Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
Last weekend I unexpectedly ticked off another Wainwright fell, bringing my grand total up to 101! My plan had been to visit the Christmas Market in Keswick and have a weekend off hiking, but waking up early on Sunday (out of routine now) and seeing the fantastic forecast for the day, I just couldn't resist!
Looking at my map of Wainwright's there was one fell that had stood out to me for a while, and that fell was Binsey. It's the most northern Wainwright and sits out on it's own just north of Bassenthwaite near the small village of Bewaldeth. As this fell can't be done as part of a larger route it was one that would be an ideal morning walk leaving the rest of the day for other activities. So on Sunday we set out before the Christmas markets and headed up to the very unfamiliar north western corner of Cumbria. We parked in a small layby just off the road that runs between Uldale and the A591. There was enough room for about 4 or 5 cars, and with 2 cars already parked on our arrival we were lucky to get a space! The footpath starts on the other side of the wall through a small gate and heads straight up the open, grassy slopes of Binsey. Although the actual route up the fell wasn't hugely interesting to look at, the views behind us were fantastic looking down into the Lake District from the northern boundary. We also had great views of Bassenthwaite Lake and across the other way to the Solway Firth. It was amazing looking in one direction and seeing huge peaks and mountains with tarns and lakes in between, and the other direction to flat, open ground with the sea lying beyond.
The summit was quickly reached (it took us roughly half an hour to reach the top) and once we were up there we could enjoy the views even more. There were two markers on the summit - the usual summit cairn marking the highest point of the fell, and an ordnance survey trigpoint as well. There was also a shelter although at a glance it just looked like a huge jumble of stones! We took our obligatory summit photos, admired the views for a final time, then began our descent.
Our walk up Binsey was a very quick and easy one (in comparison to some of our other hikes) but it was still enjoyable. As with our previous walk up Wansfell, it made a nice change to do just one small fell and not be out hiking for the full day. We were down at the car again just after 10am meaning we still had most of the day to wander around the Keswick Christmas Market, stopping off at a viewpoint by Bassenthwaite Lake on the way.
Our walking route is below if you'd like to try and conquer this fell yourself...