3rd August 2006

Hard Knott and Harter Fell from Brotherilkeld


Walk Overview
Time 12.55 to 17.05
Duration 4hr 10 min
Distance 7.9 mile
Ascent 2674 ft
Walking with On my own
Brotherilkeld - Lingcove Bridge - Hard Knott - Hardknott Pass - Harter Fell - Jubilee Bridge - Brotherilkeld
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking, Jubilee Bridge, Hardknott Pass

Hardknott Pass has got to be one of the steepest and most difficult roads in the country. In fact, many people make the effort to drive all the way around to this part of the Lake District just to face the challenge. I should point out that this road can be extremely dangerous during the winter months and is best avoided altogether if the weather is at all frosty. I was caught out myself on one occasion when using the route as a shortcut over to Cockley Beck. Just above the steepest of the bends the road turned into an ice rink and I had no alternative than to reverse back down until I reached a convenient turning place; not an experience I'm keen to repeat.

The car park has room for about ten cars, but should you find it full, there is usually room a little further along the road into Eskdale.

Route Map

Bow Fell with cloud on its summit, Crinkle Crags to the right and Hard Knott's ridge running in from the right of the picture.
After a couple of days with rain and cloud it was a nice surprise to day to get such clear conditions for the walk today.

Brock Crag seen on the opposite side of the River Esk.

One of the waterfalls around the Lingcove Bridge area of Upper Eskdale.
The bridge can just be seen in front of the large tree in the right.

Lingcove Bridge.
This bridge is said to be the same one which was built by the monks of Furness Abbey after they acquired 14,000 acres of Upper Eskdale in 1242, in exchange for land on the coast near Black Combe. The bridge and the area of Upper Eskdale was of vast importance to the Abbey as it gave them direct control of the shortest access routes to the the iron furnaces in Langstrath via Ore Gap and to their properties in Borrowdale.

A little higher up Lingcove Beck with Throstlehow Crag on the right of the picture.

Lingcove beck looking very clear. The higher fells in the distance are Scafell Pike, Broad Crag and Ill Crag.

Esk Pike and Bow Fell taken just after I left Lingcove Beck and started to walk across the Hard Knott ridge.

Almost from the same spot, this time with Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike and Broad Crag behind.
It seems strange that the finest views of the Lake District's highest mountains are to be had from this area, yet I would say 99 out of every 100 people who reach the summit of Scafell Pike never see it from it's best side.

Hardknott Tarn in front of Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags.

And the views just keep coming! Seatallan, Slight Side Scafell and Scafell Pike.

After leaving Hard Knott summit the view now switches to the Coniston Fells. The broad fell in the foreground is Grey Friar, with Great Carrs / Swirl How on its left and Brim Fell / Coniston Old Man on its right.

The top section of Hardknott Pass which I'd just crossed to get from Hard Knott to the start of the walk up to Harter Fell.

Cold Pike on the left, the valley is Wrynose Bottom and Grey Friar is on the right.

A close up of Seathwaite Tarn, with Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag on the sky line. Notice the bright section in front of the tarn. This is the concrete dam which you can walk across the top of to get from one side of the dam to the other.

The rocky summit of Harter Fell, taken as I was leaving the summit and starting the walk down to the valley. The actual summit is the rocky section on the left of the picture.

Eskdale valley with Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Ill Crag, Esk Pike and Bowfell in the distance.

And looking a little further round into Upper Eskdale.

A close up of Brotherilkeld and my route into Upper Eskdale at the start of the walk.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks