The Knott

Published 15 October 2017

Large cairn at the summit of the Knott

It's Top of the Knotts!

Leaving Patterdale, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk passes by several of the Far Eastern Fells. For my second day walking in the Patterdale area, I followed it, visiting seven different fells along its route. After Angletarn Pikes, Rest Dodd and The Nab, I got myself onto a Knott.

For a few tantalising moments it looked like the cloud would be clearing for good. Be gone. The end. Clear skies for the rest of the day. But by the time I had escaped The Nab’s clutches, and had hiked back to the top of Rest Dodd, it was back. Rest Dodd was once more covered in heavy cloud. The chances of seeing anything from its top were dashed. Still, at least I’d be able to get to my next destination, even if visibility was poor. All I had to do was find a wall, then walk along it for a mile, and that would be job done.

Yes, follow a wall. A nice dry-stone wall. And follow it, first down the side of a hill, then up the side of another one. There wasn’t a path to particularly follow, so I just sploshed through the wet grass, getting my walking boots nice and wet.

Drystone wall going up the Knott

The kind of wall that keeps no one out

It had stopped raining though, and there was a definite feeling that it would be dry for some time. More than likely I’d soon be able to take my waterproofs off without worrying that I’d need to rush them back on again.

But there was still no view. I could see ahead of me that the Knott was covered in cloud. And when I say that, I mean I couldn’t actually see much of The Knott. Just the cloud that was covering it. And that made me wonder whether I should be doing the other three fells I had planned for the day. All were higher than the Knott’s 739m height. Yes, they were all on good, well made paths, but there were no walls to follow. People can easily get lost in such conditions.

As it turned out, I was worrying about nothing. For at the very point I reached the top of The Knott, the cloud had completely gone and the sun was shining bright. It was a remarkable transformation, and one that took place in mere minutes. One minute I could barely see a few metres in front of me. The next the views were of miles around. It was spectacular timing. Had I been ten minutes earlier I would have completely missed it. But now I could stand next to the giant cairn that marked The Knott’s summit, and rejoice. For there was a view. And a grand one at that.

The Coast to Coast Walk passes right next to the Knott. The summit is a matter of a minutes walk off the main trail, and requires next to no exertion to get to. But few of its walkers ever pay the top of the Knott a visit. I certainly didn’t when I did the trail. Although to be fair, the weather had been pretty grim that day. It’s a shame though, for that little diversion provides a mighty reward.

The Nab, Rest Dodd and other fells viewed from the top of The Knott

So that's what the Nab looks like

In short, The Knott is a cracking viewpoint. I could see the two fells I’d just been at: the Nab and Rest Dodd. I could get a feel for what they looked like. See that the Nab was like a long, slightly curled tongue coming out of the side of Rest Dodd. On the other side was the tarn of Hayeswater, that had once been dammed to provide water to the town of Penrith.

I stayed on top of the Knott for as long as I could, taking every last breath of it all in. For whilst fellwalking in the cloud is fine, it’s oh so much better when you can get to the top of a hill and see things.

But it was more than that. I’d been walking for a day and a half in Patterdale and seen very little. I had next to no feeling of how the Far Eastern Fels sat. How they worked together as a contingent group. Now I could. And with the weather finally on my side, I couldn’t want to see more of it.

Next time, several minutes hard treking are required to get to Rampsgill Head. You can see all of my photographs from my three days in Patterdale over on flickr.

The summit of the Knott, and a drystone wall

The summit of the Knott, and the drystone wall that goes near it.

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