Last year some of our relatives from the North East booked a cottage in Staveley for a week’s holiday. We called up to see them as it’s only just over an hour’s drive away. Until then we’d never thought of visiting the village and the nearby Kentmere valley, rushing past on the by-pass on our way to other parts of the Lake District. Well, they certainly did us a favour as we discovered what has now become a favourite part of the National Park! I was up there again recently, on my own this time, to go for a walk up on to Potter’s Fell.
I took the train; a Virgin mainline Pendelino to Oxeholme where I swapped over on to the Northern train that trundles over to Windermere via Kendal, Burneside and Staveley on a single track line.
Starting out from the station I headed into the village, through the Mill Yard and over the footbridge crossing the River Kent
The weir behind the Mill Yard
and a short distance further up the river, another weir at Barley Bridge
Along the leafy lane. Hardly any traffic to worry about.
Cutting across the fields
The path took me over the fields to a minor road that would lead to Brunt’s farm and my first objective, Brunt Knott, the highest point of Potter’s Fell, which soon came into view
I walked past the farm buildings
then through a gate that took me on to the track that led up on to the fell.
Getting nearer to my destination
Looking back there was a good view towards the high fells
A stiff climb, and the summit came into view
Reaching the summit the views were exceptional in every direction. Photos just can’t do them justice.
Looking over to the Coniston Fells, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, the Langdales and the Scafells
Looking down towards the Kentmere horseshoe
and across to Longsleddale
A Panorama shot on my phone
I had a few options now and was tempted to head down to Longsledale and complete a circuit cutting back across to the Kentmere Valley further north. However, I decided to leave that for another day and retrace my steps and then head over to Potter’s Tarn.
Descending down towards the valley
Approaching Brunt Farm
Just after Brunt Farm I spotted a small group of sheep shearers.
A view of the southern part of Potter’s Fell as I walked down the narrow road heading south down the valley.
The bridge that crosses a small stream on the path heading towards Potter Tarn
After a short, stiff climb, I reached Potter Tarn
The tarn is actually a reservoir built to supply water to a local paper mill and is dominated to some extent by a huge concrete dam. However, standing in the right position you can avoid looking at it and appreciate the small lake and the attractive surrounding scenery.
After a short stop to admire the view and take a few photographs I carried on over a stile, past the dam and up across the fell towards Gurnal Dubs another, slightly larger tarn.
It’s another reservoir but is particularly attractive. In this case the dam is hardly noticeable as it’s clad in stone and turf. There’s a stone boathouse at the northern end of the tarn.
I walked along the path a little further and took a panorama with my phone
then back to the north end to take a break and a bite to eat by the boathouse. A family of four – parents plus two older teenagers, were also sitting on the grass. The mother and daughter donned their wet suits and went for a swim in the small lake. Brave souls! The male members, however, declined to join them and we chatted for a while.
Rested, I set back down towards Potter Tarn
I then turned left and took the path down the valley. Reaching the Staveley to Burneside highway
The dry stone walls lining the road were covered with moss
I walked along the lane towards Staevely, cutting across the fields along the path after the small sewage works (fortunately, no noticeable odour today!). Eventually the bridge over the Kent at the back of the Mill Yard came into view.
Unfortunately, the renowned Wilf’s Café was about to close, and as I had about an hour before my train was due I was forced to resort to calling into the Hawkshead Brewery for a refreshing (non-alcholoic) beer
Just what I needed after a good 10 mile walk!
it hadn’t been too strenuous, although there were a couple of stiff climbs the fells were of relatively modest height. But the views on a fine day were outstanding and unlike other parts of the Lake District it was extremely quiet – I didn’t another soul between leaving and returning to the village other than the sheep shearers, a few farm workers and the family up at Gurnal Dubs.