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" Mockerkin Mob - King's How "

Date & start time:       5th November 2023.   9.45 am start.

Location of Start :      The Bowder Stone car park, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 253 168)

Places visited :            Cummacatta Woods, The steps up King's How, the Bowder Stone and back.

Walk details :               2.25 miles, 1025 ft of ascent, 3 hours 45 mins.

Highest point :             Kings How,  1274 ft - 392m.

Walked with :               Loes, eleven other Mobsters, plus the dogs, Dylan, Dougal and Woody.

Weather :                      Sunshine and blue skies with some high cloud later.



© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


The Mob were out again . . . not the longest of walks but not a simple one by any means either.

We were heading out to climb King's How, the fell that overlooks the Jaws of Borrowdale.

A round trip from the Bowder Stone car park would give us a strenuous climb to the top

and then we would walk back via the old Victorian tourist attraction down in the valley.

It was a beautiful Lakeland day as we set off up the Buttermere Valley.

The drive up Honister and down the other side to Grange for us, would be shorter than going via Whinlatter.

It would also offer classic views this morning as well.

No trip up the valley is complete without a photo of the Buttermere Pines.

Over Honister and down the other side and we have our first view of King's How today.

The assembled group just prior to starting off.

Peter, Loes, Elly, Lois, John, David, Katrina, Judy, Joan and Kathryn (Ann, Hugh and myself are out of picture)

Our leader Peter outlined the route . . . up through the woods via the pitched path, so admired by Wainwright when the autumn colours are on offer.

He promised views of Derwent Water and Borrowdale from the top,

and then we would then return via the famous Bowder stone . . . how far away would that be Peter ?

We headed up through the delightfully named Cummacatta Woods . . .

passing not the famous rock, but a similar large lump of stone that had also fallen from the cliffs above the valley.

From an old slate quarry site we looked back at Castle Crag, standing defiantly in the centre of the Borrowdale Valley.

Another boulder, this one with a 'stepped' side, which allowed the dogs to climb to the top.

- - - o o o - - -



Kathryn kindly held the gates open

for the group to pass through.


She suggested we might like to give tips.

The best one on offer was . . .


" Don't get in the bath with your socks on."


It was going to be one of those days !



- - - o o o - - -

Once through the gate it was a short walk across to the foot of the fell . . . and across to the start of the main climb.

The group formed a single line ahead on the narrower path.
Gradually we noticed the pitched path was becoming steeper.

As we climbed, the occasional views through the trees revealed more and more of Derwent Water and Skiddaw.

A steady climb now, relentlessly up through the woods.
The occasional photo stop gave time for a quick rest.

A fallen tree next to the path supported a fine bracket fungus.

" Not far now Loes . . . . it's not too bad is it ? "

I think her expression says it all !

At the head of the steep but delightful climb there was a brief stop on the level ground

so we could relax, appreciate the climb and admire our surroundings.

Another gap in the trees gave us views across the Grange Fell Crags

and to the summits of Ether Knott and Brown Dodd.

Before the final climb there's a narrow upland valley known as Long Moss, with a slightly boggy section to avoid.

Buttermere isn't the only place with a 'spindle tree'.
On the climb to the summit Lois stops to look at a rock.

This is the Kings How Memorial Stone.

I noted ten years ago that the writing was fast becoming illegible.

The intervening years have done nothing to help and very few words are still recognisable today.

This was it back in 2012 when I commented . . .

"When King Edward VII died in 1910 his sister, Princess Louise, purchased Grange Fell (and this area now known as King's How)

and through the National Trust, donated it to the nation as a memorial to the late King.

The plaque records the facts for as long as the writing remains legible."

Princess Louise was an early benefactor of the newly created National Trust

and officiated at the opening of their first land acquisition at Brandlehow Woods, at about the same time as this.

From the top of King's How we were rewarded with the view north of Derwent Water, Skiddaw and Blencathra.

Turning 180 degrees we could see the Scafells and Great Gable beyond the head of the Borrowdale Valley.

Too early for lunch so we rewarded ourselves with coffee and pieces of Karen's flapjack brought especially for the occasion.

