Whinfell Ridge and Borrowdale day walk in the Howgills
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A 12 mile walk along the ridge connecting five summits all approaching 500m in height (the Whinfell Ridge) and returning along the lovely Borrowdale (not the Lakeland Borrowdale, but Borrowdale between the Lakes Eastern Fells and the Howgills). Thank you Alf Wainwright for your inspiration! The ridge traverse is little visited, unlike nearby Lakeland neighbours.
To quote from the great man's book on walks in the Howgills, "From end to end, the ridge provides a splendid traverse, free from hazards and with excellent views in all directions. It is pathless except for sheep tracks, but there are no prohibitions on access to walkers".
The ridge comprises the following summits: Ashstead Fell (469m), Mabbin Crag (482m), Castle Fell (478m), Whinfell Beacon (472m) and Grayrigg Common (494m).
Borrow dale has a lovely stream and patches of woodland.
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Food & drink
Packed lunch, snacks, 2 litres of water. There are no refreshments available on this walk. A pub or Tebay services are available afterwards.