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Top o' Selside

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Title: Top o' Selside  
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Subject: Lake District
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Top o' Selside

Top o'Selside
The summit behind Arnsbarrow Tarn
Elevation 335 m (1,099 ft)
Prominence 191 m (627 ft)
Parent peak Old Man of Coniston
Listing Marilyn, Outlying Wainwright
Location in Lake District, UK
Location Cumbria, England
Range Lake District South-Eastern Fells
OS grid Coordinates

54°19′05″N 3°03′50″W / 54.31799°N 3.06377°W / 54.31799; -3.06377Coordinates: 54°19′05″N 3°03′50″W / 54.31799°N 3.06377°W / 54.31799; -3.06377

Topo map OS Landranger 96

Top o'Selside is a hill in the Lake District in Cumbria, England. At 335 metres (1,099 ft), it is the highest point of the group of hills situated between Coniston Water and Windermere. This group also includes the Wainwright of Black Fell and the summits of Black Brows and Rusland Heights. Top o'Selside lies not in the centre of this region, but in the south-western corner, just outside the forestry plantations of Grizedale Forest and only two-thirds of a mile from the eastern shore of Coniston Water. This large separation from any higher ground gives it enough relative height to make it a Marilyn.


It is also listed in A. Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Outlying Fells,[1] where the author gives an anticlockwise circuit from High Nibthwaite reaching the summit over a nameless summit at 228 metres (748 ft), Low Light Haw at 2,660 feet (810 m), High Light Haw at 260 metres (860 ft), and returning to the west. This walk is a little over four miles and involves about a thousand feet of climb. Wainwright's location is not the highest point of the fell, being 100m to the west of the true summit and 1m lower.[2]

The western slopes (named Selside, from which the hill derives its name) are entirely forested, but a path zigzags up the steep fellside from a parking area at grid ref. SD 299927. This provides the shortest route to the summit and is two miles long (there and back).

The view is very impressive, including a full-length view of Coniston Water. The Old Man of Coniston, Black Combe, the Helvellyn and High Street groups all feature prominently, as well as Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales.


There is a small sheet of water to the south of the summit, Arnsbarrow Tarn (pictured above). According to Heaton Cooper the tarn is held in the moraines left by two glaciers moving down each valley. He also says the area was populated by lawless brigands in the 14th Century led by Adam de Beaumont. They held the neighbourhood in terror for seventeen years between 1346 to 1363 when they were finally caught. Arnesbarrow is a Norse name meaning burial place or stronghold of Arne.


See also

Cumbria portal

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