It tasted even better after that steep climb.

Our coffee-time view down over Grange Village and across to Catbells.

While the group relaxed I took the opportunity for a photographic look around.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

We descended the southern side on a more gradual path, weaving down through the crags and the dying bracken.

Ahead were ever improving views of Rosthwaite and the Borrowdale Valley.

A stand of larch turned out to be one fallen tree

that had survived sufficiently that the upwards pointing branches had each grown into trees in their own right.

- - - o o o - - -



Another tall stile to cross

so I was contemplating the possibility

that I might need to carry the dogs over.



Fortunately Woody, seen waiting for Judy to cross,

found a dog gate on the side

and all three dogs were through without effort.



- - - o o o - - -

Brambles with attitude, fortunately to one side of the path.
In fact they belonged to a wild rose, not a blackberry plant.

We were dropping down nicely and were now level with the top of Castle Crag, some 330 feet lower than King's How.

More intriguing plant life . . .
. . . . this time in the form of fungi on the side of another tree trunk.

Soon we were down at road level . . . but Peter knew of a path that meant we didn't need to walk along the roadway.

After reaching the valley and thinking the climbing was over

there was in fact one more little up and down before we reached the Bowder Stone.

Still . . . the views of Borrowdale from the path today were as good as they get.

The short climb was soon followed by the equivalent descent and the road was in sight once more.

Here we looked across to Goat Crag and High Steel Knott, with the crags of Nitting Haws away to the right.

Out came the leads for the first time in the day.

I crossed the road to view the river as it was invitingly close.

This was the Derwent as it entered the narrows under Castle Crag.  The reflections in the pools were perfect.

A set of steps in the wall took me quickly back to joint the group . . .
. . . as they took the next gate and track, up towards the Bowder Stone.

The landmark tourist attraction of the Bowder Stone is flanked on one side by an old cottage where presumably,

Mary Thompson (of the earlier advert) used to "attend on all parties desirous of seeing and examining the Immense Rock".

There is also a larger house on the other side, now believed to be a private Mountain or Club Hut.

The rock had a new steel ladder a year or two back so that visitors can continue to climb to the top.

. . . from where I could see the others sitting down and starting their lunch.

- - - o o o - - -


With that in mind it was time to head down

and crack open the sandwich box.


Not a moment too late,

Loes was already down there and tucking into hers.


We had a chat about the stone megalith where we were sitting.

It turns out, on later investigation,

to be a relatively modern megalith erected in 1778

and known as Pocklington's Druid Stone


Joseph Pocklington, who owned the site,

had it erected as a mythical "tourist attraction".


- - - o o o - -

Nowadays one of the other attractions of the site is the chance to climb it as a scrambling boulder.

It encourages rock climbers to scale the overhang and climb to the top.

The mats protect boulderers from a fall and the white marks are chalk from multiple attempts at the rock.

(I didn't have the heart to tell the guys it was easier if they used the ladder )



On the way back we passed a fence and gate . . .
. . . which gave access to the top of a quarry face.

Dougal sits next to a cemented slate stone platform above the steep drop.

The location is used for practicing rock climbs and rope abseils back down into the old quarry.

Participants include the Calvert Trust who I believe have also used it for wheelchair users to get a feel for the sport.

We gather back at the roadside

at the end of the excellent walk in the company of good friends once again.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my iPhone 11pro mobile phone camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . someone to suggest a lovely walk which I haven't done for may years.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 3rd Nov 2023 - The Wharf and Hetchell Woods

A previous time up here - 27th October 2012 Kings How ~ Brund Fell

Next walk - 8th Nov 2023 - Cogra with Angela and John

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Will someone tell the 'King How' to to get a copy of the latest Loweswatercam Calendar . . .


Now is  your chance to have your favourite web site pictures

hanging on your wall all year round

and to support a good cause.

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" We've done it again.

We've brought you twelve months of Loweswater pictures,

Lakeland scenes and your favourite mountain dogs."


Yes . . . The 2024 Loweswatercam Calendar is now on sale

- - - o o o - - -

Click here  or on the photos

for full details of how to buy your copy.