Kentmere Round

Walk: A strenuous walk of 13.5 miles around the Kentmere Horseshoe.

For: Adults and children over the age of 12yrs who able to walk for upto 10 hours comfortably.

Duration: 8 - 10 hours.

Distance / Ascent: 13.5 miles/22 km, 3790 ft/1155 m.

Grading: Strenuous - based on distance but there is some limited exposure on Ill Bell and Frostwick but otherwise a relatively well tracked walk.

Description: Indeed, just travelling to Kentmere Church can be a challenge, but you are rewarded highly with an absolute classic high-level walk. We will walk clockwise and be typically above 600m for the bulk of the day.  

We will take in 9 Wainwrights, those being:

Yoke, Ill Bell, Frostwick, Thornwaithe Crag, High Street, Mardale Bell, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike, Shipman Knotts.  

By completing all 9, you will have achieved the Greater Kentmere Horseshoe as it is often referred to.   

Kentmere gets its name from the elongated lake which is south of the village. Mere means ‘shallow lake’ and this lake itself has quite a chequered past as it comes and goes and was even filled in in 1840 to provide a pasture for local farming.  

The horseshoe is both a challenge, based on distance, but also intriguing due to the array of walking terrains we will pass over. We will walk mostly above 600m, pass over Roman Roads, moorland, ridges, and tracks, and along the way see stunning vistas of fells, lakes and tarns. 

As our walk is late Spring, we may hear the Cuckoos or even spot a Greater Spotted Woodpecker once we drop into the woods on our return to the Church.  If Spring is particularly late, then we may even also see a sea of Bluebells on our very tail end of our walk. 

This walk to recognised as a challenge; a little more remote from the other great walks that the Lake District has to offer, but for sure demands respect and will bring kudos to your hiking achievements. 

Meeting Place: Kentmere Church, LA8 9JL. See Start Locations.


Parking is limited allowing for circa 6 cars at the most, but we expect that the Farmer (positioned some 100m before the church) will have opened his field for parking for an Honesty fee of typically £5.00 per day.

Meeting Time: Monday / 8:00am to 8:30am for a 9:00am start.

We will commence walking at 9.00am promptly having already met, kit checked & allowed for transport delays/parking issues. 

Anyone who has not arrived by 9:00am, will miss the walk. 


Transport Options

Car sharing would be very valuable for this walk to limit the paid parking requirements but mostly to keep traffic/pollution to a minimum on the small local lanes.  

An ideal meeting place for car sharing will be Staveley Mill Yard, 14 Back Ln, Staveley, Kendal LA8 9LR, United Kingdom.   The Yard now operates paid meter parking but if sharing, then costs may be split. 

Participants will be contacted by the walk leader prior to the walk to discuss car sharing.

Road distance between Kendal and Kentmere is 14km. 

There is no direct connection from Kendal to Kentmere. However, you can take the line 555 bus to Reston Cottages (LA8 9PT) then take the taxi to Kentmere.

The 555 runs regularly from both Windermere & Ambleside to Kendal.

Leader / Organisation: Nicola Byrne of GingerRoutes

Equipment: You will require waterproof clothing, sturdy walking boots, warm clothing, and a ruck sack to carry your warm drink, 2 litres of water and lunch and snacks.  

Also consider a pair of binoculars if you want to get up close to any of the stunning vistas.   

If unsure about what clothing and kit, then please read this link to provide a full and comprehensive guide so that you are fully prepared.

Dogs: All dogs welcome however they must be always under your control. Your 'doggie best friends' must be within your sight at all times, respond to recall, and not be a sheep chaser as it will be lambing season in May. 

All dogs must also be friendly and respond well to other dogs around them if there are several on the walk.

I will have my own dog with me who loves everyone.  Affectionately known as ‘Paddy The Baddy’ as he once stole a freshly cooked paella dish from the kitchen and ate the lot ! 

Please ensure that your 4-legged friends are capable of such distance in warm or hot weather as there will be limited water options for dogs. 

Max No People: 12.


Adult: £5.00

Child (under 16): £2.50

Concession: £4.00