10th October 2016

The Ill Bell ridge from Troutbeck

Time 9am to 2 pm
Duration 5 hr
Distance 11.3 mile
Ascent 3400 ft - or so technology tells me
Walking with On my own
Church Bridge - Garburn Pass - Garburn Nook - Yoke - Ill Bell - Froswick - Thornthwaite Crag - Scots Rake - Troutbeck Tongue - Hag Bridge - Ing Bridge - Ing Lane - Truss Lane - Troutbeck Church - Church Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking spaces, Church Bridge, Troutbeck

There isn't a great deal of room here; perhaps a few more than half a dozen spaces if you're lucky. Once these are taken however, people generally begin to park along the road near the church.

Parking is free

There are lots of walking on offer from this spot, but for myself, I find this an ideal place to head out onto the western arm of the Kentmere horseshoe.

Route Map


I don't think you can really put a figure against how much enjoyment you get from something. You know the type of thing I mean - on a scale of 1 to 100 how much did you enjoy 'such and such'. It's a shame really, because if you could, I'm sure that figure would have reached the top of the scale for me today. Everything was a delight, from setting off with an unmistakable autumn nip in the air, the blue sky and sunshine along the Ill Bell ridge, dinner on Troutbeck Tongue and finally the lovely walk through the valley which provided the icing on this particular cake.
Here, and not long after setting out I zoom in on Troutbeck Tongue. As I make my way up the pass this remains in view for much of the way which allowed to me to watch the valley transform from dew drenched shade to the perfect autumn morning.

Height is gained on the shady side of the fell today yet despite it being well into October, it's still warm enough for bare flesh to be on show. Only legs and arms mind you, but I expect before too much longer the legs will be getting covered up until next spring.

Looking back down Garburn Pass towards a sunny Troutbeck.


At Garburn Nook I pause for a while and look ahead to Yoke with the realisation that I'm standing in one of my very personal 'special places' in the Lake District which, despite the way it makes me feel, might not mean a great deal to many other folk. I suppose it's just one of those places. I'm not sure if other people get this feeling at certain places but I always get it at the top of Garburn Pass, along with a short section of Watendlath Beck and the bit between the two tops on Angletarn Pikes - - to name a few.

That's me looking across to Red Screes.


The path to Yoke.

Yoke summit with a view over to Ill Bell, High Street, Mardale Ill Bell and on the right, Harter Fell.

Kentmere Reservoir seen below Harter Fell and Mardale Ill Bell.

As I head to Ill Bell I spot two people ahead of me just reaching the top. When I get there they're having a bite to eat, we pass on our hellos and I don't see anyone else until I'm walking through the valley towards the end of the walk.

Ill Bell summit. In the centre(ish) of the picture is Wansfell Pike and on the distance on the right are the Coniston fells, looking quite clear considering how far away they are.

After a down and then an easy up hill section, the next fell along the ridge is Froswick.

Stony Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag seen from the top of Froswick.

Dark clouds beyond Thornthwaite Crag.


I had expected to see at least a few people up here but the place was deserted and, I couldn't even see anyone on any of the nearby fells. Surely there must have been some folk about by this time of day but as I say, I couldn't see anyone.

Before leaving Thornthwaite Crag I take a picture looking across to Stony Cove Pike and everything beyond it. Very peaceful indeed.


Here's a long distance view all the way over Troutbeck Tongue to Windermere.

On the northern end of Troutbeck Tongue I look behind me for a view of Threshthwaite Mouth.

Troutbeck Tongue summit.

Sadly the cloud had all but taken over the sky by this time but, there was hardly any breeze, it was warm enough to stop moving about and I was getting hungry. So, sunshine or not, I stopped here for something to eat while admiring the scene in front of me. What went through my mind must have been somewhat insignificant because I can't really remember what thoughts came and went during the 15 minutes I sat here except; for the few moments I pondered on "how lucky am I"

Zooming in on Windermere.

Ah well, It seems my my timing was a little out today. Troutbeck Tongue and my dinner time view point were now enjoying a spell of sunshine.

Are you ready, , , OK, , , now pull a funny face for the camera


Looking up to Yoke.

Here's a final picture looking back through the valley and up to the ridge I walked along this morning. I reckon a person would have to be pretty hard to satisfy if they didn't like it through here - - - - I mean look at it, how nice would a place have to be.

And to finish, I pass Troutbeck Church with a feeling of utter satisfaction gained from a day in and above Troutbeck.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks