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Grid Reference: NY 21467 26740
Height: 468 metres/1535 feet

"Insignificant in height and of no greater extent than half a mile square, the rigged pyramid of Barf near the head of Bassenthwaite Lake yet contrives to arrest and retain the attention of travellers!"
A Wainwright

The eastern shoulder of Lords Seat offers an imposing front, high above the village of Thornthwaite, climbing above the densely forested slopes of Thornthwaite Forest the steep craggy nose looks impassable, there are however several routes to the summit, a good loose scramble leads directly up the nose, while an easier path climbs to the left, alongside Beckstones Gill, following the edge of the forestry land before emerging on open ground a short distance from the summit. From the summit of Barf the higher summit of Lords Seat is just a short walk away.

On a rocky site at 700 ft and clearly visible from the Cockermouth to Keswick road, is the "Bishop of Barf", a white painted stone marking the spot where, according to local legend, the Bishop of Derry was killed falling from his horse in 1783, after drunkenly betting he could ride up the hill. Both the Bishop and his horse are said to be buried near a smaller stone, the Clerk, at the base of the hill. The stone was whitewashed each year by staff at the nearby Swan Hotel, until the Hotel was converted to apartments. The whitewashing is now carried out by members of Keswick Mountain Rescue.

  1. The Whinlatter Fells


    Distance: 14km / 9 miles
    Ascent: 770m / 2500ft
    Duration: 6 hours
    Maximum Group Ratio: 10:1

    Easy walking on quieter grassy fells above the Whinlatter Forrest, great views over Bassenthwaite

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