26th February 2011

Ard Crags, Knott Rigg and Newlands Pass


Walk Overview
Time 10.45 to 13.50
Duration 3 hr 5 min
Distance 6.7 mile
Ascent 1700 ft
Walking with On my own
Rigg Beck - Aikin Kontt - Ard Crags - Knott Rigg - Newlands Hause - Moss Force - Newlands Pass road - Keskadale Farm - Rigg Beck
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Rigg Beck, Newlands Pass

This is another of the many disused quarries in the Lake District that have been adopted as an unofficial car park. It may not be the largest parking spot around, but if I were looking for a space in the middle of the day I'd be tempted to grab a space here rather than take a chance on one of the other car parks having room.


Route Map

When I was walking along the Newlands road at the start of this month it was bucketing down and I really didn't want a repeat of that weather. Thankfully, with the exception of a five minute shower near Keskadale Farm, I managed to stay dry today.

Ard Crags and my ascent route comes into view, but first I need to cross Rigg Beck.

Cat Bells, seen from the crossing point of Rigg Beck.

The route gets somewhat steeper for a while now, but the incline wasn't the problem today, it was the muddy condition of the path which was making the going really slippery. As daft as it may sound, crampons would have been really handy on the walk up here. For obvious reasons however, they were in the house and not on my feet.

A look backwards shows Newlands Valley, Cat Bells, a glimpse of Derwent Water, Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell, High Seat and cloud topped fells in the east and north.


It's just a short walk across to the summit now.

Ard Crags summit.

A close up of sunshine on Cat Bells.

Looking back to Ard Crags.

I couldn't believe how windy it had suddenly became around the summit of Knott Rigg. There had been a slight breeze all along, but nothing to write home about. For the ten minutes or so after leaving the summit, I really had to think about what I was doing. And then, almost like someone had flicked a switch, normality was resumed, , , very strange.

Cloud on Robinson.

I took this picture looking down the Buttermere side of Newlands Pass just before I reached the road at Newlands Hause. If you look to the right of the fields in the valley, you can see a little section of Crummock Water.

A long distance view down Keskadale Beck and Newlands Pass.

Moss Force or Robinson Fall as H I Jenkinson calls it in the 1876 edition of his "Practical guide to the English Lake District". He says "On gaining the summit of the Pass, Robinson rises wild and precipitous on the right, with Robinson Fall streaming down its side."

This was the reason for the slight de-tour from the road.

This was good timing. Before I crossed back over the beck, I thought it was time for something to eat. As I stood here for ten minutes I enjoyed a brief spell of sunshine.

A view down Newlands Pass, , , , ,   , , , , , and a view back up.

Well, I suppose I can't complain. The rain started as I passed Keskadale Farm and stopped just about now.

Passing by Birkrigg.


The snowdrops are out in full force now; and after what seems like such a long winter, this is indeed a welcome sign that spring is well and truly on its way. And just confirm this, after passing Birkrigg I noticed the line of daffodils under the hedge were shooting up and heavy with buds.

Looking across to Cat Bells and Little Town.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks