Author Topic: TR - Black Combe circular  (Read 1606 times)

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
TR - Black Combe circular
« on: 12:19:34, 29/05/20 »
Black Combe circular         28th May 2020

Black Combe is an often overlooked hill right in the south western tip of the Lake District, a lofty viewpoint unusual in that it is so close to the sea. Reputedly one of the best views in England - I have seen Black Combe from Wales, so the reverse will be true. I would also imagine that on a really clear day you would be able to see the Isle of Man and the Galloway Hills. We didn't, too much haze in the distance, but the views down to the coast, and north to Scafell and Coniston Old Man made it well worth the effort.

Here's what we didn't see - http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/CUM/BLACKCOMBE.GIF



https://my.viewranger.com/route/details/MzA1ODE3NA==?ref=54.2398549530578|-3.3472995775913983|16

We parked in a decent large layby off the A595 West Coast road, slightly less than an hours drive from Grange-over-Sands. We were on the hill at 0918. The layby is a good place to start as there is a public footpath onto the hill just opposite - we turned off up the hill, climbing pleasantly through a grove of young oak trees. We left the trees and climbed out onto the open fell, joining a path that traversed south eastwards up the steep slopes towards Seaness- now the real work began!


The daunting climb ahead


The route north looked more appealing - we came back that way, along the base of the fell. You can just see the cliffs at St Abbs in the distance.

Tess was a help on the climb, pulling incessantly, and I pulled ahead of my family, giving me time to stop and admire the view of the coast unfolding below me. The tide was out, and I could see the red sandy beach below Silecroft stretching for miles. The St Abbs Head cliffs were visible in the distance to the north.


The beach at Silecroft stretches for miles

We arrived on a small plateau at the top of the climb, and walked over to a cairn near the edge of Seaness, a great viewpoint. After a short rest, we doubled back northwards and joined the main path which climbs up from Whicham, the usual way up judging by the erosoion of the path.


The view of the second part of the climb from Seaness


South towards Silecroft village, the Furness peninsula and Walney Island in the distance


The view south from near the summit

The path didn't look very appealing, but we gained height quickly, and reached the top soon enough. Took some summit photos and admired the view - most of the western lakes fells laid out before us. Lovely.


Black Combe Trig Point with the Lakeland Fells beyond - How many can you name?  (click on photo to enlarge)


We angled off to the east to get a look down over the edge of the broken cliffs that flank the eastern side of the fell, and then headed north to rejoin the path - because of our diversion to the cliff edge, we had missed the path that leads north westwards off the fell, and had to cut across wiry grass to re-join it - this we did without any bother. The path led gently down the hillside, an easy route, and we stopped for lunch about half way down near what might have been an old sheep fold.


The view west - I think that the valley below is the upper part of Holegill


Barfield Tarn from our lunch stop

After lunch we took a short cut down a steeper path and came to a fence. The bridleway follows this down the slope to the edge of the fields. From here we headed south along the bridleway, passing a succession of delightful streams on the way, their valleys cutting deeply into the steep slopes above.


Holegill Beck was particularly lovely, possibly a future route on to the hill?


The steep hillside above us

The bridleway eventually dropped down into the farmland below, but we continued to traverse along fragments of path and sheep trods above the fields. We had a bit of bother crossing a couple of becks as the ravines were quite steep sided in places, and gorse blocked some of the sheep paths. But we won through without too much trouble, and eventually joined our outbound route through the oaks, back at the hot car minutes later.


Millergill Beck


Sheep shorn gorse near Townend Gill

Arrived back at the car just after 1400 - it had taken us 4 hours and 45 minutes to cover a hot 8 miles. Stopped at Silecroft Beach on the way back, was tempted to take a dip but rather too many people about for skinny dipping!



And finally....



Tess on Silecroft Beach October 2019, with Black Combe in the background
« Last Edit: 06:46:03, 30/05/20 by richardh1905 »
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

Mel

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9719
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #1 on: 12:30:31, 29/05/20 »
That looks a rather nice walk  :)   


Am I imagining it or do the hills have a slightly purple tinge to them?  Heather moorland?

pdstsp

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1802
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #2 on: 12:36:06, 29/05/20 »
Lovely pics Richard - not an area I know, but I bumped into a guy on Tarn Crag yesterday who was saying how the western fells are incredibly quiet despite the slight easing of lockdown.  Sure was warm yesterday!

