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A walk from Staveley to Brunt Knott
The lovely valleys of Kentmere and Longsleddale are partly divided by Brunt Knott and Staveley Fell. This walk leads you first up through the magnificent deciduous woodland of Craggy Plantation. It then continues along quiet narrow lanes before taking to the open fell for a fairly easy climb to the top of Brunt Knott to enjoy its magnificent view.
Park near Wilf’s Café, Mill Yard, Staveley, grid ref 472984.
1 Return to the main road through the village and walk left to just before St Margaret’s Tower. Turn left along the fine walled track to cross the splendid new high-level footbridge over the River Kent. Go right along riverside and then left, passing through a kissing gate. Cross a track, ascend ahead, beside a hillock, to a gate on to Potter Fell Road. Step right for a short way, then take a narrower left turn. Carry on an equally short way to go through a gate, on the left, to enter Craggy Plantation - a vast wonderland of fine trees. Follow the stepped path up, right, past several huge crags that give the wood its name. Wind left with the track as it approaches the top boundary of the woodland and keep ahead on the high-level way for three quarters of a mile to emerge from the trees by stile.
2 Turn right and pass through a gate/stile. Continue parallel with the wall to the brow. Cross a large pasture and then begin a stiled/gated descent to pass left of Littlewood farm to join a narrow lane. Walk left through the quiet pastures for half a mile to where the lane turns sharp left. Here walk on ahead, soon to take the signed access track on the right for Brunt Knott farm. Press on between the buildings of the complex. Go through a gate to ascend a good path, which winds left and then right to reach a gate onto the open fell. Carry on up the path with a fence on the right. Follow it where it arcs away from the fence to avoid a very wet area. The path then returns to the wall, which now replaces the fence. Very soon a wall descends steeply, down the slope on your right, to join the wall on your right.
3 Here leave the path, left, to take a wide grassy way that soon peters out, heading in the direction of Brunt Knott, which is not yet visible. Climb steadily up the steepish slope, walking on the grassy areas between the rocky patches of the fell. Near the top of the slope a clear narrow path curves right and leads you up to the edge of the plateau, with a good view of the summit cairn (427m/1,400-feet), which sits on a tiny hillock. Walk over the grassy way to it and pause here to enjoy the superb view. It is just the place for a sandwich break.
4 Then return down the same way and wind around beside the wall and then the fence to pass through Brunt Knott farm complex. At the road turn left and where you meet the sharp bend, right, in the road, go ahead, along the way taken earlier. Just beyond the first wall on your right, take the footpath that keeps beside the wall. At the boundary, wind left, gently descending. At the wall corner go on downhill steadily veering left to join Hall Lane. Continue left, perhaps taking a pause as you near Staveley to enjoy the magnificent weir on your right.
Distance: 4 miles/6.5km
Time: 2-3 hours
Terrain: Steady climb on paths (that might be muddy) through Craggy Plantation and then on pastures over the ridge. Some very quiet lane walking. Steady climb to the summit but nothing too difficult.
Maps: OS Explorer OL 7/ Landranger 97 NB: Restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.
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