Great Cockup – pride of the Uldale Fells

Let us not forget the gentler fells of Cumberland.  In the north of the Lake District are the Uldale Fells and the Caldbeck Fells, together providing a beauteous finale to the sweep of the mountains.  Here there are no silvery lakes and the dark, foreboding hillsides are less vicious in their aspect.  You may forget these places if you scale mighty Skiddaw to the south, rearing its head over Bassenthwaite (although the last time I climbed Skiddaw was in a storm; the cloud descended upon the hill like a biblical portent and the lake was quite invisible).

Is that not the point though?  There is enjoyment to be had from the open walk, the man on the fellside alone with his own thoughts.  There need not be the challenge, which is no challenge when you know you can do it, nor the threatening peril to life and limb:  the walk and the emptiness are all.

Therefore on occasion look away from the massive massif, cross the Dash Beck and make for the hills which do not throw you off but which are welcoming.  There is none there like Great Cockup, the most famed of them, and one which has the modesty to be named after its own valley.  It is only 1,726 feet; a bairn could climb it.  There then, you may look out at Longthwaite Fell, Meal Fell and the amusingly ill-named Great Sca Fell, Burnt Todd and Knott.

Actually, the latter is 2,329 feet and the highest of the Uldale Fells, so if you are walking above Uldale, is you ambition to achieve a Great Cockup or Knott?

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