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Ennerdale, Bowness Knott, Great Borne, Starling Dodd, Floutern Tarn, Cumbria.
[13.5 km]  Wed 04 Jul 2018

Lat/Long: 54.525497, -03.376748
OS Grid ref:
NY 10993 15340
Had a pleasant drive north along the M6 in sunshine then off at Penrith to head west and back to the Ennerdale area. My plan is to repeat a walk I did in Apr 2007 and try and reach the summit of Bowness Knott which I failed back then. I drove through the narrow lanes to Crossdale then continued through Whins to the end of the road where there is a good car park amongst the trees. This was handy as it gave shelter from the fierce sun. It is also free which is even better.

Welcome to Ennerdale
I set off back along the lane to the point where the path on the north side of Bowness Knott leaves the road. The path is for access to Great Borne but Wainwright’s Book of the Western Fells mentions a path higher up that gives access to Bowness Knott. I set off upwards in the warm sunshine and at a fork took the right track. It became fainter and faded to nothing for a while. I followed the fence towards the summit of Brown How and decided to climb the fence and cross an area of cleared pine which was littered with scrub and old bits of trunk.
Bowness Knott

Puzzling stone structure
It was difficult going for a while but improved when I reached the heather. I reached the unimpressive summit area and all that marked Bowness Knott was a small cairn. However, the views were excellent especially to the west and down to Ennerdale Water. I started to return the way I come but noticed a faint path heading to the east. I followed it for a while but could see it was going in the wrong direction for me. When I reached the pines I turn left across rough ground to re-cross the fence where I was prviously. On Town How I crossed to the pass through rough Heather but once at the summit of Rake Beck I was on the main track. I set off up the steep path by the stream and about halfway up came to an interesting stone structure that I commented on during my last visit. It is formed in a circular beehive shape with the top removed. Inside the stone work is tidy and it has the look of being very old. Once home I tried to find out more about it but couldn’t find anything. The climb up continues quite steep following the side of the river and in places is a bit of a scramble.
On reaching level ground I started to head west towards Herdus but decided to turn right instead and follow the main path to the summit of Great Borne. The Herdus route is the one I took on my last visit and the path I was now on was new territory. It was an easy walk through the boulders to the summit trig post and it had a useful stone shelter next to it. I decided to stop here for my lunch but as I was packing away I was attacked by a plague of flies. The south east descent was also through boulders and soon gave way to an easy grassy path following the fence.
Great Borne summit trig post
At a bend in the fence was Scaw Well which is a spring issuing from the fellside and looked reasonably clean but I decided against drinking any. The path levelled out and I had an excellent view of Starling Dodd ahead which was my next summit. I continued across the flat fell which steepened on the final approach.
Scaw Well and Starling Dodd
The summit was marked with a stone cairn and pieces of old iron fence posts. The reason I came this far is to get good views down towards Crummock Water. I returned back the way I come for about a kilometre to the saddle. Once at the designated point I turned north across rough flat ground where there was no path of any kind.
From Starling Dodd looking at Red Pike

Crummock Water from Starling Dodd
This is the route I'd taken in 2007 and I was following the GPS track from that walk. Traversing to the left I started to descend to traverse the north side of Great Borne which was a bit tricky in places as I had to negotiate two deep gills. At Floutern Crag I stopped by a delightful flat grassy area which would make an ideal camping spot.
Floutern Tarn
The only water would be from Red Gill which I'd already passed. It is quite interesting to note that there was a good mobile phone signal. I continued down the fell towards the west end of Floutern Tarn which looked very picturesque in the excellent sunshine.
Ennerdale
A climb through wet rushes took me up to the main path which goes over to the west and towards Ennerdale. The path improved on the descent to a farm track and continued down to wind its way between several fields until I reached the road near Whins. Turning left here I had about 2 kilometres to walk along the road back to the car park and my car. During the walk I didn't a single person, not even in the distance.
Bowness Knott from the Ennerdale Road