There are going to be some people reading this that will think I’ve completely flipped. After all Binsey isn’t that high (447m), consists largely of easy grassy slopes and looks pretty harmless. Set aside from the main bulk of the northern fells, AW called it “the odd man out” and “like a dunce set apart from the class”. Not a great start then, so why did he also describe it as “much too good to be omitted” ?
Well, AW’s primary reason was its use as a vantage point to look over the northern fells. He also considered it of geological interest, being composed on volcanic rocks rather than slate. Well on my visit in June 2009, I didn’t conduct a detailed geological survey, so I’ll take his word for that part, but I can certainly back up his opinion on Binsey’s value as an observation platform.
It was grey and hazy the day I climbed Binsey. It was the second day of my trip, and on the previous day I’d tired myself out with a walk over Seathwaite Fell and Glaramara, so wanted an easier walk. Dropped off by the bus near Bewaldeth, I headed down a lane towards the fell, the path becoming a pleasant avenue of trees.
I emerged onto open ground and followed the ridge line up behind West Crag onto the summit ridge itself. Soon I was at the summit and took in the views all around. The summit is probably the best thing about the fell, and with its cairns and ancient tumulus there’s more going on here than on a number of better known fells.
It was a bit too grey to get a good sharp picture of the northern fells (seen in the distance above), but I could get a taster of the remote wildness that lies Back o’Skidda, and looked forward to the day I’d get up there. There were also similar, albeit grey and hazy, views in the other direction towards the Solway Firth.
I didn’t see a single soul on the whole walk, and that made it perfect. In AW’s words it’s “one of the best places for spending an hour of undisturbed peace and enjoyment”. Binsey suited my needs for the day perfectly, the walk went without a hitch, and what was originally to be a straightforward lightning “bag” turned out to be much more than I expected. And that’s why it’s a favourite.