The Tarns of Potter Fell.

Start. Staveley.

Route. Staveley - Sandyhill - Backmickle Ing - Hagg Foot - Hundhowe - Ghyll Pool - Potter Tarn - Gurnal Dubs - Black Beck - Brunt Knott Farm - Barley Bridge - Staveley.

Notes. Potter Fell a vast tract of upland rising between Kentmere and Longsleddale, a landscape criss-crossed with ancient tracks and faint paths, tumbling streams linking idyllic tarns. The fell consists of four major summits, Ulgraves and Brunt Knott plus two unnamed tops, none of which will concern us today. If you care to chance wet feet take a wander off the beaten track with me, enjoy the views, the peace and quiet, bring a picnic or a fishing pole as most visitors to the Lake District pass this heather and gorse covered tract of upland without giving it a second glance.

Staveley marked my starting point on this wander into the lesser heights of South Lakeland. South with tarmac under foot, the main road guided me out of the village, just before the railway crossing a finger-post invited me to walk the Dales Way, I obliged. Through sheep pastures, along river bank paths I rambled, stiles and farm gates aided my crossing of field boundaries. On reaching Backmickle Ing a rather dilapidated bridge spanned the River Kent, I crossed before ascending to a tarmac lane. The lane ushered me south to another finger-post, Mirefoot, I followed the track up hill passed the farm buildings of Hundhowe to join a narrow path ascending between hedgerows, this steep climb deposited me in sheep pastures below Ghyll Pool. I turned my back on Ghyll Pool, wandered through fields to reach Potter Tarn. It's possible to descend from here, a good path heads back to Staveley, I opted to continue. A ladder stile at the north-east corner of the tarn allows access via a short climb to Gurnal Dubs, this is the place to sit and relax, enjoy that picnic and cast a line.

From Gurnal Dubs I turned north, with a land rover track under foot I wandered on, after passing through a gate the track swung left, up hill, I left it at this point to join a dry stone wall, the wall was to be my companion, guiding me through the odd patch of wet ground, through heather and bracken all the way to Black Beck and a green trod linking Longsleddale to Kentmere. Easy walking from here on, with the lovely green path under foot I wandered west, under the slopes of Brunt Knott, passed Wainwright's famous wall through a pond, before descending to Brunt Knott Farm to join the narrow tarmac lane that was to guide me back to Staveley.

view route map.


Reston Scar seen from the Dales Way south of Staveley.

The crystal clear waters of the River Kent.

A tastefully restored barn at Backmickle Ing.

It's seen better days but is a perfectly safe place to cross the River Kent.

Ascending to Ghyll Pool with views to the blue/grey hills above Coniston for company.

Ghyll Pool with Potter Fell rising behind.

The view from Ghyll Pool, Kendal Fell with Farleton Fell grey on the far horizon.

Next on the agenda, Potter Tarn.

Dramatic views over Potter Tarn, Reston Scar backed by Coniston Old Man and it's neighbors.

Wonderful views over the Kent and Lyth Valleys, a distant Arnside Knott guarding upper Morecambe Bay with Cunswick Fell to the left and the bulk of Whitbarrow the right.

A place to linger, Gurnal Dubs

Gurnal Dubs viewed from the east.

Spectacular views from the land rover track above Gurnal Dubs.

Capplebarrow above Longsleddale.

My guide across the many humps and hollows of Potter Fell.

In shadow Dockernook and the hills of the Sleddale Forest.

Wainwright's famous wall through a pool, or patch of boggy ground today.

Above Brunt Knott Farm with magical views to the hills of Lakeland.

Soaking up the views to the south, a patch work quilt of shades of green.

A narrow grey ribbon to guide me home.

Hugill Fell seen over the Kent valley.

Looking back, one of the many summits of Potter Fell.

back to top

back to list