8th May 2010

Base Brown to Grey Knotts


Walk Overview
Time 8.30 to 13.10
Duration 4 hr 40 min
Distance 8.1 mile
Ascent 2800 ft
Walking with On my own
Seathwaite - Gillercomb - Base Brown - Green Gable - Gillercomb Head - Brandreth - Grey Knotts - Seatoller Fell - Little Gatesgarthdale - Seatoller - Seathwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking leading to Seathwaite, Borrowdale

The popularity of the fells around here are more than reflected in the number of cars you find lining the road from Seathwaite Farm working back in the direction of Seatollor. I'm almost tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get parked. Simply join the back of the line on the grass verge.

Parking is free and there is a tea room and toilets at Seathwaite.


Route Map

It wasn't exactly the crack of dawn, but I still managed to leave Seathwaite early enough to be one of the first cars to crab a space along what is an extremely popular start point for walkers. I assume quite a few of the others would be heading up to Scafell Pike or the higher fells in that area. I on the other hand opted for the quieter route up to Gillercomb and Base Brown.

Some fells just seem to get left out of walks for one reason or another and this is often the case with Base Brown which I hadn't been to since November 2007. With this in mind I thought it was about time I paid a visit.

It doesn't take long to gain height on this walk (because it's steep) and no sooner do you leave the valley than you're looking back down to it.


Base Brown summit.

Looking across to Green Gable, and the top of Great Gable from Base Brown.

And now looking back to Base Brown.
The lower ground on the right is Gillercomb which I'd just walked through.

Standing on Green Gable summit and looking across to Great Gable.

Not far from Green Gable summit I took this picture of Ennerdale, flanked on the left by Pillar and on the right by the High Stile ridge.

One of the smaller Brandreth Tarns.

Blowing a gale on Brandreth.

Two valleys for the price of one. Ennerdale on the left and Buttermere on the right.

Heading to Grey Knotts. Just follow the fence.

Grey Knotts Tarn. The dark areas of water help show just how windy it was today.

Grey Knotts summit.


Now for the unusual bit of the walk. Rather than simply head down to the top of Honister Pass, I took a de-tour from the norm and headed down the pathless north east ridge from Grey Knotts.

Honister Crag, seen from the walk down the ridge.


I could see a big chunk of the walk I'd done from here. Base Brown on the left, Green Gable towards centre and Brandreth / Grey Knotts running across to the right of the picture.

Looking over the wall for a view down to Borrowdale.

A small but worthwhile reason for a big de-tour.

This was steep, but given there are no paths about, it was the obvious route to take to reach the road.

Almost at the Honister Pass road now, and this was much easier on the legs.

Once I reached to road I crossed straight over and followed this old track through Little Gatesgarthdale to Seatoller. I think I'm right in saying this was the original road up Honister Pass which obviously became unsuitable with the coming of the motor car.

I took this picture looking down to Seatoller a couple of minutes after passing the first person I'd seen since I left the car at start of the walk.

Rather him than me, , , I wouldn't like to drive this thing up Honister Pass.

Sunlit cottages on Seatoller.

Now for the walk along the road to Seathwaite; along the way passing a continuous line of cars.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks