19th February 2006

Great Gable and the Brandreth ridge from Honister


Walk Overview
Time 09.45 to 14.30
Duration 4 hr 45 min
Distance 6.3 mile
Ascent 2580 ft
Walking with Jennifer and Andrew & Anne Leaney
Honister - Fleetwith - Stone Cove - Beck Head - Great Gable - Windy Gap - Green Gable - Brandreth - Grey Knotts - Honister
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Honister Mines

Given the size of the car park (s) here I'm tempted to say you'll find ample parking up here. This isn't always the case though. The popularity of the mine tours and the surrounding fells make this a very busy place indeed.

You have two options here, the mines car park and the national trust car park next to the Youth Hostel. They both cost about the same, so it doesn't really matter which one you try first.


Route Map

We had some perfect winter sunshine for the start of today's walk as this picture taken from the drum house which is found about halfway along the old tramway running between Honister and Dubbs Quarry shows. It was at this point we turned left to follow the path below Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Green Gable to Beck Head.
The fells at the back of the picture are Pillar (left) the top of Haystacks (middle) and High Crag / High Stile (right).

One of the finest views in the Lake District, looking down to Ennerdale on the left and Buttermere on the right. It's quite difficult to understand why there should be such a difference in popularity between these two valleys when you see just how close they are to each other. Buttermere is somewhere I would try to avoid at certain times of year, such as bank holiday weekends, yet Ennerdale is generally quiet no matter when you go there.
The fells in the middle of the two valleys are Haystacks, High Crag and High Stile.

A close up of Buttermere and Crummock Water taken from a little further along our route. The tarn at the bottom of the picture is Blackbeck Tarn.

Wintry condition indeed on the climb up to Great Gable from Beck Head.

Kirk Fell and Pillar, again taken from the route up to Great Gable. The fells on the right hand side of Ennerdale Valley are Great Borne, Starling Dodd and the High Stile ridge.

The head of Ennerdale Valley on the left, the High Stile Ridge, Haystacks, a glimpse of Crummock Water and the North Western fells.

Almost at Great Gable summit.

The excellent, even if a little hazy, view down to Wasdale from the Westmorland Cairn which is found close to Great Gable Summit.

Lunch at Great Gable summit.

The approach to the aptly named Windy Gap between Great Gable and Green Gable.

The view down to the head of Ennerdale from Windy Gap.

Jennifer and Anne, both well wrapped up on Green Gable summit. Buttermere and Crummock Water can be seen on the left side of Anne.

Leaving Green Gable. We turned left and headed for Brandreth just before the rocky area sticking out above the snow.

Looking back up to Green Gable with the darker looking summit of Great Gable behind.

Gillercomb and Borrowdale taken from Gillercomb Head.

The biggest of the Brandreth Tarn/s with Kirk Fell on the left and Pillar in the middle of the picture.

Grey Knotts summit.

Fleetwith Pike and some of the Honister quarries from our route off Grey Knotts.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks