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Blencathra [Saddleback], Lake District

(5/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We decided on Wednesday 1/3/17 to climb the summit of Blencathra (from the Centre) not up Sharps edge! The higher we got the more the cloud came in until we reached the zigzag path, and then the snow ...  more »
  • Absolutely stunning walk with beautiful views. The Lake District is one of the best places for a day of walking. The mountains here are amazing. well worth doing. Unfortunately when we did it, it was ...  more »
  • Few people are foolish enough to venture on to the Lakeland fells on the shortest day of the year but my youngest offspring tempted me out and proved to me once again that winter hiking can provide a ...  more »