BB1105 : A Little Bit Of Wind !

Thursday 10th March 2011

We knew it was going to be a windy day in the lakes but we just didnít realise how wild it would be at low(ish) level around Kendal.

The idea was for an indirect but scenic walk from Rogerís in Kendal to our house in Natland, thereby having a by-product of reducing transport complications.  Once Pete arrived from Cheshire, Jamie delivered the two of us to Rogerís, picking Tony up on the way.

Kendal from  Birds Park

Apart from having to crouch to negotiate a low tunnel under the railway, the outing started easily enough as we climbed up past the old Birds Park reservoirs- one long drained and the other disused and half-full.

Once we reached Paddy Lane, things started to look more ominous.

Even more so when Jamie phoned to say that it was hailing heavily at home and did we want picking up now?

No, we didnít, thank you.

Under the railway

We were on a mission and my experience is that such weather generally seems worse when you inside looking out than it does when you are actually out in it.  Provided you are properly equipped, of course.

Birds Park reservoir

Downstream from  the dam

The problem we had was that we didnít really know the best way from Paddy Lane to the Benson Knott summit.  There is only one official footpath and that was some way off to the north on the Appleby Road.  However, the Kendal Fell Races use a direct route and I have previously met people on the hill who told me of using the direct route so it must exist.  Well, we created a route.  Not, I suspect, that used by fellrunners, insufficiently direct, but it got us upwards, despite strong winds and hailstones.

The last stretch, which was on the official path, was exceedingly hard work, into a viscous headwind.

The twin tops of Benson Knott

Tony surveys Kendal from Benson Knott

Benson Knott summit (one of them)

We knocked off both the tops (too wild to pose for a full team photo) then headed south to find what I had been told was a farmer-tolerated route.   

Whether the way we went was correct, I cannot say, but we met with no obstacles, human or physical, before emerging on the road near Fisher Tarn.

A lengthy spell along Paddy Lane followed. Roger explained that its name derives from its use by Irish labourers driving sheep along it to avoid Kendal town centre.

Helm  from Benson Knott- click on picture for panorama

At the Sedbergh Road junction, we turned left for a brief period before joining an at times difficult to follow path through Windy Hill Farm and Hayfellside before joining Hayclose Lane.  There is a remarkable amount of property hidden away up here about which we knew very little.

Almost immediately, we left the lane, passed more semi-hidden property at Hayclose and crossed some fields to find a lunch stop protected from the wind by a stone wall near Flats Hill.

Comitibus: Flats Hill

Refreshed, we continued to Low Garths Farm where Tony discovered a sheep in distress due to being caught in a bush.  He raised the farmer and helped rescue it.  Unfortunately I had moved on to the Beehive bridge where I was waiting for him to catch up and so have no photos to record this act of fine citizenship. Just one of the farmer's beat-up old Land Rover!

Beat-up old Land Rover

Pipeline inspection house

Continuing to Underhelm Farm, past the Manchester water pipeline inspection house, we climbed up through the wood and Back of Helm lane before turning on to the side of Helm recently opened up to the public thanks to its acquisition by Friends of the Lake District.

Natland and Kendal from  Helm

Approaching Helm summit

Helm  from  Natland

Helm summit trig point

On reaching the ridge, the wind was extremely strong and in our faces as we toiled to the summit.

It was seriously hard work. I can only remember once being out in a stronger wind and that was on BB0607 when we failed to reach the top of Coniston Old Man- a hill over three times the height of Helm.

Thereafter, fortunately, it was an uneventful stroll down into Natland and home.

Don, 10th March 2011





Thursday 10th March 2011

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Benson Knott, Helm


Don, Pete, Tony, Roger



BOOTboys routes ares now being put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1105.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.



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2011 Outings

BB1101 :
Wasnfell Revisited
Tuseday 11th January

BB1102 :
Recuperation Scar!
Thursday 17th February

BB1103 :
A Promenade of Pensioners
Thursday 24th February

BB1104 :
The B Team
Thursday 3rd March

BB1105 :
A Little Bit Of Wind
Thursday 10th March

BB1106 :
A Linthwaite Round
Thursday 17th March

BB1107 :
Home From The Pulpit
Thursday 24th March

Click on the photos
for an enlargement
or related large picture.


To see which Wainwright
top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys
click on BB Log.