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #3 on: 13:08:41, 29/05/20 »
That looks a rather nice walk  :)   

Am I imagining it or do the hills have a slightly purple tinge to them?  Heather moorland?

It was, Mel, marred by hay fever somewhat, though. But the onshore breeze by the beach helped.

Regarding the heather - must be a trick of the light as none was in bloom - way too early, I think.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #4 on: 13:09:41, 29/05/20 »
Lovely pics Richard - not an area I know, but I bumped into a guy on Tarn Crag yesterday who was saying how the western fells are incredibly quiet despite the slight easing of lockdown.  Sure was warm yesterday!


Thanks pdstsp. We met a few people on the hill, mostly on the main path up from Whicham, but hardly mobbed. And we had the lovely route back along the base of the fell to ourselves. :)
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

April

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8057
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #5 on: 19:30:24, 29/05/20 »
Fab report Richard  O0 I have never been on Black Combe as yet  :)

"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #6 on: 20:02:41, 29/05/20 »
Fab report Richard  O0 I have never been on Black Combe as yet  :)


Thanks April - my second time up - climbed the hill many years ago in completely different conditions one New Year's Eve. We then walked north over squelchy moors to the Corney Fell Road - stuck out our thumbs and got a lift from the first car - which took us to the doorstep of the Manor Arms in Broughton in Furness, a good way to start the evening's proceedings!  :D
« Last Edit: 20:08:30, 29/05/20 by richardh1905 »
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

Ridge

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7983
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #7 on: 20:23:43, 29/05/20 »
Lovely pictures particularly the last one.  O0

snoopdawg

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 378
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #8 on: 20:26:32, 29/05/20 »
Nice report Richard. Its one that I haven't been on as well.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #9 on: 21:34:54, 29/05/20 »
Thanks Ridge, snoopdawg.


Black Coomb is in a unique position, remote from the other fells and close to the sea, and is well worth a visit.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

LostBoy84A

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #10 on: 21:45:03, 29/05/20 »
Looked like a lovely day and a great walk, Black Combe is on my to do list for this year though that's been some what delayed! Might well follow your route as it seems to make the most of the sea views. Thanks for posting.

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #11 on: 06:42:31, 30/05/20 »
Looked like a lovely day and a great walk, Black Combe is on my to do list for this year though that's been some what delayed! Might well follow your route as it seems to make the most of the sea views. Thanks for posting.

Thanks for the reply, LostBoy84A  :)

I would recommend the route, but if you take a look at the cliffs to the east, you do need to be careful to head back west again to pick up the correct path to take you down the north western slopes - there is another tempting path heading NNE along the crest of the cliffs.

And if you want to avoid the rough ravines at the end, just follow the bridleway down through Whitbeck - it pops out on the main road just a few hundred metres from the layby. We stayed high partly to avoid going through farms during the pandemic. If you do stay on the fell, take the higher paths when you approach Millergill Beck, and the lower path when you approach Townend Gill, and don't be tempted to cut down into the trees too early - follow the main path angling up the hill until you reach the outbound route. This will help you in avoiding the worst of the gorse and rough ground.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4976
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #12 on: 06:51:14, 30/05/20 »
Longer variation - Start Silecroft Beach, climb Black Combe, descend to the NW and along the base of the fell to Whitbeck, then cut down onto the coast past Gutterby. Return along the shore (study the tide times first so that you can walk along the beach at low tide).

or as above but cut down to the coast earlier, past Barfield, near the tarn, and along the banks of the River Annas to the shore.


I'll save these routes for when Coronavirus has quietened down though, as they pass through farms.
« Last Edit: 06:56:42, 30/05/20 by richardh1905 »
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

GinAndPlatonic

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 941
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #13 on: 15:19:34, 30/05/20 »
Very lovely indeed .  O0 Tess and Black Combe 2019 , is a delight .

karl h

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1571
Re: TR - Black Combe circular
« Reply #14 on: 17:23:13, 30/05/20 »
Lovely pics Richard O0
Your route does look virtually identical to the way i went in 2012. We did it on a crisp October day so had great visibility and were lucky to see four of the five kingdoms :)
A few pics from our day - HERE
show your love for Lady Nature. And she will come back again.
www.karlswalks.co.uk