17th April 2016

Fells around Gillercomb

Time 6:45 to 11:30am
Duration 4 hr 45 min
Distance 8.9 mile
Ascent 2800 ft - roughly speaking
Walking with On my own
Seathwaite Bridge - Seathwaite (near) - Sour Milk Gill - Gillercomb - Base Brown - Blackmoor Pols - Green Gable - Gillercomb Head - Brandreth - Grey Knotts - Honister Slate Mine - Honister Pass - Little Gatesgarthdale - High Doat - Seatoller - Seathwaite Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Roadside parking leading to Seathwaite, Borrowdale

The popularity of the fells around here are more than reflected in the number of cars you find lining the road from Seathwaite Farm working back in the direction of Seatollor. Despite that, I'm almost tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get parked. Simply join the back of the line on the grass verge.

Parking is free and there are toilets at Seathwaite.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


An early start meant I'd be setting off in the shade this morning. Never mind, ahead of me I could see Base Brown already enjoying the sunlight and it wouldn't be long until I was enjoying the brightness and the seclusion you get on the fells at this time of day. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one heading that way.
What I didn't expect in the middle of April was to be walking on frozen ground.

Before too long I find myself walking in sunshine next to Sour Milk Gill waterfalls.



Looking around, Base Brown rises above the path and although a direct route was quite inviting, walking through Gillercomb was more inviting.

And here's Gillercomb, one of Lakelands many hanging valleys. I looked up at that cloud and thinking out loud, as you do; I hoped it wasn't going to completely cloud over and I'd still enjoy plenty of sunshine while I was out. The amount of blue on the rest of the pictures show this particular wish came true.

Given the time I set off, surprisingly I wasn't the first person at the top of Base Brown today. As I approached the summit a guy was just leaving. We both said we didn't expect to see anyone else up here at this time of day and both agreed on a day like this, it's the best time of day to be up on the fells.

Looking ahead to Green Gable.


Green Gable summit and Great Gable on the left of the picture. When I got here great Gable was completely hidden by cloud and in the space of seconds it was like this.

From the same place I look down to Ennerdale and Buttermere / Crummock.

Before I leave Green Gable I take a picture showing the cloud on Great End and the Scafell Pike area.

A close up of Buttermere and Crummock Water.

Heading to Brandreth.

Here are the three tarns next to Brandreth with Great Gable and Kirk Fell behind.

The top of Brandreth.

Brandreth to Grey Knotts - - for most of the way just follow the fence.

Grey Knotts Tarn.


Frozen pool on Grey Knotts.


From Grey Knotts I take an off path route down to the Honister Mines track. Here I look across to Pillar, Haystacks and High Crag.

And here you have Lakelands shortest railway line. I wasn't sure where to buy a ticket so I just carried on walking towards Honister Pass. Just one thing though; I wonder if time really does fly by when you're a driver of a train.


I follow the old Honister Pass route back down to Borrowdale and it was somewhere along here I thought it a good idea to add a visit to High Doat onto the end of the walk.

Looking back up towards Grey Knotts.

On High Doat I pass by this strange circle of cairns.

Lunch with a view of Castle Crag and in the distance are the Skiddaw fells.

Heading down to Seatoller.

Seatoller Farm House.


And here's where the walk ended. Sitting on a deck chair changing my boots in warm sunshine and looking up to Base Brown. Yes, a great walk this one and still not midday.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks