The highest summit in England outside the Lake District, Cross Fell has a magnetism born of sheer mass. This great big brute of a hill dominates Cumbria's Eden Valley, forming the focal point of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As the widest and bleakest expanse of peat-ridden emptiness south of the Scottish border, 'beauty' is very much in the eye of the beholder here, but the stark scale has its own unique attraction. For more see this http://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/pa... article. This fairly short circuit from Cross Fell's more accessible side gives a good flavour of the area, and on a clear day the views west to the Lakeland skyline are stunning.
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Distance: 8.54 miles (13.75 km)
Total ascent: 693m
Steepest Gradient: 20% (1 in 5)
Time: 4:30 hours (Walking)
SummitsCross Fell 893 m
Car park at the road end in Kirkland, NY650326
A farm track to start, and then a clear footpath joining with the Pennine Way for the final slightly soggy summit climb. In poor visibility cairns lead off the featureless summit plateau. The descent path is less well trodden and could be missed in places if it's misty.
Its altitude and inland position give Cross Fell some of the coldest and snowiest conditions in England; not for nothing are the North Pennines known for their skiing. In wild winter weather the summit is a very unfriendly place and good navigation a must.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Lake District
Rail to Penrith or Langwathby, then limited local bus services; but none to Kirkland itself.
Walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley, Vivienne Crow, pb. Cicerone http://www.cicerone.co.uk/product/detail...
OS Explorer OL31 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 91 (1:50,000)
Dufton YHA 0845 371 9734 Kirkland Hall holiday cottages, conveniently located at the base of Cross Fell 01768 88295
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