BB1445 : The Undeterred

Thursday 18th December 2014

Pre-Christmas duties and foul weather were the excuses given by many.  However a few braved the elements.  Terry reports:

Trying to think of an apt title for this week's BB outing, film titles were contenders, such as The Undefeated, The Untouchables, The Untamed; however given the forecast of "Heavy Rain and Strong Winds" it seemed The Undeterred fitted best.

Leaving Staveley Mill yard at 10:15, we turned left onto the A591 and almost immediately passed a landmark I’d never noticed before (usually passing in a car). St Margaret’s Tower was built in 1388 and is the only remains of the chapel built in honour of St Margaret. It has a plaque to commemorate the Staveley men of the F Company, Second V B Border Regiment who served in South Africa Campaign of 1900 -01 under Major John Thompson (any relative?).

Leaving the village we turned left onto the bridleway that, to some of us, was surprisingly labeled Dales Way. Bryan, our leader for the day, confirmed that this was the part of the Dales Way that connected Windermere with Ilkley.

The path skirted the River Kent which, following the recent inclement weather, was indisputably in full flow. Rising above the river we passed the curiously named Hundhowe House and looking south we could see the Cowan Head development in the distance. This prompted a discussion on the merits of this development and the compromise of affordable and on the edge of the lakes, or "in" the lakes with a corresponding price tag!! Onwards and upwards to Potter Tarn where we had an interesting crossing of the tarn weir outflow.  (Bryan's photo)

On the Dales Way by the side of the Kent 

Terry makes the dangerous crossing of the Dam!

Not long after Potter Tarn we reached the attractively(?) named Gurnal Dubs. It was created from damming three smaller natural ponds (dubs). There is a stone and slate boathouse on the tarn and based on Bryan's warning that this would be the last sheltered spot, we stopped for lunch. Unusually this was at 11:45, i.e.15 minutes before TPLT (Tony’s Preferred Lunch Time)

Comitibus :   Gurnal Dubs

Setting off into the gloom

So far the weather had not been either as rainy or as windy as forecast; however all that was to change. It was good half an hour's yomp uphill to reach the summit of Potter Fell (271m) which is rather unimpressively marked with two small stones (see photo in right hand column).

Clag closes in on the way to Potter Fell

Potter Fell summit

The next stage, uphill into the mist and rain, could also be described as a yomp but, with the very boggy conditions underfoot, it was more like a swomp!  By the time we reached the summit of Brunt Knott (427m) the views were reduced to a minimum and the wind was turned up to maximum. Barely able to stand up, Bryan dryly observed that it probably wasn’t a good day to be walking the ridges.

Weather worsens

 And even more!

  Worsens some more

Summit of Brunt Knott

A steep decent through the mist took us past Brunt Knott Farm and as we reached the lane back to Staveley, the rain and wind subsided making it feel quite temperate. A final view over the sheep grazed hillsides and then we were back to the River Kent and its spectacular weir.

Arriving back at the Mill yard at 2:30, it was a perfect time for some Hawkshead Brewery refreshments (Yorkshire Pud & Roast Beef for one hearty appetite!) and a unanimous verdict that it had been well worth braving the weather.

A big thanks to Bryan and his navigational skills that were firmly tested on this outing.

Terry, Thursday 18th December 2014




Thursday 18th December

Distance in miles


Height climbed in feet



Potter Fell, Brunt Knott


Bryan, John Hn, Mike, Terry


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1445 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.

Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly from me!
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