Date & Time: Saturday 16th December 2006. 11 am start.

Location of Start : Bowness Knott Car Park, Ennerdale, Cumbria UK. ( NY 109 0153)

Places visited : Brown How, Great Borne, Starling Dodd, Smithy Beck, back to Bowness Knott car park.

Walk details : 5.5 mls, 2250 ft of ascent , 4 hrs 55 mins.

Walked with : Jill Rowland, Jo Hall, her dogs Megan and Josie, Ann, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Dry, overcast, cloud base 1800 ft slowly rising, a cool north westerly breeze.

My three ladies for the day, at Bowness Knott car park.


Another late start as not all the party were ready for the off.

Do you mind . . .I haven't finished my make up !

On this second day of promised good weather we decided to walk in Ennerdale, in the western Lake District.

The Mountain Weather forecast took a pessimistic view, the National Parks / Met Office weather line a positive one. In truth they were both right, but at different times of day. We were promised cooler, drier weather, and that was good enough for us.

The three girls, Ann for those not recognising the new hair do, is on the left !

Our walk started with a slight backtrack, about quarter of a mile or so back along the road to the base of Great Borne / Herdus.

From there we started to gain height, following the stream up.

This gave us really good views of Ennerdale water, which improved even more as we climbed.

Nearly level with Bowness Knott now, Crag Hill is the fell opposite, and Whitehaven is away down at the coast to the right.

Suddenly as we reached the hause between Bowness Knott and great Borne we got new long distance views up the full length of Ennerdale.

The cloud was down, but we could make out Pillar and the slight snow covering on Gable and Green Gable.

The climb continued unabated,
with chance for a stop to admire the Fox Bield.

What appeared as a jumble of stones turned out to be a circular arrangement of dry stone walling designed as a fox trap.

About four of five foot deep inside, the trap would have a bait in the form of a dead bird or rabbit suspended over the hole.

In trying to get to the prize, the fox would overbalance, fall into the hole and become trapped as he was unable to jump out.

That at least was the theory.

How successful it was in practice is unclear.


This is one of the best preserved Fox Bields in the Lakes.


The view across the valley is not bad either.

From there it was onward and upward to the summit of Great Borne.

Using your hands is allowed, as the path turns to a minor scramble.
The impressive but unnamed waterfall along side the path

Above the falls was the start of the low cloud and the poorer visibility.

Great Borne summit trig point
Harry climbed to the top himself.

It appeared that Jo and Jill, even Jodie, had quietly managed a free ride up on Bethan's back !

Great Borne, a new Wainwright summit for both Jo and Jill, and for that matter Megan.

Heading East, too early for lunch, we followed the green path along the ridge way.

The ground was wet, but fortunately not waterlogged as we made our way towards our next objective.

We were on the limit of the low cloud, and occasionally it would lift slightly to give us views of Ennerdale (previous photo)

or as in this picture, the Lorton Valley and Mellbreak on the opposite side of the fence.

The fence was in fact a useful aid to navigation, that was until it tuned a corner and left us to our own devices.

Still from the fence it was only going to be one way, and that was up, to the summit of Starling Dodd.

At 2000+ feet, it was considerably cooler and in the breeze the mist formed droplets on our fleece and gloves. It couldn't have been much above freezing.

After a brief lunch in a sheltered hollow on the Eastern side of the fell, we turned for home and made our way down the side of Starling Dodd.

The views down towards Ennerdale Water as we cleared the mist were most welcome.

Ann pauses to appreciate a sudden glimpse of snow covered peaks opposite.

It was Kirk Fell, with Great Gable in the mist to the left and the rising slopes of Pillar to the right.

Still wrapped up warmly, we descended from Starling Dodd,
. . . aiming for the forest break between the green and brown trees below.

A lone Juniper tree adds a foreground to Upper Ennerdale and Great Gable.

Zooming in, the three layers of cloud above Pillar become obvious. The blue sky and sunshine lifts the spirit too.

At the head of the clearing, Jo climbs sedately, compared to Jill's slightly more dramatic gate vault just moments before.

Sorry no photo !

A forest walk takes us down past an old sheep fold, which no doubt pre-dates the conifer plantation.

In the failing afternoon light we pick up the forest road alongside Smithy Beck.

Smithy Beck falls, adjacent to the path.
Plenty of water in the river today.

A longer exposure as I try to photograph the girls on the bridge adjacent to the falls.

The Smith Beck Trail took us back down to the lakeshore road, and from there it was a short walk back to the car.

Final views of Crag Fell and it's pinnacles at about four pm.

After a wash and brush up we met up with John Paterson and called in at the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite

where Lin and Chris Charnley were staying. Time to exchange cards and Christmas wishes with fellow OFC Members.

Talking Heads ~ Jo and John.

Outside the night was clear and dry

and the hotel had

made great success of illuminating

the Scots Pine in their garden.




The Swiss Lodore Hotel alongside Derwent water was also bathed in a festive mantle.

They have really made it look attractive for the Christmas period.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a Keswickian Curry afterwards

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Previous walk - 16th December 2006 With Jo and Jill to Great Borne

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