Walk                       : The Kentmere Horseshoe

                                                  Date                       : 16th April 2012

                                                  Weather                 : Largely fine and clear around 9°C, some snow

                                                  Route Details          : Kentmere, Garburn Pass, Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell,

                                                                                                  Kentmere Pike, Shipman Knotts, Kentmere

                                                  Distance                 : 12.25 miles

 

                                                  Click here to see which part of Lakeland this walk is situated  ….

 

                                                  Overview

                                                  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

                                                                           Lakeland. I decided to pick the Kentmere Round as it was a chance to add 7 Wainwright peaks to my running total in

                                                                           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 Central Lakeland locations  without realising what it had to offer. I had seen various Web sites

                                                                           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 cairns.

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 summit cairns, especially after so much graft to get up there but if its in the list of 214

– 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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