Knipescar Common

View from Knipescar Common
View from Knipescar Common

Route Introduction

Knipescar Common is one of Alfred Wainwright’s Outlying Fells of Lakeland. It is situated on the far eastern edge of the Lake District National Park. This route card suggests a fantastic route for someone peak bagging the Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Adventurer Nic walked this route on Saturday 20th June 2020. This was Outlier number 38 of 116 for Nic. Here, she explains how you can bag this outlying fell too.

Knipescar Common Route Stats

Fells: Knipesar Common (342m)

Total Distance: 4.7km / 2.92miles

Total Ascent: 110m / 361ft

Approx Walk Time: 1.5 hours

Grid Reference Start: NY 530183

Knipescar Common Route Report

The Lead Up

For the majority of the day, we’d been walking the Bannisdale Horseshoe. It seemed rude not to hike Knipescar Common as we virtually passed it on the way home and the weather was wonderful.

Finger post at the beginning of the walk
Finger post at the beginning of the walk

We parked the car by the start of the route and headed north-east on a footpath, following well-placed finger posts.

We didn’t start the walk until 6:30pm but that didn’t matter as the weather was warm and it was a glorious evening.

James Forrest at the start of the walk
James Forrest at the start of the walk

The Ascent

Grabbing a sneaky peek over our shoulders towards central Lakeland, we could already make out some of the fells that make up the Kentmere Horseshoe. This bode well for the view from the summit.

A sneaky peak to central Lakeland from the ascent
A sneaky peak to central Lakeland from the ascent

Following the right of way though a field, we gingerly made our way around a herd of cattle that looked a bit twitchy. Moving slowly and sticking by the wall seemed to do the trick.

After deftly avoiding the cows, we went through the gate and into another field. This time, we were met with an enthusiastic flock of sheep. The baaaa sounds were deafening, it was clear they had mistaken us for the farmer and were expecting a treat!

An enthusiastic flock
An enthusiastic flock

From there, the right of way led us around the fringes of a farm house and up a field with a resident pony and a horse.

A curious pony
A curious pony

Coming around to the top of the ridge, we could appreciate the rows of limestone that Knipescar Common is famous for.

Limestone pavement of Knipescar Common
Limestone pavement of Knipescar Common

Turning to head west along the ridge, the route had a stone wall to the right and gorse bushes to the left, and a nice wide channel to walk along.

The trail on the start of the Knipescar Common ridge
The trail on the start of the Knipescar Common ridge

The view to the left swept down into the valley of the river Lowther and back up to the beautiful hills. It was here that we first spotted Haweswater, just to the right of the Naddle Forest.

View to the centre of the Lake District over the gorse bushes on Knipescar Common
View to the centre of the Lake District over the gorse bushes on Knipescar Common

Soon the trail peeled away from the wall and we reached the summit.

The Summit – Knipescar Common

As the summit is unmarked (no cairn, trig pillar or other identifying feature and on a fairly flat plateau), grid reference was the only real way of ascertaining the true summit of this fell.

The views were stunning with Selside Pike, Branstree, Harter Fell, Ill Bell, Mardale Ill Bell and High Street all visible from here. It struck me as interesting that most people who set out to bag the 214 Wainwrights will never see the far eastern fells from this angle. They’re definitely missing out!

Adventurer Nic looking at the view from Knipescar Common summit
Adventurer Nic looking at the view from Knipescar Common summit

I didn’t expect to see Blencathra from this vantage point but the distinctive Saddleback shape to the north-west was unmistakable.

View from Knipescar Common towards Blencathra
View from Knipescar Common towards Blencathra

I couldn’t stop smiling by this point, I’d previously thought of Knipescar Common as just a ‘filler’, something to squeeze in on the way home from a bigger peak bagging day. But it was turning out to be worthy of a whole afternoon.

Adventurer Nic on the summit of Knipescar Common
Adventurer Nic on the summit of Knipescar Common

The Descent

My increasing hunger was the main reason for us to start descending, although I’d love to come back for a sunset hike here another day.

Adventurer Nic admiring the view to Blencathra
Adventurer Nic admiring the view to Blencathra

We came off the ridge and followed a path network through the bracken down into the valley.

The wide trail down from Knipescar Common
The wide trail down from Knipescar Common

On one occasion towards the end of the route, the bracken was quite overgrown and we ended up in a bit of a mixed bracken and nettle bed accidentally! Regaining the rightful path was momentarily painful thanks to the nettles, but luckily we’d not strayed far.

The bracken closing in towards the end of the walk
The bracken closing in towards the end of the walk

Over a couple of stiles and through a couple of gates and we were back at the car in no time.

Wrapping Up

Next on the Wainwright’s Outlying Fells peak bagging agenda was Walna, Caw, Stickle Pike and 7 other fells on an epic 26km peak bagging hike.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist, Wainwright ‘Compleator’ and is hiking her local Outlying Fells of Lakeland in the wake of the corona virus pandemic. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

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