Kentmere Horseshoe

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Looking back down towards Kentmere from near the top of the Garburn Pass.

An early start to get one of the few parking spaces by the church in Kentmere. It had been raining, but was clearing rapidly.

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Red Screes.

It was another windy day, but sunny, and warm if you could get out of the wind.

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Troutbeck and Wansfell. Coniston Fells beyond.

These days I rarely take my camera with me, but with less warm gear in my bag, regrettably as it turned out, I could fir it in on the this occasion. I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t bother. The photos I took of Butterwort flowers weren’t in focus, and I prefer my phone’s

These days I rarely take my camera with me, but with less warm gear in my bag, regrettably as it turned out, I could fit it in on this occasion. I’m beginning to think I shouldn’t bother. The photos I took of Butterwort flowers weren’t in focus, and I prefer my phone’s camera’s pictures of the scenery. So where possible that’s what I’ve used here.

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Yoke. Ill Bell ahead.

The problem with using both is that that seems to confuse Flickr so that the pictures end up out of sequence. I’ve tried to put these in order, but I’m not sure I have it completely right.

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Looking back to Yoke.

Anyway, it’s a cracking route, which I’ve done many times before, although I think the last time I did the route in its entirety would be over twenty years ago when I was preparing for the London Marathon and I ran it, in about three and a half hours if memory serves me right. I didn’t include Thornthwaite Crag or High Street back then. This time it took me more than twice as long, but I wasn’t in a hurry.

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The head of Kentmere from Ill Bell. Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Mardale Ill Bell.

I was very taken by the top of Ill Bell with its many tidy cairns and superb views. Ill Bell has a steep north-east ridge which I keep promising myself I will climb. Next time.

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Windermere from Ill Bell.
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Looking back to Ill Bell.
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Thornthwaite Crag from Froswick.
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High Street and Mardale Ill Bell. The headwaters of the River Kent.
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Kentmere Reservoir.
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Looking across the Fairfield Horseshoe ridges to the Coniston Fells.
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Troutbeck Tongue, Wansfell, Windermere.
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Froswick and Ill Bell.
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Thornthwaite Beacon.

I have a real affection for Thornthwaite Crag, I think it’s at least partly to do with the huge architectural cairn. The views pretty good too…

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Froswick, Ill Bell, Windermere and Wansfell from Thornthwaite Beacon.

I sat here for quite some time, whilst a few parties came through from various directions.

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Grey Crag, Hayeswater, Rest Dodd, The Knott, Rampsgill Head.

Once you’ve made it to Thornthwaite Crag all of the hard work is behind you. Its a long, steady plod up to High Street and then it’s nearly all downhill. Well, aside from the steady climb onto Harter Fell.

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The path up High Street.
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High Street pano.
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Haweswater and Selside Pike. The Pennines across the Eden Valley.
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Rough Crag, Blea Water and Kidsty Pike.
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Blea Water.

Unlike nearby Small Water, I’ve yet to swim in Blea Water, something I shall have to rectify. The crags at the back of the tarns are renowned for the alpine species which cling on in that remote, inaccessible locality.

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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick.

I should warn you that most of the remaining photos, well, a lot of them anyway, are of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick from various vantage points. I make no apologies, I think they looked magnificent.

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Looking across the Nan Bield Pass to Harter Fell
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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick across Kentmere Reservoir.
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Piot Crag, Rough Crag and Kidsty Pike.
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Looking back to Mardale Ill Bell, Thornthwaite Crag and High Street.
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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick.
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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, and my gradual descent route.
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Pano.
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Looking down towards Kentmere Pike. Long Sleddale ahead. The Kent Estuary just about visible in the haze on the right. Forest of Bowland also seen in the haze.
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Looking down into Kentmere. Windermere on the right. Kent Estuary much clearer now. Arnside Knott stands out.
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Cocklaw Fell, Green Quarter Fell, Skeggles Water. Brunt Knott and Potter Fell beyond. Forest of Bowland on the horizon.
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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick.
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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick.

Somewhere on the way down I lost the path completely. I thought for a while I would end up traipsing through acres of bracken, but actually my route worked out well and I just cut a corner.

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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick. Pano.

As I got down towards the valley it was actually quite hot, a novelty after a very cold spring.

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Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick.
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Germander Speedwell.
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River Kent.
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Big boulders!

Now, I just needed to cross some flower-filled and boulder-strewn meadows back to the village and my car.

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Kentmere Farmhouse.
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Kentmere Church.

MapMyWalk gives about 13½ miles and 1074m of ascent. Previous experience would suggest that the latter will be an underestimate, but I can’t be bothered to check!

Wainwrights: Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike, Shipman Knotts.

Another nine ticked off!

Kentmere Horseshoe

4 thoughts on “Kentmere Horseshoe

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      On the way down, my eye was consistently drawn to the ridge I’d walked that morning, a stunning little triumvirate. It was a really beautiful day.

  1. I too have a fondness for Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick and Ill Bell, probably as when I started hiking for real at Uni this was the first day out when it didn’t chuck it down with rain (after 3 or 4 really soggy hikes)

  2. Like you that view over to Ill Bell from the Kentmere Pike side is superb. Shame when I did Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick the cloud was down so its nice to see the views from those summits

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