20th June 2008

Great Borne, Starling Dodd and Ennerdale Water


Walk Overview
Time 14.10 to 17.45
Duration 3hr 35 min
Distance 7 mile
Ascent 2600 ft
Walking with On my own
Bowness - Rake Beck - Great Borne - Sca Well - Starling Dodd - Little Dodd - High Gillerthwaite - Ennerdale Water - Bowness
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Bowness Knott, Ennerdale Water

Difficult to reach, well perhaps it is a little, but Bowness Knott is in effect the gateway to the wonderfully remote Ennerdale Valley and therefore well worth the effort required to get here. The valley beyond the car park stretches for over six fantastic traffic free miles.

Parking is free and the car park always has plenty of empty spaces available.


Route Map

At the start of today's walk I had to back track down the road for a little while to get access to the fell. On route I passed the curiously shaped Bowness, which at one time played host to Ennerdale show each year. I can still remember coming here every year as a child, and having a great family afternoon out. I shouldn't imagine many ten year olds would very keen these days.

Leaving the road now and heading through the Bracken to reach the left hand side of the trees where the path then heads across to the side of Rake Beck.

And the view back down towards Ennerdale Water and the Cumbrian coast.

The seemingly impenetrable Rake Beck route to Great Borne. And while the route is undeniably steep and you do need to watch your footing in a few places, the path is quite easy to follow and in dry conditions is manageable enough for those prepared to exercise a little care and attention.


Nearing the top of Rake Beck.

The view from the summit of Great Borne, which makes the steep climb well worth the effort.

Standing in the same place and looking along the ridge to Starling Dodd, Red Pike and High Stile.
The view from here extends to an incredible range Lake District fells. To name a few in this photo, we have; Clough Head, Bleaberry Fell, Robinson, Great Gable, Pillar.

A close up of Red Pike, High Stile and Starling Dodd.

On route to Starling Dodd a large area of the fellside has been fenced off and marked up as being a "conservation area".

Crummock Water and the North Western fells.

Pillar seen here between the two 'cairns' on Starling Dodd. The darker fell on the left hand side of the picture is Great Gable.

It was blowing a gale on Starling Dodd and I had to kneel down to take this photo; which was a bit surprising really, as the rest of the walk wasn't too bad at all with nothing more than a slight breeze. As soon as I walked away from here the wind was gone, so just to double check, I walked back up again and sure enough I was getting blown all over the place. I suppose this is what they mean on the weather forecast when they say "locally, gusts up to (xx MPH)".


My route back to the valley from Starling Dodd took me off path for a while, before picking up the narrow path running down the side of Gilflinter Beck.


A close up of Pillar, taken from the same place as the previous picture.

And because it just seems to dominate the area so much, here we have another picture showing Pillar. This on was taken from the track which runs the length of the valley from Bowness Knott car park almost as far as Black Sail Hut. Just under six miles of peace, quiet and fantastic scenery; all with the bonus of being closed to traffic.

If it turns out to be an accurate prediction, I'm sure the forecasted weather warning of heavy rain will go some way to filling the lake back up a little.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks