BB1901 : Shaking Off The Rust

Thursday 4th January 2019

Of the all hills surrounding Kendal, the least visited by far (and by people) is Benson Knott (otherwise known as Hay Fell).  This is partly because it is less obviously accessible but mainly, I suspect, because there is only one legitimate way up and down so it is awkward to fit into a circular or linear walk.

Fell runners might disagree.  The Kendal Fell Race goes a different, more direct route but finding it without gates being specifically opened for the event is tricky.

Our objective today (apart from shaking off Christmas rust) was to defy convention and pursue, if possible, a way through.  To be fair, we have done this before- the farmer at the south end is believed to be not unsympathetic but I haven’t had that conversation with him.  I had heard that there was a different way – crossing over the fell to Fisher Tarn.

We congregated with Happy New Year greetings and coffee chez James then left Kendal via what I call the old Sedbergh Road.  Actually it is still called Sedbergh Road but is no longer the main way to Sedbergh.  Confused?  Don’t worry, it is not that important though it must be to its residents as it contains many of Kendal’s most stylish houses from the Arts & Crafts period.

At the edge of the town we turned up a track to Birds Park Farm and then round to the old town reservoir before emerging on to Paddy Lane, named after the Irish drovers that used to use it.  

At the Toll Bar cottage we took the trail that leads vaguely across fields and up on to the Hay Fell area.  

Benson Knott is actually a pair of summits of almost exactly the same height divided by a small ravine.  

The marginally lower one provides the better viewpoint over the Kendal area. Sadly, visibility wasn’t great.  It was time for an early lunch which of course delighted Tony.

Our objective now was to find a way over to Fisher Tarn.  The route wasn’t that difficult to navigate but conditions underfoot were pretty…. No, they definitely were not pretty.  I have never seen so much muck having been spread over such a large area.

When I first came to Kendal, Fisher Tarn was still the main supply of tap water, unflourinated* and tasting good, but now it is a haven for fishermen.

The path round is mainly in light woodland away from the water though there are opportunities to get closer and see the dam and the bird life.

The return to James’ was down to the erstwhile Greyhound Inn, along a different stretch of Paddy Lane then descending across fields to once again enjoy his kind hospitality.  

I can't say we are entirely rust free yet, but it was good to legs moving and air into the lungs once again.

Don, Friday 5th January 2019



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* I think you meant fluorinated.


Ture!  I frogot to sue the spel-chekcer.

Don: End of Year Report

Sad to relate, 2018 was not an epic year for the BOOTboys, influenced perhaps by Brexit or more likely by poor weather in the first and last quarters.  Although we had 40 days out, the number of “qualifying events”, i.e. where we actually put on BOOTs, was only 37, the second lowest since records began in 2006. 

The total of miles walked was a mere 338, the least since 2007.  Average mileage of 9.1 was the worst since 2012.  Average height climbed, 2,144, the lowest since 2014. 

On a more positive note, the total number of participants was joint second highest at 25 (beaten only by last year’s 28) and the average number per outing, 4.9, second only to 2016.

In terms of strenuosity, i.e. feet climbed per mile walked, the figures are a foot above the average at 235 with a maximum of 424 which is also above average.

Conclusion?  Must try harder in 2019.


Year end stats were interesting; whilst distance and height were lower than in the past numbers attending were up - is there not a message in there somewhere??


Yes.  Old age!

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Comitibus:  Don, Stan, Stuart, Tony, Mike, Terry, James, Robin
Stan, Stuart, Tony, Mike, Terry, James, Robin, Don

OS 1:50k


BB1901 : Shaking Off The Rust


Friday 4th January 2019


Benson Knott


Don, James, Mike B, Robin, Stan, Stuart, Terry, Tony

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track



If you want to know which BOOTboys reports refer to having visited any particular Wainwright or certain other hills, see BOOTboys Hill Log.  Warning- it might not be fully up-to-date!

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