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Black Combe & the Irish Sea

  • Outstanding views throughout
  • Follow the splendid grassy path
  • Aloof from the nearby hills


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1970′. William Wordsworth once described Black Combe as having the ‘amplest range of unobstructed prospect may be seen that British ground commands’. The reality is that only in Scotland do you find such mountains that rise almost from the sea itself and present themselves so dramatically. To the North and East the long Ulpha ridge leads in to the heart of the Lake District The views out to sea are simply stunning; my recommendation is to climb Black Combe on a summer’s evening where the soft light does give a real feeling of peace and tranquility.

The climb is initially quite steep but the path is excellent and height is quickly gained. Soon the western fells of the Lake District appear and at this stage it is well worth taking time to view these from a direction almost never seen. A map helps! However the views to the sea need no map; Wales, Ireland and Scotland can all be seen along with the Isle of Man as this whale back hill has sea views in 3 directions. The only problem with the walk is the access as it is a long drive to the village of Whicham, whether approaching from the north or the east. Maybe though that is part of the appeal.

Recommend. Best done on a warm summer’s evening where you can stop often and enjoy the views.

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Black Combe map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2016

OS Map: O/S 1/25,000. OL6 Lake District South West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 135827. Pull off the main road near the church at Whicham and aim for the obvious fellside path
Height to Climb: 550ms (1,804 feet)
Terrain: Black Combe is at 1970' and the start is low. The pull up is steep but for once the path is so good it is hardly noticeable!
Eating & Drinking: The local pub appeared on the verge of closing when I visited and the recommendation anyway is to travel to the village of Millom or further afield.
Similar Walks Nearby: Fells over the Duddon Valley
Craggy frolics over Eskdale
Muncaster Fell, Ravenglass
Places to Stay:


  1. Nick feather says:

    Just finished this climb. Appreciated the directions in this post and its comments. The only thing I would add to it is the first by is very very steep, walking in winter like we’ve done the first part is basically a stream. Not a problem, still passable but just start slower than normal!

  2. Brian says:

    I have walked this route this morning. Tips as follows…..

    If coming along the A595 from the Whitehaven direction, as you go through Whitbeck, the A595 turns left, towards Lancaster. Take this turn, and after about half a mile there is a very small lay-by, (with a ‘P’ sign). Turn left here, to get to the Whicham church car park.

    Between the church and a house on the right is a small path, that leads almost immediately to steps, that leads to a very narrow road. Turn left, and continue walking along this road for several hundred yards. At a house , the road turns to a dirt track, walk along here for a short distance, and the public footpath sign will be seen. That’s it… Just keep walking. A very well defined path.

    I’ve been told, that on a clear day, it is possible to see all four parts of the United Kingdom from the summit.

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