Blencathra [Saddleback], Lake District

4.8
#13 of 28 in Trails in Lake District
Blencathra, also known as Saddleback, is one of the most northerly hills in the English Lake District. It has six separate fell tops, of which the highest is the Hallsfell Top at 2,848 feet (868 metres).NameFor many years, Ordnance Survey listed Blencathra under the alternative name of Saddleback, which was coined in reference to the shape of the mountain when seen from the east. The guidebook author Alfred Wainwright popularised the use of the older Cumbric name, which is now used almost exclusively. Ordnance Survey currently marks the summit as ‘Saddleback or Blencathra’.It is likely that the name Blencathra is derived from the Cumbric elements *blain ‘top, summit’ and cadeir ‘seat, chair’, meaning ‘the summit of the seat-like mountain’. Andrew Breeze has proposed an alternative interpretation of the second element of the name, arguing that it represents a Cumbric cognate of Middle Welsh carthwr ‘working horse’. Richard Coates has suggested that the second element may be the Middle Irish personal name Carthach, but writes that ‘the implications of that with a Brittonic generic need exploring’.TopographyThe Northern Fells make up a roughly circular upland area about 10mi wide. At the centre is the marshy depression of Skiddaw Forest — a treeless plateau at an altitude of 1,300 ft (396 m.) — and flowing outward from here are the rivers which divide the area into three sectors. The south-eastern sector, between the Glenderaterra Beck and the River Caldew, contains Blencathra and its satellites.
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Blencathra [Saddleback] Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
81 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • How lucky were we to get a super sunny day to climb Blencathra! A straight forward steep walk to the summit - stunning views from the top!  more »
  • We started off from the Blencathra Centre which was convenient as there are about ten parking spaces and public toilets are available if you take the path from the car park towards the centre and turn...  more »
Google
  • Terrifying and exhilarating to run down hall's fell into Threlkeld from here! An iconic beast of the lake district
  • After 30 years of wanting to climb up Blencathra I finally did it. But took the easier route up via Scales and viewed from a distance the brave ones going via Sharp Edge.
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