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Walk up High Street from Kentmere

By Dave Chick   

on April 23, 2018    No ratings yet.

Walk up High Street from Kentmere

Further Details

Route Summary:

A real rollercoaster of a walk to High Street from Kentmere – part of the Kentmere Horseshoe

This walk includes the 5 Wainwrights of High Street, Thornthwaite Crag, Ill Bell, Froswick, Yoke

This walk includes the 5 Hewitts of High Street, Thornthwaite Crag, Ill Bell, Froswick, Yoke

This walk includes the 5 Nuttalls of High Street, Thornthwaite Crag, Ill Bell, Froswick, Yoke

Route Start Location: Kentmere Church - High Street summit

9.69 km 862 m 2hrs 30mins - 3hrs

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Nothing reliable. The nearest pubs and cafes can be located in Staveley, 4 miles to the south of Kentmere


No specific hazards other than the length of the walk in and out and the accumulated ascent – good paths are evident throughout.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : LA8 9JL - St Cuthbert Church, Kentmere

Public Transport:

No regular service. The Kentmere Rambler bus service used to operate during the summer but appears to have ceased – confirmation required. Buses and trains serve the village of Staveley, 4 miles south of Kentmere

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Walk up High Street from Kentmere Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Walk up High Street from Kentmere

The small Lake District village of Kentmere sits at the mouth of the valley of the River Kent, surrounded on all sides by fine, shapely fells. This ring of high, undulating ground forms the Kentmere Horseshoe, a popular high level route around the valley crossing no less than eight Wainwrights (with the option to add even more!).

The approach to High Street from Kentmere is a superb, roller-coaster of a walk over some interesting and shapely fells. By Lake District standards it’s a long way – around 8 kilometres – but is well worth the effort and the completion the Kentmere Horseshoe is highly recommended.

High Street from Kentmere Route Description

1 – The small village of Kentmere forms the start of this walk but arrive early if you intend to grab a parking space at the church. From the church, head north along the lane towards some houses and turn left between them. As the lane climbs uphill it soon becomes a track signed to Garburn Pass – follow this track west as it climbs all the way to the top of the pass. Keep an eye out for the Badger Stone, a large, isolated boulder that is popular with climbers.

1 – The track leading up the Garburn Pass – Sallows is the hill on the horizon

2 –  At the summit of the pass, leave the track to join the path towards Yoke. The junction is located just before the Garburn Pass track takes a sharp left turn. The path up Yoke is wide and stony and is easy to follow amongst the grass. At first, the climb is fairly steady though the gradient steepens as you approach Yoke’s summit.

3 – Here begins the rollercoaster ride over the two almost identical fells of Ill Bell and Froswick. The views to the east are superb with steep, craggy faces falling into the Kentmere Reservoir below. As before, the path remains obvious and easy to follow.

3 – Ill Bell above Rainsborrow Cove – the path can clearly be seen

4 – Ill Bell’s summit is topped by two substantial cairns and provides a fine platform to view its neighbour, Froswick. From Ill Bell, the path falls fairly steeply for 100m before climbing back up to reach Froswick’s summit. Ahead is the broad ridge leading up to Thornthwaite Crag.


5 – Descend from Froswick towards Thornthwaite Crag and start the climb out from the col. At Wander Scar, the route from Kentmere joins the High Street Roman Road, a route over the fells that used to link two Roman forts. It now lends its name to the highest fell on the route and the objective of this walk. The path becomes a little less distinct but still easy to follow.

6 – After joining the Roman Road, a short excursion to Thornthwaite Crag is possible. Views from the fell to the west are very good and it sports a remarkable 4m tall cairn – perhaps the most impressive in the whole of the National Park. If you chose not to visit Thornthwaite Crag, remain on the Roman Road as it turns in a northeasterly direction and climbs easily towards High Street’s summit.

7 –  The Roman Road path actually skirts around beneath the summit of High Street, so to reach the trig pillar you will need to leave the Roman Road and follow the line of a drystone wall that runs across the top of the fell. This wall makes a great navigational aid as it leads directly to the summit proper.

8 – From the summit, the easiest route back to Kentmere would be to cross Mardale Ill Bell to the south east and descend the southern side of the Nan Bield Pass. However, it is highly recommended to remain high and take in the tops of Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts, thus completing the Kentmere Horseshoe.


Dave is our Lake District local expert, often found in the depths of Cumbria he's the author of his own part on the web, All the Gear but no Idea.
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