Thursday, 8 September 2011

Dodd Wood - a short visit to the Northern Fells

With under half a day of walking time available, Claire and I decided to head over to Dodd - both wood and fell - on the eastern flanks of the Skiddaw range just north of Keswick.

Dodd summit from between the trees

Wainwright was not a fan of the forestation of Dodd, which at the time of writing the Pictorial Guides, was entirely covered with trees, including various varieties of non native spruce trees.

Times have changed and so has Dodd.

view of Barf fell across Bassenthwaite Lake

Since then the upper reaches of the Fell are free from forest and as a result offer spectacular views over Bassenthwaite Lake to the North Western Fells and as the path hits the southern side of the Fell you get a fantastic view over Keswick and far beyond.

Keswick and Derwentwater

This is a rare occasion where map and guidebook can stay in your backpack, as the walk is clearly indicated with different coloured posts offering different walks through the woodlands. If we had more time I would have liked to follow the red painted posts to the Osprey viewing platform, but that will be for another occasion. I did use the map to put names to the huge panorama of fells, lakes and villages that spread out below us.

view of the Newlands Valley beyond Braithwaite

This is most certainly a family fell, as you can get close to the summit using Forestry Commission roads through the forest and the final climb to the summit a very well maintained path.

The views from the summit are quite amazing offering all-round views except to the west where the Skiddaw range towers over Dodd.

Dodd summit and Bassenthwaite Lake in the distance

We came back down again following the posts which brought us round the other side of the fell, following the picturesque Skill Beck as it trickles down the fell and back to the car park and the Old Saw Mill tea room.

looking over to the Skiddaw fells

I found Dodd to be a brilliant short walk, with spectacular views, and the woodland walking gives it a very different character to most Lakeland walks.

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