Swineside Knott

Swineside Knott

Route: Swineside Knott

Area: Eastern Lake District

Date of walk: 8th March 2019

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.6 miles

Ascent: 1,500 feet

Weather: Grey but dry at first, deteriorating to snow and sleet on the tops and rain lower down

Swineside Knott is the highest point on Watermillock Common at a respectable height of 1,814 feet. It doesn’t qualify as a Wainwright fell as it’s merely part of the eastern ridge of Stybarrow Dodd. I was last here almost exactly 3 years ago, and although the weather conditions then were appalling I’d seen enough to know that the views of Ullswater from here are superb

I planned a different route today, and parked in the National Trust car park at Park Brow, near Aira Force. I crossed the road following a sign for Glencoyne Head to start the ascent, which was so gentle in the early stages that it was hardly noticeable. This is one of the best paths for viewing Ullswater, but the weather was rather dull and grey and the lake wasn’t seen in its best light today

Eventually I arrived at a dry stone wall and a gate, which marked a change of direction. I followed the dry stone wall below Swineside Knott for a short distance, and just before a depression turned left to follow a short pathless course to the top of the fell, where the summit is marked by a small pile of stones

I then headed along the ridge to Watermillock Common and Common Fell, both of which are slightly lower than Swinside Knott. By now the weather had closed in – the views were restricted, and showers of snow and sleet were driving in, borne by a strong cold wind. It was a bleak and uninspiring section of the walk, sometimes pathless, and I was glad to arrive in the small village of Dockray

I crossed the road bridge over Aira Beck and immediately turned right to follow a signposted path to Aira Force. I followed the path beside the beck, where the upper falls were on good form. It was raining quite heavily by now, and each time I replaced the lens cap on the camera, the lens steamed up – and so did I. As a result there aren’t many photos of the falls and the woodland, nor did I bother to visit Aira Force itself, having been here many times before. Just before the main falls I crossed Aira Beck via a small bridge and, after following the beck for a short distance, made my way back up to the car park

I’d like to repeat this walk in better weather, as the photos which follow don’t really do it justice

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