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" Binsey Summit and Isel Church "

Date & start time:    Sunday 7th January 2018, 1.30 pm.    ( NY 235 351 )

Location of Start :   Roadside near Binsey Cottage, Bassenthwaite, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited :         Bassenthwaite, Binsey summit then Isel Church on the way home.

Walk details :             1.4 miles, 600 feet of ascent, 1 hours 45 mins.

Highest point :          Binsey Summit,  1,466ft - 447m.

Walked with :             Ann and one dog, Dylan. (Harry's at home resting).

Weather :                    Winter sunshine and blue skies, cool but nice.

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A first outing of the new year on a fine January day.

Ann's arm has been fixed in plaster, Harry's been ill but that is lessening and my man-flu . . . that's really bad . . . but I soldier on !

  Still, we'll put last week behind us as everyone is getting better, some quicker than others.

Dylan of course, bounces on, like the teenager he is.

Skiddaw seen from the yacht club at Bassenthwaite Lake.

We glimpsed it in passing from the car and just had to go back for a second look.

We were heading for Binsey as it is a gentle walk but one with excellent views on a day like today.

A second stop on the journey was at the Ouse Bridge over the Derwent, the road crossing it at the top end of Bassenthwaite Lake.

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(left:) The view up river and across the lake to Skiddaw.


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The frosty view downstream as the Derwent starts its journey

to Isel, Cockermouth and the sea at Workington.

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It was then just a short drive up past the Castle Inn towards our destination of Binsey.

Park by the sheepfold and walk through the gate . . .
. . . a big improvement from the old ladder stile.

Looking back at The Skiddaw Fells as we start our ascent.

The wide green footpath starts from the other side of the gate and heads gently but directly for the top.

With snow on the high fells it has obviously been cold . . . and this is confirmed by icy patches on the ground on the path here.

The great things about Binsey, surprisingly Wainwright's most northern fell, is the ease of climbing and the views.

Even from the start of the ascent there are great views, here looking across to the central fells beyond Bass lake.

Skiddaw and its secondary summit of Bakestall on this side are capped in snow.

It will be cold up there but it should be nice conditions for winter walking.

Looking round more to the north, Overwater with Longlands and Great Sca Fell behind.


In the summer the skies are often the full of the sounds of the skylarks.

Today it is a kestrel who patrols the heights, hovering with fluttering wings, searching for food.

A wintery shower in the last few days has left a slight covering of snow on the paths.

Walking on the longer grass at the sides often gives more grip.

Ann is pleased to make the summit after ten days of "confinement". . . following her fall on the Sale Fell walk.

Unfortunately Harry is not with us after his recent flare up of septic arthritis, but his medication is helping him recover nicely.

The trig point on Binsey . . . with hazy views across Caldbeck and the Eden Valley to the snow capped Pennines.

The summit rocks have been re-formed into several round wind shelters.

The blue dot in the distance is a normal size person but a long way away . . . on an adjacent but lower rocky summit.

It's a popular place for a walk today . . . loads of folk in view here.

Still there's no reason why we can't have a complete look around so you can enjoy the view as well.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

Time to be heading down . . . it will be too long and rather too chilly to wait for the sunset.

Dylan leading the way back . . . we follow carefully on the downward slope.

(Note to self:   next time put the micro-spikes in the car before you leave home !)

Lovely afternoon light as we near the bottom once more.

The twisted hawthorn trees catch the light beautifully.

Their shape never ceases to amaze . . .

. . . and their red berries, or what is left of them, are set off beautifully by the blue skies.

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Back down at the gate.


The view hasn't changed but the sun has gone round.


The shadows are longer and the air cooler.


Dylan waits to be let back out onto the road


at the end of the walk.



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Rather than drive straight home, we decide to call in at Isel Village on the way back.

The impressive Isel Bridge over the River Derwent.

This is the next bridge downstream from the Ouse Bridge at Bassenthwaite Lake

but is less often visited as the A66 turns at Dubwath and heads directly for Cockermouth.

There are lovely views of distant, sun topped Skiddaw from here.

A more zoomed-in view from alongside the bridge.

Isel Church is in the bottom of the valley close to the river.

It is an ancient church dating back in time to the Norman Period, nearly nine hundred years ago.

The church is dedicated to St Michael and dates from 1130 AD.  It underwent major restorations in 1878.

It is an active part of the West Cumberland Deanery and hold regular church services.

We look inside the church which was rather dark due to the lack of sunshine.

The Chancel Arch is a particularly fine original feature of the building.

The church features were difficult to see . . .
. . . until we moves around and the lights came on !

The Church suddenly became a warmer and more welcoming place.

There were interesting hanging chandeliers with what would have been oil or paraffin lamps for lighting the knave.

It had been re-decorated after both the 2009 and 2015 floods.
Unusually, the organ is situated ahead of the congregation.

There were pictures in a photo album of the damage to the church during the floods.

Fortunately the wall surrounding the churchyard took a lot of the force out of the water

but the flooding did reach inside the building, bringing with it the usual chaos and mud.

As we closed the door on our visit the light outside was failing . . .

We stopped on the road home to catch the last of the sun.

Skiddaw now looking ghostly in the cool light of dusk.

Just a short drive home now . . . back via Cockermouth to Lorton and the Loweswater Valley.

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Thankfully after a rather worrying few days when he was quite ill, Harry is much improved

and he was in fine form for his 14th birthday celebrations a few days later.

Thanks to Sherran and Bill (and Phoebe the cat) for the second photo.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera (except the last one).

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

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Previous walk - 28th December 2017 -  Sale Fell and a Brumston Pickle

A previous time up here - 17th November 2014 - Dubwath and Binsey

The Loweswatercam Calendar - January 2018 - 2018 Calendar Results

On the same day a friend of ours was in the Lakes and climbed high up into the snow:

Alan Kilduff's Pennine Walker website - 7th January - Helvellyn

Next walk - 11th January 2018 - A Buttermere Milk Run