Bowscale Fells and Bannerdale Crags

Yet another of those grand Lake District days of clear blue skies and distant views, albeit with a slight haze on the most distant tops and a bank of cloud over the Solway.


Bannerdale Crags  (c) John Bainbridge 2016


We set out from Mungrisdale, which had suffered in the floods with the River Glenderamackin washing away the footbridge between the village hall and the pub, damaging the early parts of the path we had to take.

The bridge over its tributary the Bullbeck and the path nearby were out of action, causing us to make a boggy detour to access the footpath leading around the south side of The Tongue and up on the ridge south of Bowscale Fell. But once away from the river it’s a good path, climbing gently and with excellent views of Bannerdale Crags.


On Bowscale Fell, looking towards Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra (c) John Bainbridge 2016


Amid the rocks of the latter are the adits of the old Bannerdale lead mine. What a wild and isolated place for people to work. Hard toil too, destroying your own health to make some distant owner rich.

From the top of the ridge it’s an easy stroll up to Bowscale Fell. A modest height, considering the greater summits nearby, but with excellent views over much of the northern lakes and across the Eden valley to the Pennines. The summit cairn here doubles as a shelter against the wind, not that we needed it. Despite the surviving patches of snow it was T-shirt warm on these tops.


On Bannerdale Crags (c) John Bainbridge 2016


Another easy walk leads to the summit of Bannerdale Crags, the path winding high above the cliff. The little cairn marks the top of the crags, the actual summit is a little higher up the hill. The joy here is the magnificent view up towards Blencathra, with the ragged delineation of its famous ridge, Sharp Edge.


Bannerdale Crags looking towards Bowscale Fell (c) John Bainbridge 2016


We descended to the source of the Glenderamackin, following the beck all the way back to Mungrisdale. Mostly a very easy descent, with one of the best paths in Lakeland. A lovely deep valley too, a place to linger, a little lost world of tranquillity.


Blencathra and Sharp Edge (c) John Bainbridge 2016


The end of the path has suffered from the floods, some sections very near to the village being washed away, though these stretches are easily bypassed.

Let us hope that the path is soon repaired.

But a lovely walk in a quieter area of the Lakes.


2 thoughts on “Bowscale Fells and Bannerdale Crags

  1. Superb photos – I take it that beautiful weather wasn’t today or yesterday? it’s been grim and dull and cold here for the last 2 days. We were up there last week though and had a lovely few days 🙂


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