10th July 2007

Troutbeck valley and the Ill Bell Ridge


Walk Overview
Time 08.50 to 15.40
Duration 6 hr 50 min
Distance 11.5 mile
Ascent 3610 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Troutbeck - Garburn Pass - Troutbeck Valley - Troutbeck Tongue - Froswick - Ill Bell - Yoke - Garburn Pass - Troutbeck
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Church Bridge, Troutbeck

There isn't a great deal of room here; perhaps a few more than half a dozen spaces if you're lucky. Once these are taken however, people generally begin to park along the road near the church.

Parking is free

There are lots of walking on offer from this spot, but for myself, I find this an ideal place to head out onto the western arm of the Kentmere horseshoe.


Route Map

A rather overgrown section near the bottom of Garburn Pass.

The view through the valley towards Troutbeck Tongue looked a bit grim as we walked along the path above Limefitt Park. Thankfully it did brighten up a little as we neared the head of the valley and by the time we'd ascended to the point between Thornthwaite Crag and Froswick the cloud had also lifted from the fells, so we were able to enjoy the views from ridge.

That reminds me, I must clean / treat my boots when they dry out.
Last time I bought a new pair I happened to mention to the guy in the shop that if I get eight months out of a pair of boots then they've done well. And that they always crack and split in the same place. He told me it shouldn't matter how much you use them they should still last longer than this. He then advised me to keep hold of the receipt and if the current pair only last that long then I should take them back and they may be able to return them to the manufacturer. Added onto the end of all this was the statement that they can actually tell if the boots have been regularly treated with the leather care stuff or not and if these ones have, then I may get the next pair for nothing.
I wonder how many times I could keep taking my boots back before I actually end up paying for them again??

A close up of Troutbeck Park, found at the head of the valley below Troutbeck Tongue.

It was a bit brighter now as we approached Troutbeck Tongue and the cloud had even lifted high enough to reveal our intended route up to the Ill Bell ridge. First of all however, we had to cross Hagg Gill in order to start a walk through the six foot tall Bracken on Troutbeck Tongue.
At the end of this wall turn sharp left through a gate, cross the small footbridge and make your way up to the path seen on the left of the picture.

Looking back through the valley towards Windermere which is just and so visible in the distance.

The walk across the grassy ridge on Troutbeck Tongue was much drier than I thought it would be, considering the amount of rain we've had lately.

Over the years I've had one or two emails off people asking if certain car parks in the Lake District fill up quickly in the mornings or if you can usually get parked at any time of day. Well here's one person who doesn't need to worry about parking spaces, lay-bys, roadside verges, in fact why bother with roads at all. I'm not actually sure what to make of this. If it's belongs to one of the farmers then (in my opinion) that's fine. On the other hand, hopefully this isn't the result of someone thinking they have the right to drive / park anywhere that their vehicle will take them.
Where will it end I wonder? Perhaps the guy who walks to the top of Helvellyn every day to take the weather readings could save himself all that effort by driving up to a pay and display car park next to the summit shelter. Although he'd need to set off early, because I'm sure that one would fill up pretty quickly.

Froswick lay ahead of us, but first something to eat on the edge of the ridge looking down into Kentmere (out of shot on the left).

The view back along the ridge with Stony Cove Pike on the left of the picture and Thornthwaite Crag on the right.

And then, as we were on Ill Bell the cloud rolled in to cover the ridge, bringing with it temperatures more like February than July.

A close up of the ridge below Harter Fell. The narrow path coming into the picture from the right hand side is Nan Bield Pass.

Yoke summit and a temporary parting of the ways.
Jennifer wanted a sit down for ten minutes, so I took the opportunity to have a walk down to see the lovely Rainsborrow Tarn.

Walking down to the tarn I got this great view of Kentmere Reservoir.

Rainsborrow Tarn; sitting precariously on the edge of the fellside above Kentmere Valley.

Kentmere Valley.

Now this is more like it.
The footpath repairs carried out on the path to Garburn Pass really have made a big difference. Anyone who's walked this route using the old path will know all too well just how wet, boggy and muddy it was across here.
The small area of trees (at the end of the path) marks the highest point on Garburn Pass.

A close up of Red Scress.

Heading back down to Troutbeck along the long and at times very rough under foot, Garburn Pass.

Troutbeck seen from Garburn Pass.


Looking back up Garburn Pass, along to Troutbeck Tongue and up to the Ill Bell ridge. A long way!

One minute we were saying to each other just how close "those sheep" sound, then they started to run past and continued to run by us for a good couple of minutes, which doesn't seem very long, but an awful lot of sheep can run past you in that length of time.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks