Harter Fell from Sadgill via Shipman Knotts and Kentmere Pike.

Start. Sadgill.

Route. Sadgill - Sadgill Wood - Wray Crag - Shipman Knotts - Kentmere Pike - Brown Howe - The Knowe - Harter Fell - Little Harter Fell - Gatescarth Pass - Brownhowe Bottom - Wrengill - Sadgill.

Notes. Brave the single track of grey tarmac that leaves the A6 a few miles north of Kendal, this narrow road carves it's way through the Longsleddale valley getting narrower the further you travel. Hemmed in by hedge rows with lots of blind bends, your nerves will be on edge, but when the tarmac ends you've driven over five miles into staggering mountain scenery, you've arrived at Sadgill, end of the line. There's parking for a few cars, and there's space for one more, now no excuses, get your boots on.

I'd just laced my boots up but couldn't decide which way to go, in the end I crossed the single arch of Sadgill Bridge and headed up a bridleway signed Kentmere. Passed the buildings of Sadgill Farm I climbed, the going got steeper before I popped out onto the wide coll between Green Quarter Fell and Shipman Knotts. A small cairn marked a path to my right, this was my route into the promised land, with a dry stone wall for company I continued climbing.

We've had several weeks of dry weather, it rained yesterday but the ground was hard under foot making for an easy climb. Over Wray Crag I ascended hands on in places, then over Shipman Knotts, after Shipman Knotts I wandered above Rough Crags, I then found myself following a fence line on the long ascent of Kentmere Pike. A steep descent followed before an easy pull onto Brown Howe.

Over Brown Howe I walked passed the head of Drygrove Gill then across The Knowe before resting on the summit of Harter Fell. The views were stunning even on a grey day like today. I stopped to chat to other walkers before re-joining the path for the short walk to Little Harter Fell. From this rocky eyrie I descended to Gatescarth Pass, an ancient track linking Longsleddale to Mardale Green (now swallowed up by Haweswater Reservoir).

The stony surface of this ancient trod guided me back into Longsleddale, across the edge of Brownhowe Bottom passed the disused Wrengill Quarries. With steep crags rising to my right and left this was a spectacular walk out. Under the cliffs and scree of Raven Crag and Brown Crags and Buckbarrow Crag I descended. It wasn't long before the farm buildings at Sadgill tilted into view, journeys end.

view route map.


Ascending Sadgill looking back over Longsleddale with Ancrow Brow rising to the right.

From the lower slopes of Wray Crag, Green Quarter Fell rises out of shot to the right, to the left guarding the mouth of Longsleddale Todd Fell and Whiteside.

On Wray Crag looking to Green Quarter Fell.

Heading up Shipman Knotts with this view to look back on, Longsleddale.

Viewing Shipman Knotts from this wonderful green trod that's guiding me.

Near the summit of Shipman Knotts enjoying this stunning view down Longsleddale.

Kissed by cloud Kentmere Pike.

The head of Kentmere, Froswick with the bulk of High Street running out of shot to the right.

Toiling up Kentmere Pike, on view Goat Crag and Shipman Knotts with Longsleddale melting into the haze to the south.

Ill Bell, Froswick and High Street on show from the summit of Kentmere Pike.

From the ascent of Harter Fell views to Brownhowe Bottom, the pass into Mosedale and the vast expanse of the Eden Valley.

Clinging to a reassuring path looking back to Kentmere Pike.

The summit Harter Fell with views to High Street.

Held in the palm of the mountains hand, Blea Water.

Looking to Haweswater Reservoir from Little Harter Fell.

Gatescarth Pass once played host to tinkers and travelers, packhorse trains and humble shepherds, drovers and the residents of Mardale Green and Longsleddale, a motorway in it's day, oh how things change. Mardale Green has been swallowed up by the waters of Haweswater Reservoir, the main road now runs over Shap Fell and this route through the hills is used mainly by walkers and cyclists, if you wish to take motor transport over there's a permit scheme in operation.

Gatescarth Pass looking down Longsleddale.

The final descent, between dry stone walls through magical mountain scenery.

A wonderful view back up the Gatescarth Pass, Brown Crags and Raven Crag with Buckbarrow Crag to the right.

back to top

back to list