After work wander up Bessyboot

My theory is when you have good weather you need to take advantage. We only had Bessyboot to do in the Borrowdale valley and is classified as a Southern Fell in the Wainwright books. It nestles in between the other surrounding fells already climbed. We had mentioned our plan to Gary, who said “mid week wander? I’m in”. Through the power of social media twitter, we had a newbie Derrick who came along to join us.

Traffic was horrendous with the holiday makers. But at least there was parking in the tiny village of Stonethwaite. Meeting people who you’ve only seen in a tiny profile picture on twitter is like a semi blind date. Introductions made and we were off. So far so far good he wasn’t a weirdo!! Some people frown upon meeting people from social media platforms, in reality I have met some really lovely people. You are drawn to people with similar interests. In my case walking and wainwright baggers.

The route we were following took the path starting by the campsite. As we were walking and chatting, this in the past has meant we have missed the path completely. So we stopped and saw a break in the wood with a stile. All collectively thought yep this is the path. Only to have a passing farmer say you need the next path! We all inwardly cringed and said our thanks and carried on to the next path. With some walks finding the start is the most difficult bit.

Once on the path it was a very steep clear path up. My legs feeling it after the previous Sundays walk. It was a lovely evening though could feel an autumnal nip in the air and the wind was getting up.






The path came out of the woods and had views down the Borrowdale valley and towards Glaramara and surrounding hills. Soon the summit was in sight. Bessyboot my 191st Wainwright. Finally caught up Stuart in the Wainwright stakes. The wind was very blustery as you will see in the pictures.





As there were lots of summit crags we wanted to double check we were actually on the right summit. Map out and viewranger and yes we were.


Instead of descending the same way, we decided to go past the tarn and descend down the next valley.


The path was challenging on the way down as with the overgrown grass was difficult to find the path. So we just followed our noses until we got down to the river. Crossed the river and was a well marked path back to the village. The light was fading so perfect opportunity to try out my newly purchased head torch.



On the way back, we passed St Andrew’s Church. It is a simple white rough-cast Church with a single bell, and a roof of local slate.

The Church contains the pulpit brought from Mardale Church in 1937, when the Haweswater Reservoir was built. The small three panel East window shows St Matthew, St Luke, and St Paul, Christ the Good Shepherd, and St Peter, St Mark and St John.

The Churchyard contains the gravestones of some colourful local characters, including Sarah Youdale, who lived until she was 100 years old, and apparently never left the valley. Another belongs to Bob Graham, the famous marathon fell runner. His tombstone records his greatest run – 42 peaks, 32000 feet, 130 miles in 23 hours and 39 minutes! Doing the Bob Graham round is on my to do list! Most recently, sadly was Mark Weir from Honister.

A short walk from the church to our cars and to Keswick for Fish and Chips at the iconic Old Keswickian.



Life’s simple pleasures, eating fish and chips on a bench in Keswick town centre, washed down with pop and flapjack for pudding. Thanks Derrick for bringing the treats and lovely to meet you and see you again.


  1. Gina,I am thoroughly enjoyong your blogs and keeping pace with your progress. Whenever you post a new blog,I also bring-up a page with Google Maps, so as to check your whereabouts. Is there a ‘site you can recommend that has your location(s) and tracks? Most appreciated if you can be of help. Safe hiking.

    1. Gina says:

      Aww thank you for your kind comments. I use social hiking to publish my routes. I keep forgetting to put the map link on my blog 🙂

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