The Kentmere Horseshoe: Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag, High Street, Mardale Ill
Bell, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts
Date: Wednesday 23rd March 2022
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 22.1km, Ascent: 1120m
For our final walk of this trip, we decided to undertake
the Kentmere Horseshoe (also known as the Kentmere Round). The Kentmere
Horseshoe includes an ascent of eight Wainwrights, Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick,
Thornthwaite Crag, Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike and Shipman
Knotts, or nine Wainwrights if High Street is included. Our intention today
was to ascend the nine.
From a little pre-walk research, I knew
parking in Kentmere was limited. We therefore set off nice and early
arriving in Kentmere at 7am. We parked at the Kentmere Institute next to St.
Cuthbert's Church where we got the first parking place.
St. Cuthbert's Church, Kentmere:
View from Kentmere:
Once suited and booted, and after paying the suggested £3 donation
parking charge, we set off walking uphill towards the start of the Garburn
Start of by way leading to Troutbeck via Garburn Pass:
The views were great and the weather was fantastic from the outset. At
the start of the walk, the temperature was 4C. On getting back to the car
seven hours later, the temperature had risen to 19C.
From Kentmere, we ascended to the top of the Garburn Pass and then
turned right onto the wide ridge leading towards Yoke.
Ascent via the
The walk out to Yoke was pleasant, a gradual incline on an excellent
Track leading to Yoke:
Approximately 90 minutes after setting-off, we reached the summit of
Yoke our first Wainwright of the day.
View towards Ill Bell from the
summit of Yoke:
From Yoke we progressed along the ridge to the first of my two favourite
fells of the day, Ill Bell. Ill Bell is a really nice mountain and is
recognised as such as it makes it into the Trail100 list.
From Ill Bell, we descended steeply down to the col before commencing an
easy ascent to the summit of Froswick, our third Wainwright of the day.
View towards Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag and High Street from Ill Bell:
From the summit of Froswick, we got our first good views towards
Thorthwaite Crag and the highest point of the walk, High Street.
Looking down to Kentmere Reservoir:
Looking back to Ill Bell:
The walk out to Thornthwaite Crag was gentle in gradient with good paths
again making for easy walking.
Ascending Thornthwaite Crag:
Looking back along the ridge towards Froswick and Ill Bell:
Our fourth Wainwright summit of the day, Thornthwaite Crag, has a tall
Thornthwaite Crag summit:
From Thornthwaite Crag, as planned, we opted to include an ascent of
High Street. I believe High Street is named as such due to an old roman road
running across the summit of the hill. According to the OS 1:25000 map, High
Street is also known as Racecourse Hill.
Gradual ascent from
Thornthwaite Crag out to High Street:
At the summit of High Street we stopped for our first real break of the
walk to have a drink, some food, to apply more sunscreen, to take
photographs and to soak in the views. The only thing lacking was a nice cold
beer which with a little bit more planning would have been bliss.
the summit of High Street with views towards Helvellyn:
From the summit of High Street, we backtracked a short distance before
making our way out to Mardale Ill Bell.
Mardale Ill Bell summit:
Shortly after leaving Mardale Ill Bell I hit the deck with a thud. I am
normally very sure-footed and rarely fall; I think the last time I slipped
and hit the deck was five years ago. Thankfully no harm done so just a case
of get up and crack on.
On looking across to Harter Fell, I was
surprised that it isn't a Marilyn as it looked to have a drop of more than
150m. On checking DOBIH, I found that it has a drop of 148.2m i.e. just 1.8m
short of being a Marilyn.
Harter Fell from Mardale Ill Bell:
Looking down to Small Water with Haweswater Reservoir beyond:
Harter Fell was the second of my two favourite fells of the day, Ill
Bell being the other. I think ascending High Street from Haweswater would be
a much more interesting route than including an ascent as part of the
Kentmere Horseshoe. I will therefore likely be revisiting High Street in the
future via an ascent from Haweswater.
About to commence ascent of
On reaching the summit of Harter Fell, I could see a twin cairn in the
distance which looked about the same height as the single summit cairn. I
decided to head out to the twin cairn and back just in case it was higher.
On reaching the twin cairn, I could see that it was definitely lower than
the single summit cairn.
Harter Fell summit:
NE top of Harter Fell:
Once back to the summit we next made our way out to Kentmere Pike. The
summit trig point is on the opposite side of the wall from the track.
Kentmere Pike summit:
With eight Wainwrights ascended we now had just one remaining, Shipman
Descent towards Shipman Knotts:
On reaching the cairn on Shipman Knotts, I could see that it was not the
summit as the ground on the other side of the wall was higher. On again
checking DoBIH, it advised that the summit was 25m east of the wall. We
therefore had to climb over the wall and attached fence to reach the summit.
A small stile here would save people from having to climb over the wall to
reach the summit.
At the cairn on Shipman Knotts (the summit is 25m
east of the wall):
The walk out from Shipman Knotts back to Kentmere was just a case of
head down and plod on.
View across to Ill Bell and Froswick from
During the final descent to the road, and once on the road, I took some
iPhone panoramic pics of the horseshoe.
The Kentmere Round:
The Kentmere Round:
The Kentmere Round:
This was an enjoyable walk taking in nine Wainwrights. Staying six to seven
hours drive from the Lakeland fells is not ideal for trying to complete a
round of Wainwrights and the current price of fuel is somewhat prohibitive.
We saw garages on the M6 charging 199.9 per litre of fuel which I think is
taking the piss. I do hope to return in the not too distant future to
undertake some more walking in the Lakes. Hopefully the price of fuel will
by then have come down.