The Pathfinder Guides book on the Lake District - North and West Lakeland covers a beautiful area of the country. The northern fells comprise two principal mountains, Skiddaw and Blencathra, that conceal a rash of lesser summits behind them in a silent area known as Back o' Skidda'.
And it is easy to see how appropriate was Southey's reference to 'My neighbour Skiddaw', for nowhere in Britain does a mountain so dominate a town as Skiddaw does Keswick, looming above the town like a benevolent old giant.
And 'old' is especially appropriate, for the rocks of Skiddaw are by far the most ancient in the Lake District. On a good day, in spite of the significant ascent, the walk up Skiddaw is something that can be appreciated by everyone, and will reward all with a keen sense of achievement.
Blencathra by contrast is a summit on which you could roam for a week, ascending each day by a different route to its summit. Together Skiddaw and Blencathra rest like huge sleeping policemen to what lies beyond.
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