The Kentmere and Mardale Ill Bell walk in the Lake District

West from Kentmere past Crabtree Brow and along Garburn Pass, then north for about 4 miles to Thronthwaite Crag by way of Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick. East to Mardale Ill Bell and south east for another 4 miles to Shipman Knotts via Harter Fell and Kentmere Pike. Finally south to Wray Crag and west to Stile End, returning to the village along the minor road known as High Lane. A 13-mile walk in the Lake District.


The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District South-Eastern Area, reference OS Explorer OL7, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

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The view of Kentmere Reservoir from Yoke. Behind the reservoir Lingmell Gill flows down through the valley between Mardale Ill Bell (horizon, left) and Harter Fell (cloud-covered, right).


Looking north from Ill Bell. The path leading to the summit of Froswick is clearly visible.


The view west from Ill Bell across the Trout Beck valley.


Froswick (left) and Lingmell End (right). Between the two, in the valley, a series of streams meet to form the River Kent, which flows into the Kentmere Reservoir. The river then continues its 20-mile journey to Morecambe Bay.


The view south-west from Froswick. The high ground in the middle of the wide valley is The Tongue, with Hagg Gill flowing on its left (east) side and Trout Beck on its right (west) side. The pointed fell in the distance is Wansfell.

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Kentmere Reservoir as seen from Froswick.


Looking back to Froswick and Ill Bell from the path above Wander Scar.


Thornthwaite Crag’s 14-foot-tall summit beacon. Thornthwaite Crag is the highest of the eight Wainwright fells we are visiting, at 784 metres (2572 feet).


The view down to Kentmere Reservoir from the head of the valley between Thornthwaite Crag and Mardale Ill Bell.


Shelter between Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell, at the point where our path crosses Nan Bield Pass.

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Smallwater (foreground) and Haweswater Reservoir.


The eight Wainwright fells encountered on our walk:

  • Yoke
  • Ill Bell
  • Froswick
  • Thornthwaite Crag
  • Mardale Ill Bell
  • Harter Fell
  • Kentmere Pike
  • Shipman Knotts

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