Date & Time: Saturday 9th June 2007. 11am start. ( NY 110 154 )

Location of Start : Bowness Knott car park, Ennerdale, Cumbria, Uk.

Places visited : Bowness, Irish Bridge, Silvercove Beck, Caw, Little Gowder Crag, Haycock, Tewit How, LingMell plantation, Irish Bridge and back.

Walk details : 10 mls, 3125 ft of ascent , 8 hrs 25 mins.

Highest point : Haycock at 2605 ft ( 794 m )

Walked with : Jo Hall, Jill Rowland, John Paterson, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Megan, Polly, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Hot, plenty of sunshine but becoming overcast at times, hazy.

Our start from Bowness Knott car park at the end of the Ennerdale public road.


Jill surveying the view across to Anglers Crag and Crag Fell, while the canine contingent take the chance of an early dip.

The walk starts (and ends) with a one and a half mile walk alongside Ennerdale Lake.

Ahead, and to the right of the trees, is the high ground of Haycock and Caw, our targets for today's walk.

Smithy Beck Bridge
A roadside clearing of possible ancient vintage

Smithy Beck, which drains from the side of Starling Dodd, derives it's name from the "blacksmiths" of old. Ennerdale had a primitive supply of iron ore, and when combined with charcoal from the woods on this side of the lake, led to a small iron smelting industry in the valley. The clearing showed signs of old foundations and could have been the site of the smelter or it's associated buildings.

Irish Bridge - rumour has it that it was named after the Irish Navies that built the original pipe bridge that existed before this one.

The bridge is not named on the map, and I suspect time has not recorded the names of the Irishmen either.

After walking upstream to get the previous photo, the low water level was low enought to allowed a river crossing by foot, which was as easy as walking back to the bridge. ( photo by Ann of course !)

Across the valley now, and into the forestry to find the path up the central ridge towards Caw Fell.

Considerable clearing has left these Scots Pines out on their own.

These trees had grown much taller and straighter than usual when enclosed within a crowded forestry context.

Several years ago this stile and fence marked the edge of the forestry.

Now it is part way up the open fell side.

Nearing the last rise to the high ground of Caw, the three girls are walking (and talking) in front of a backdrop of Red Pike and High Stile.

New fence work on the Ennerdale southern boundary . . .
. . . takes us up to the summit of Caw

As we stop for lunch some of the runners from the Ennerdale Horseshoe Fell Race were passing our summit stop.

The race starts and ends at the Scout Field at the bottom of Ennerdale Lake, and does a high level

20+ mile 8000ft circuit of the valley. The fastest competitors manage it in just over four hours !!

Two apologies are due at this point . . .

Firstly . . . the names of this couple escape me (Ron and Denise ??) but they were doing Caw and Haycock as part of their final Wainwright push.

(Only 40 or so to go - like Jill.)

Perhaps I should have scribbled your names down at the time but two weeks on my memory fails me.

Secondly . . . the camera settings went haywire for this and the next few shots so the picture is rather poster-ised - not a good day !

After a brief stop we resumed or walk, heading for Haycock, passing what I took to be a race marshall's tent on the way.

In fact the tent turned out to be a substantial Portacabin which is home four nights a week to the wall repair staff.

The poster on the right explains all. It was nothing to do with the race at all.

Caw Fell and Iron Crag from Little Gowder Crag, with the cabin far below now.

The wall continues up towards Haycock

but we would pass on extending the walk to Scoat Fell and Steeple beyond.

Committee meeting just prior to reaching the summit.

One race participant stops for water as another is leaving the Haycock checkpoint on his way west.

John checks his Gps for accuracy as he stands on the highest rock of the fell.

We walked a short distance from the summit to get a better view down towards Wasdale.

Ahead in the haze is Middle Fell and Greendale Tarn, with the Screes behind.

Ann at the secondary cairn, which is known as Gowder Crag on the map.

Behind is Wasdale's Red Pike with Scoat Tarn sheltering on it's western slopes.

Where now ? I'm checking the map as John sets off to descend by the wall.

The Scoat Fell checkpoint closed at four pm

so these must be the last of the 120 or so runners

making their way along the fell side.

- - - o o o - - -

We are aiming for the cairn in the foreground

then we need to turn left

and make our way back down into Ennerdale.

- - - o o o - - -

For a little background to fell racing click here

Part way down the hillside we noticed a slight movement in the wet grass.

Good camouflage . . .
A young Common Frog.

Reaching the top of the forestry, this rock provides a foreground for a photo of Pillar Fell and Upper Ennerdale.

It also provides a stage for a bunch of posers ! [ Bethan, Harry, Polly, Jodie and Megan.]

Inside info . . .

The dogs don't always stay on the rocks themselves . . .

sometimes they have to be bribed to sit still.

- - - o o o - - -

From here it's a sharp descent down to the valley floor.

John and I managed to sit still without being bribed, as we took a break on a small bench in the forest.

A short forest road walk through the Ling Mell Plantation took us back to the Woundale Beck, a feeder for the main River Liza.

Time for the dogs to take another cooling swim.

Jo encouraging Jodie, John watching, Ann encouraging Harry, and Jill with no canine responsibilities, sits up river and cools her own feet instead.

Jill looking back on what has been a long but delightful walk.

A final view of Ennerdale as the late afternoon sun reflects on the lake.

It's a short walk from here back to Bowness Knott and the end of the walk.


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . an insight into the Wild Ennerdale project.

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Previous walk - 8th June 2007 Illgill Head and the Railway Children

A previous time here - August 1989 - with our two (young) children, aged 5 and 7.

The walk alongside Ennerdale Lake heading for Steeple
Jen, Ann and Gareth shelter beside the wall near Haycock

Next walk - 12th June 2007 Andrew Mason and his Dad go Low Fell bagging