Gavel Fell

Published 5 April 2020

Gavel Fell, seen from Blake Fell
Gavel Fell, seen from Blake Fell

Tucked in the far western corner of the Lake District, Loweswater is a delightful spot with some lovely fells to wander over. On a Sunday in September, I tackled four of them. Burnbank Fell and Blake Fell form a trio of fells with my next destination, Gavel Fell.

From somewhere in the distance, the sound of motorbikes made its way up into Lakeland. Every now and then it was joined by the sound of someone shouting into a tannoy. You could argue it didn’t make for the most tranquil of proceedings. But that’s the way it is sometimes.

I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Somewhere from beyond the western borders of the Lake District was the best I could come up with. I kind of assumed it would remain with me for a while. But the further I got away from Blake fell, the more it fell away. It could be that the wind that was carrying the sound had changed direction. Or that the drivers had stopped revving their engines. Whatever. I didn’t mind. The soft hum of motor engines slowly faded away, replaced by the sound of little more than the quiet chatter of distant walkers, and the odd gust of wind. All was quiet and calm and peaceful once more.

But before we go too far on this journey, can I just point something out. It doesn’t matter what you see on the TV. British judges do not use gavels. I don’t care if you’ve seen one on the desk that Judge Rinder sits at. He’s not even a real judge. No. British judges don’t use them. They don’t. They really don’t.

Why say that? Because my next stop was Gavel Hill and I don’t want you to think I’ll be filling up this piece with constant references to courtroom proceedings. There will be no further mentions of that here.

A fence and a pool of water on Gavel Fell
The fence of Gavel Fell

Instead let me talk to you about the fence. It was a key navigational element. All I needed to do was follow the fence from Blake to Gavel and job done.

Conditions were still boggy; the ground filled with peaty puddles and purple heather. But at least I didn’t have to worry about where I was going. All I had to do was follow the fence.

This meant I could look around without worrying I’d take a wrong turn and get lost. And what I noticed was that there were a lot of interesting looking hills to the west of the Lake District. Ones that looked like they would be a delight to walk up. I wondered how many Wainwright had included in his guide to the Outlying Fells.

Gavel Fell summit cairn
The cairn of Gavel Fell is an impressive structure.

I reached the simple, featureless summit of Gavel Fell, and sat down to study them further. I felt like I was doing the whole area a great disservice. By only focusing on the Wainwrights, and only doing the ridge walks between each one, was I missing out? Were there great adventures out to the west of Lakeland waiting for me?

It was clear the Outlying Fells would be a task to tackle. One day in the future anyway. For now I’d have to be content with going down to Mosedale. I’d reached the end of the ridge. Gavel Fell was the end of the line. And descent was now in order.




Next time: Hen Comb

The awesome view from Gavel Fell

Your Comments

Vic Flange

5 April 2020 at 10:09 am

Ok, so no judges but what about auctioneers?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

6 April 2020 at 8:10 am

Hmm. I didn’t think of them!

Your Comments