Start – Bowness Car Park NY109154, Distance – 12.5km, Ascent – 860m, Time – 4hrs 30mins plus stops.
A walk across two 2000ft peaks on the edge of Ennerdale. The weather was cold but sunny, with a hard frost and frozen ground. The route given here includes Bowness Knott, but I have to admit that I missed it out as the felled plantation to the north was a treacherous sea of ice-covered logs and branches which made the going really difficult. So much so that our walking partner Jen, who ploughed on regardless, took a bit of a spill and wrenched a knee. Still, in the true never-say-die fashion of a genuine yorkshire adoptee, she completed the rest of the walk with barely a grumble. The remainder of our day proved more straightforward, although a few icy passages on the steep rocky section of the climb up Rake Beck kept us focused. These peaks offer great views all around, both into Ennerdale and Buttermere valleys and the walk back along Ennerdale is extremely pleasant. Even by Lakeland standards, Ennerdale is stunningly beautiful and this walk is as good a way as any to really appreciate what the area has to offer.

starling01
starling02
starling03
starling04
starling05
starling06
starling07
starling09
starling01

Image captions (each paragraph represents one image).

High up on Rake Beck, looking across Ennerdale Water. Bowness Knott and its treacherous ex-forest is to the left, with Crag Fell beyond the lake.

A view down Rake Beck from the top of the steep bit. The climb has a couple of challenging sections, made more so on this day by the presence of ice on the rocks. The denuded area on Bowness Knott is clearly visible to the top right.

Descending Great Borne with Starling Dodd ahead and the High Stile Ridge beyond, looking rather lovely in its winter coat. Pillar is to the right, standing sentinel at the far end of Ennerdale.

Looking back to Great Borne at the start of the climb to the summit of Starling Dodd. Ennerdale Water is to the left.

The bizarre summit cairn on Starling Dodd. As well as the usual mound of stones, there’s also a pile of old steel fence posts as well, giving the top an installation-art look. I didn’t know Tracey Emin was a hillwalker

A closer view of the High Stile ridge, with the shapely summit of Red Pike to the left of centre. Little Dodd in the foreground is our next (and last) peak of the day.

A glimpse of Crummock Water from Little Dodd, with Grasmoor beyond. As befits this quieter area of Lakeland, we didn’t see another soul until we dropped back into Ennerdale.

Looking back to Starling Dodd from Little Dodd.

Looks like Miss Emin woz ‘ere too. The summit cairn of Little Dodd is less dramatic than its higher neighbour but makes a good foreground to the peak of Red Pike beyond.