Walk : The Kentmere Horseshoe
Date : 16th April 2012
Weather : Largely fine and clear around 9°C, some snow
Route Details : Kentmere,
Kentmere Pike, Shipman Knotts, Kentmere
Distance : 12.25 miles
At long last !!! for the first time this year I have managed to get a long weekend off away from work and travel up to
one fell swoop - no pun intended !! - also because, so many times have I driven past the Staveley / Kentmere turn off in
my rush to get to a
describe this route as a “moderate” to “hard” circuit - and they were not kidding either !!. There are some very steep rises
and falls, especially getting up to Harter Fell, but overall the route is fairly distinct throughout. The whole trip including
lunch break, water stops and photo shoots took 6 hours.
The walk starts just near the church in the tiny hamlet of Kentmere. Car parking is at an absolute premium (be warned)
however the near -by farm allows use of a field for a charge of £3 in the honesty bucket. Just near the church is the
start of the long stony track up to the Garburn Pass.
The track starts to climb quite steeply after the first gate
It is however difficult to lose !!!
Eventually the upper gate is reached and the terrain changes from stone to grass (sometimes very boggy)
Now the view starts to open up, here a view of the Eastern Fells
From the gate, take a right turn and navigate carefully over the boggy ground, the objective being the stone wall
that leads upwards
The first objective in the round (Yoke) is not in view yet and the winding path you can see in the distance allows
easier travel over the peaty terrain
The path leads to a wall stile up to the gap
Looking back from the path now and the vista opens up to give a fine view of Windermere and beyond
Through the gap now and for the first time the summit cairn on Yoke
Now the round begins to open up and here the summits of Ill Bell and Froswick can be seen. What you start to
appreciate is that there are quite a few “ups” and “downs” in store for the day !!
Looking left over towards the Helvellyn range
From the top of Yoke, the
steep descent, then equally steep climb up to the top of Ill Bell and its 3
A very distinctive fell top
Here in all their glory, two of them. At this point the temperature dropped quite noticeably largely due to the wind chill.
The first decent view of Kentmere Reservoir
… and the head of the valley and High Street
The Nan Bield pass and the steep climb ahead up to Harter Fell
Still a quantity of snow on some of the loftier Eastern Fells
Next the steep trek up to Froswick and further ahead Thornthwaite Crag that is part of the High Street bulk. My
journey though will take me round to the right and towards Mardale Ill Bell via Lingmell End
The trek up to the summit of Froswick was quite a slog – here after taking the path down toward the head of the
horseshoe you get an idea of the severity of the climb
Now at the head of the valley looking back down over the reservoir towards Kentmere in the distance
… and back towards were the bulk of the hard leg work started !!
Here Small Water sits approximately 700 feet above Haweswater Reservoir further down
There were plenty of people up walking on top of High Street as I headed round from Mardale Ill Bell and it seems
that most of them parked up in the car park at Mardale Head down below.
The view back towards the three peaks, now it was time for some more serious leg work to get to the top of Harter
Fell and begin the homeward bound leg of the horseshoe.
Not the most inspiring of
– then its got to be done. I didn’t place my usual rock to add to it ….. just in case it fell over !!!
Heading south now and the next summit in sight – that of Kentmere Pike
The final descent down to Shipman Knotts is noteworthy of two things … the splendid view back up the valley and
the local hostelry waiting back down in Staveley !!
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