The Knott to Place Fell

Outline of Route
Cow Bridge, Hartsop - The Knott - Rest Dodd - Angletarn Pikes - Place Fell - Scalehow Force - Cow Bridge ( via shore path, Beckstones and Deepdale Bridge) (Grid ref. NY 403134)
Total Distance 13.6 miles, Total Ascent 3300 feet, Equivalent Distance 20.1 miles

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Escape Routes

  1. Omit The Knott and head straight for Rest Dodd.
  2. Descend from Boredale Hause towards Dubhow and head for Deepdale Bridge.

Details of Route
Both the car park at Cow Bridge - at the northern end of Brothers Water - and the parking area in Hartsop village are free at present. From Cow Bridge walk through Hartsop village, past the parking area, and follow the public bridleway, signposted "Hayeswater". Directly ahead of you is the spur of Gray Crag with Hayeswater Gill flowing down to the left of it. Having avoided any paths to the right which lead to Pasture Bottom, the valley to the right, now follow another path to the right which crosses Hayeswater Gill. Alternatively, keep to the left of the gill and cross the footbridge just past the filter house. Continue up this valley with the gill on your left and cross it again by the Hayeswater dam (photo). The water is often quite choppy but not on one occasion (photo). From here there's a well-trodden path zigzagging up the fellside. Bear right at the top of the ridge and follow it up to the crest of The Knott. There are fine views from here, to the west, of the Fairfield and Helvellyn ridges (panorama) and north to Martindale (photo).

Follow the wall running roughly north-east towards Rest Dodd. It's a bit boggy in the depression but no great problem. At some point you wander into private property but there's no indication where, and no reason to assume the owners object, but if you're challenged, don't say I didn't warn you. There is a good view of The Nab from here (photo). Head west from the summit of Rest Dodd (photo), there's no path, but aim to the left of Satura Crag and eventually join the path to Angle Tarn (photo). Here there are many little rocky outcrops to find a way through before the path becomes clearer. It passes the tarn, turning to the left before reaching Angletarn Pikes: avoid the cairned path that takes you to the right of the Pikes. Follow the path as it now curves to the right around the western flank of the lesser of the two main Pikes, then when the higher one appears pick your route to its summit (photo).

Descent from the summit ridge to the northeast and then head roughly north for Boredale Hause (photo), the depression on the way to Place Fell. There is an indistinct path but there's no real need to follow it as there are no dangers to be avoided and your destination is clear. As you reach Boredale Hause the path from Patterdale to Place Fell can be seen coming up from the left. Aim to meet it on the ascent of Place Fell. Round How (photo) appears to be the summit as you're climbing and though many, when they reach it, will be disappointed to find that the true summit is father on there may be relief that the steepest of the climbing is over and it's an easy stroll from there to the top.

There are fine views in all directions from this isolated peak and it's worth stopping a while even though it's invariably busy. Head northeast from the summit to the left of the largest of the summit tarns and down what becomes a very clear path towards Sandwick. At the depression, before reaching High Dodd, take the path on the left leading downhill. This descent is usually quiet, apart from the trilling of larks way up in the air and the burbling of Scalehow Beck (photo). Enjoy this solitude while you can: at the bottom you meet the busy lakeside path.

Turn left along this path and have one last look up at Scalehow Force before continuing. Many visitors get the steamer from Glenridding to Howtown and return by this path, which is why it is so crowded. Nevertheless it is one of the most beautiful low-level walks in Lakeland and can be enjoyed for that. Ullswater, in picturesque fellside setting, is good to start with, but as one progresses round the base of Place Fell to Silver Point the view gets better and better (photo). The lake becomes quite shallow and reedy at the end (photo). Continue via Side Farm, Rooking, Crookabeck, and just after Beckstones turn right over a bridge and onto a farm track. Leave this track on the right where indicated, and head for the gate across the field. Head for the middle of the buildings at Deepdale Bridge where a gate is found giving access to the main road. Turn left along the road out of the village. On the opposite side of the road, after a footpath signposted to Hartsop above How or Hart Crag a path leads up the bank to a fence which has obviously been climbed before. This gives access to a path, running parallel to the road, through the woods back to the Cow Bridge car park.

Rev. 02 September 2014

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