Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer


4th October 2015

Bishop Barf

"The Bishop"

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake

Early doors and Molly accompanies me for a walk around Powter Howe with a visit to the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake. The deceased tree shapes up like a skeletal hand reaching from the grave. The mist is causing a delay in planning a fellwalk. It's 07:10hrs for this view of Blackstock Point. Karen and I are staying at a cottage in Thornthwaite.

Swan Hotel Thornthwaite

The Swan Hotel

The former Swan Hotel is now private residences. It's Barf to get the day going properly and the 1,220ft ascent from here lies ahead.

The Climb

It's quite straightforward. The walk starts on the right-hand side of Beckstones Gill, but soon crosses over and then continues on the left-hand side. About 600ft up and there is a bit of a scramble over a rock step - the path seems quite obvious, but it's likely to be slippy and care should be taken.

Molly Waits

Molly looks on as I negotiate the rocky bit.

Forest Path

Then the path turns away from the beck and into the forest to meet a forest track. Soon thereafter the clear path turns towards the stream and after crossing a fence stile and then the beck, there is an obvious route up to the summit of Barf.

Barf Route

Ignorance here, but have these trees self-seeded? They look well among the heather, foxgloves and bracken.

Molly on Barf

Molly on Barf 1,536ft asl

It took us 40 minutes from the road to the top and sunshine rewards us.

Sheep on Barf
Bassenthwaite Lake

Time for a summit treat for Molly and a little quiet reflection at this quiet and rewarding felltop. Records indicate that this is my fifth time up here and not once have I been troubled by Summit Hoggers or general unruliness.

Summit Barf


That's Lord's Seat in the background and we hope to get up there later in the week.


The View

Here's the view from our cottage in "Seldom Seen", Thornthwaite. Later in the day, after our Catbells walk, Molly and I return for another look at Barf.

To "The Bishop"

Ah well, we've climbed Barf and Catbells (see later) and now for another 300ft of ascent to pay our respects to "The Bishop".

The Bishop of Barf

The Bishop of Barf

Historically painted by volunteers from the community centred on the Swan Hotel. Is there still a community? Who keeps the vestements white nowadays? In Wainwright's day, the rear of the stone man was not painted. Has he turned to face away from the closed hotel?


Slate Mountain


Barf is made from slate and here is a little look at the fragile composition, doesn't look too stable, does it??

Walkers: Molly The Dog and Me.

Weather: Mist clearing to hazy sunshine.

Time Taken: An hour and 20 minutes over a distance of about 2 miles.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©

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