BB0633 Potter Fell vanquished

Thursday 28th December 2006

How can such an insignificant little peak, only 1,279 feet, cause so many problems? 

You may recall John and I (see BB0510) had failed utterly partly due to our inability to identify the summit and partly due to the determination of the landowner to stop people roaming up there.

Today's expedition almost fared similarly but thanks to Bryan's determination and Stan's recollection this upstart of a hill was eventually cut down to size.

It was only supposed to be a gentle little stroll; only 1.8 miles were needed in order to get Tony over his 200 BOOTboys miles for the year and to qualify for the "2006 Best Newcomer" award.  Indeed Tony was looking forward to starting late after tea and crumpets at Wilfs and finishing there for a similar lunch.

However Wilfs was shut on arrival so the four BOOTboy and one BOOTgirl (Emma, my daughter) set off from Staveley Mill Yard towards Barley Bridge, across the river and across the fields to Littlewood Farm and Birkfield.  From there we continued until we came across the "No Entry - No Right of Way" sign discouraging people from taking the Waiwright route.  A long debate ensued as to whether this was a lie or that the land had for some unknown but not obvious reason had been exempted from "Right to Roam".  Consulting the map determined the latter so we carried on towards Potter Tarn but before reaching it detoured up the hill to try and find a way through the walls onto the fell.


An early consultation

This failed so we rejoined the path to Gurnal Dubbs before making another attempt with similar result. 

Bryan was on the point of taking the group along to Gurnal Dubbs and back for an early crumpet when, stung by moans about yet another failure to conquer Potter Fell, he redirected us up the hill.  Stan was digging deep into his memory to recall just where the stiles were that he had used in his running days. 

Eventually we reached and legally crossed a wall but as the mist was down and we were not sure how many walls we had already crossed (legally) we were not entirely sure where we were.  Tony, however, was sure that it was past his lunch time and despite this being a no-stop walk he tackled the butties he had brought with him due to his lack of confidence that we would be back at Wilfs in good time.

Once we had worked out where we thought we were we made our way along and discovered a waterfall that was marked on Bryan's OS map but not on my Harveys.  That confirmed our location so what we should have done at that point was take a bearing and follow the compass (it now being quite misty) and count steps.  However we didn't.  We set off in what we thought was the right direction and probably looped round to the right without realising it and probably did not go as far as we thought we had.  Anyway we couldn't find the wall that ran just behind the summit.  Bryan, fresh from the Brewery pantomime, enjoyed it so much that he was having a pantomime discussion with himself.  It's this way.  Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is!  We changed direction like a yacht tacking upwind. repeatedly confused by mounds of heather masqurading as a wall. However it was eventually discovered and, with it, the summit which we proved by finding the kink in the wall exactly where it should have been. 



Potter Fell Summit.  At last!


Rainbow sheep

Coming back was more straightforward- we followed the wall to the northmost corner and then down until we picked up the path to Brunt Knott Farm where we helped the farmer herd his rainbow coloured sheep (there must be happy tups in the valley) before heading down to Staveley.

All this had taken much longer than envisaged at the outset and Tony was fairly frothing at the mouth at the prospect of Wilf's crumpets.  But it was still shut.  Fortunately however the Hawkshead micro brewery was open, not only for beer but also for excellent butties from Pain de Paris which rounded off the BOOTboyss year most suitably.

Don, 28th December 2006

Afternote:  Bryan has reminded me of another article about the problems of scaling Potter Fell on the Natland web site.  See Potter Fell: the Challenge within the Wainwright Challenge.


7.0 miles

Height climbed:
1,529 feet


Potter Fell





   E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

Email Riddler- Encrypt the email address on your webpage to stop spammers.

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  


BOOT boys

Home Page

BB06 Listings


Slipper Strolls:



  • BB0633  Potter Fell vanquished
  • BB0632  Raise and, eventually, Sheffield Pike
  • BB0631  Coppermines
  • BB0630  Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
  • BB0629  Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
  • BB0628  Knocking off Wainwrights.  Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
  • BB0627  Blencathra and the Mungrisdale Round
  • BB0626  The Deepdale Round
  • BB0625  Les Garçons de la Botte
  • BB0624  The Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
  • BB0623  Selside Pike revisited
  • BB0622  Round the Dunny!
  • BB0621  The Malham Experience
  • BB0620  Newlands Horseshoe
  • BB0619  Old Man Succumbs!
  • BB0618  Kentmere Horseshoe
  • BB0617 QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
  • BB0616 Thornthwaite Beacon
  • BB0615  Fairfield Horseshoe
  • BB0614  High Street Racecourse
  • BB0613 The Coledale Round
  • BB0612  Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue      
  • BB0611  Carlin Gill
  • BB0610  Whitbarrow, Yewbarrow and a history lesson
  • BB0609  Clough Head and Great Dodd
  • BB0608  The Corpse Road and beyond
  • BB0607  Grim Fell!
  • BB0606  A Bit on the Side.....
  • BB0605  Angle Tarn with Surprises! 
  • BB0604  Hart Cragg via Dovedale
  • BB0603  Islands in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
    (or High Street via Gardiner's Grind)
  • BB0602  Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric  Eyes
  • BB0601  Ingleborough
  • Archive
  • Home Page