall on the top of Brown Knott there was already an excellent view of Sedbergh backed by the Howgill Fells. This view was to only get better over the next stage of the walk.From Brown Knott I followed the wall steeply downhill. Then, crossing over a track, I continued up the other side. Still with the wall on my right a thin path led me around the first 360m contour on Holme Knott before reaching the highest point on the second, more westerly 360m contour. The summit is a tiny 370m contour and was unmarked but again the view was excellent.
The trig point itself is situated on a knoll about one third of a mile to the west of the highest point and is 20m lower. A thin grassy path led easily to it. Just before reaching the trig point I spotted a lovely little tarn immediately below. Without a wall getting in the way the view from the trig point was superior to Brown Knott or the highest point of Holme Knott. The view looked over the meeting of three valleys, Dentdale, Lunedale and the Rawthey valley. The view of Sedbergh and the Howgill Fells was exquisite. Meanwhile, away to the west I could clearly make out the snow-topped fells of the Lake District including Scafell Pike and Great Gable.
From the trig point I descended to the tarn where I sat in one of the shooting butts to eat my lunch. From there I descended in a generally north direction to the other small tarn on Brigflatts Moss. This was very reedy and not very extensive. There was however an obvious outflow and for the next stage I followed this downhill. Eventually this led me down to a track next to the outline of a rectangular structure – I’m assuming an old sheepfold.
From here I traced the route of a bridleway north-eastwards. This led me down to a triangle of grass between a fork in the road. Crossing over this I passed through a gate and down the minor road leading to Abbot Holme Bridge. Before crossing the bridge I took a footpath signed to the left. After a scrappy start this then emerged to follow the edge a golf course. At the far end the path climbed up alongside an old railway bridge. The bridge was closed off which was worth knowing as this is one of the crossing points I thought might have been possible when planning the route from Sedbergh.
Turning left I briefly followed the line of the railway before the path dropped down to the right and into a field. Crossing several pastures I arrived at Holme Open Farm. I’ve often seen the brown tourist signs for this place when driving to Sedbergh. My impressions weren’t favourable, it all looked a bit messy and more to the point there were lots of chained up dogs barking at me from their cages.
Escaping the noise of the dogs I was soon back on to Jordan Lane. Turning right I walked back up the road to finally retrace my earlier steps along the bridleway and back down to Middleton Bridge. The only downer on this section of the walk was a dead badger. Laid by the side of the road there was no obvious sign of damage and it must have died very recently.
All in all this was an excellent outing, more enjoyable than expected. Having good visibility certainly helped and the lovely little tarn below the trig point was an added bonus.