8th August 2009

Not the Kentmere Hoseshoe


Walk Overview
Time 08.00 to 14.30
Duration 6 hr 30 min
Distance 11.1 mile
Ascent 3360 ft
Walking with On my own
Kentmere Church - Green Quarter - Wray Crag - Shipman Knotts - Kentmere Pike - Harter Fell - Nan Bield Pass - Greengrove Folds - Kentmere Reservoir - Whether Fold - Bryant's Gill - Crag Quarter - Garburn Pass - Crabtree Brow - Kentmere Church
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Kentmere village

Parking is at a premium in Kentmere, with the early bird generally being the one who gets the space. I should add that apparently, one of the fields near the village is occasionally opened for parking, but I've yet to come here on such an occasion.

I imagine many people come here to walk the Kentmere Horseshoe route, which is all well and good, and I've enjoyed this walk many times myself. However, there are also lots of other walks that can be undertaken from Kentmere, not lest, a simple out and back walk to Kentmere Tarn.


Route Map

All was mist and murk when I arrived at Kentmere this morning, so I guess an early start wasn't quite the best move after all. Never mind I thought, it was forecast to clear so I might be lucky. Unfortunately it waited until after I'd walked the ridge up to Harter Fell before I got my first glimpse of blue sky. On the plus side however, I actually enjoyed walking through the clouds with limited visibility, an eerie silence, and only myself for company.
Perhaps this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there you go!

Climbing ever higher and ever closer to the cloud base.

There goes the view. I guess it's time to start putting a little more thought into where I'm walking.

That's OK, I'm not being followed.
Well I did say it was eerie!

Shipman Knotts summit.

Kentmere Pike summit,

, and finally Harter Fell summit, just as the cloud began to break a little.

As I leave Harter Fell I get a fleeting view of Kentmere Reservoir; the place I'm heading to after I've walked down to the top of Nan Bield Pass.

Mardale Ill Bell, partially visible between the clouds.

I don't know whether to be pleased or not. Thick cloud on the ridge I'd just walked and then I get clear views like this in another area.

, , , "hang on a second, how on earth can you walk down to the top of somewhere?"
"Mmmm, that's a good point, you see it's like this, , , , No, , , I'm afraid it's too difficult for me to explain, so you'll just have to look at the next picture to see what I'm talking about"

There you go, the little shelter in the centre of the picture is the top of Nan Bield Pass. As I said "walking down to the top"

Kentmere Reservoir, seen here from the higher section of Nan Bield Pass.
I followed the path for a little while before taking an off path route alongside Lingmell Gill.

Greengrove Folds found next to Lingmell Gill, one of nine visited on today's walk. Hence the rather strange route (more about the route later).

Getting closer to Kentmere Reservoir, but first I had to fight my way through the bracken seen on the right hand side of the photo. Hard work to say the least.

Looking back along the terrace like path above the reservoir.

It didn't look slippery, it didn't feel slippery, but I was still very careful as I was standing in the outflow to get this picture.

It's a good job I managed to keep my footing or I'd have ended up tumbling down this lot.


Now here's a view you won't see very often. Just past the disused quarries I headed up onto the Crag Quarter area of the fellside to photograph a couple of out of the way sheepfolds. And as seen as though I'd walked this far up, I decided to continue uphill onto the area between Yoke and Garburn Pass.

At this point I'd like to moan about my legs getting tired, but there's only one person to blame so I won't bother.

Well, this was a first for me on the fells. I don't mean walking along here, I mean having an argument with a total stranger. Just after taking this picture someone came across to the other side of the wall; initially with the best of intentions and concern for me, but the conversation soon turned sour:-
(him) "Are you lost?"
(me) "No, I'm OK thanks. I've just taken a bit of an odd route that's all."
(him) "I thought I'd better ask because I've been watching you walk across an area with no path. Do you know the path you're looking for is on this side of the wall."
(me) "I'm not really looking for the path, I'm just going to carry on following the wall down to Garburn Pass."
(him) "Are you sure?, , , , How long has it taken you to do the horseshoe anyway?"
(me) "I haven't done the horseshoe. I've ju, , , ."
(him) "You must have. Why else would you be walking down here?"
(me) "I haven't done the horseshoe. . . . I've just came up from Kentmere and now I'm heading down to Garburn Pass."
(him) "You must be mistaken. The map doesn't show any paths along there so you must have came down from Yoke and got a bit lost." he pointed up at Yoke.
(me) "Honest, , I haven't done the horseshoe and I've definitely came up from Kentmere."
(him) "You see, if you look at this map I'll show you." he then started to untangle the map he had dangling around his neck.

That's it, enough was enough for me.

(me) "Listen pal, I know you're only trying to help but I know exactly where I am, I know exactly where I've been and I know exactly where I'm going. I haven't done the Kentmere Horseshoe and I can guarantee you that I have just came up from Kentmere."
(him) "I really think you've got it wrong somewhere, the map says, , , , "
(me) "For God sake, what do you not understand. I've forgotten more about these fells than you'll ever know so why don't you sod off with your map and get back back to the path because unlike me, you obviously need both of those to find your way around."

We then went our separate ways, hopefully never to meet again !!

Now I am confused, , , , I think I'm following the wall down to Garburn Pass and if by some miracle I'm not lost after all, I'm right in saying that you can see a short section of the pass next to the trees.

I guess it's because I usually walk down here at the end of a long walk, so descending to Kentmere always feels further, steeper, more tiring than it should.

About half way down the pass I took the opportunity to get myself some pictures of this ruin. This one showing the lovely Kentmere valley in the background.

A close up of Kentmere Hall. I'd love to have a look inside !

David Hall -
Lake District Walks