One of the longest and most remote classic rounds in the Lake District, the Kentmere Horseshoe showcases the very best that the Far Eastern fells have to offer, taking in eight Wainwright fells with extra tops to be added as you wish. It may not be as popular as some of the other Lakeland rounds, but it certainly doesn't disappoint, with stunning vistas overlooking Haweswater, Kirkstone and Windermere, as well as providing a mixture of gentle grassy paths and some rougher rockier sections. Starting at Kentmere village, the route is best attacked anti-clockwise, commencing on the gentle trails up to Harter Fell. After traversing across the Nan Bield Pass to Mardale Ill Bell, it's only a short climb over to High Street and Thornthwaite Crag before getting stuck into the three dramatic summits guarding the western flank. The fell-top walk over Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke is certainly one to savour - a highlight of the walk - before heading back to Kentmere.
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Distance: 12.61 miles (20.30 km)
Total ascent: 1,016m
Time: 6 – 8 hours (Walking)
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SummitsKentmere Pike 730 m
Harter Fell 778 m
Mardale Ill Bell 760 m
High Street 828 m
Froswick 720 m
Ill Bell 757 m
Shipman Knotts 587 m
Thornthwaite Crag 784 m
Yoke 706 m
Kentmere Village. Parking is very limited, however there are a few spaces at the community centre adjacent to the church; a space is almost guaranteed before 9am. Occasionally a local farmer will open a field for parking, however I wouldn't rely on this. A small donation is suggested for either, NY455041
Up to Harter Fell on the eastern side it is predominantly grassy tracks with a few rocky sections to negotiate. After a wet spell it can get a little boggy in places. The remainder is largely on rocky trails.
There is no public transport to Kentmere. However, Staveley is well connected: Bus 555 Kendal-Keswick, Bus 755 Windermere-Staveley, Train (Northern trains) Windermere-Oxenholme. All stop in the town: times and prices may vary seasonally and with public holidays.
The Far Eastern Fells (Volume 2 of the Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells)- Alfred Wainwright https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wainwrights-Illustrated-Walking-Guide-District/dp/0711236550/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=wainwright+books&qid=1593288538&s=books&sr=1-14 The Mountains of England and Wales (Volume 2: England)- John and Anne Nuttall (Cicerone Guides) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mountains-England-Wales-Nuttalls-Cicerone/dp/1852845945/ref=sr_1_1?crid=AANDNKNNCF97&dchild=1&keywords=the+mountains+of+england+and+wales&qid=1592420197&s=books&sprefix=the+mountains+of+england+and+wa,stripbooks,157&sr=1-1 Complete Lakeland Fells- Bill Birkett https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Lakeland-Fells-Bill-Birkett/dp/0002184060/ref=sr_1_1?crid=OJVEKSMQX84H&dchild=1&keywords=bill+birkett&qid=1593291091&s=books&sprefix=bill+birke%2Cstripbooks%2C154&sr=1-1
OS Explorer OL5 (1:25,000), OS Explorer OL7 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Lake District (1:40,000), OS Landranger 90 (1:50,000)
Maggs Howe B&B, Kentmere. There are a few lodgings as in Staveley, as-well as a caravan site just outside. However, there is ample choice of accommodation in nearby Windermere.
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Windermere (015394 46499); Ambleside (015394 32582); Waterhead (015394 32729)
by Daniel Dalton
Weird, we always do it clockwise for a run, probably as it's much better coming down Harter to Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts than slogging up it.
I think almost everyone does it Clockwise!
That's what i thought, even the fell race is clockwise, i have probably done it 10-15 odd times now, the first 5 miles are grim anti clockwise
I've run it clockwise too but I can see the sense in saving the best until last since the walk does rather peter out a bit after Harter Fell
It changed in c1987 - iirc because of the queue to get over the stile only a couple of miles from the start - which obviously led to people climbing the wall. My times were much faster anti-clockwise!