Category Archives: Cumbria



NY 43521 08525

Height: 720m (2362 feet)

Drop: 75m

Classification: Hewitt, Nuttall, Wainwright, Birkett

In the photo above, Froswick is the nearest hill. Behind it lies Ill Bell which, at 757m, is nearly 40 metres taller. Behind Ill Bell, a little to the right, is Yoke (a little  shorter at 706m). All three of these fells are overshadowed by Thornthwaite Crag (from where the photo is taken) at 784m.

However, as so often in the hills, the sum is greater than the parts. Individual heights are less important than the cumulative effect that each summit makes to this splendid ridge – Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell, and Yoke. Yet each fell also maintains its own distinctiveness, and deserves to be considered separately.

The similarity in shape between the two hills in the photograph is unmissable, and Wainwright notes that

Froswick takes its pattern from Ill Bell . . . almost humorously seeming to ape its bigger neighbour.

The summit plateau of Froswick is modest, although the final climb to it is satisfyingly steep.


The summit probably doesn’t get appreciated as much as it might, as walkers are invariably looking to Ill Bell or – if coming from Yoke – to the long path to Thornthwaite Crag. Descending directly from Froswick is rarely attempted, although would be feasible on the western side if care is taken to avoid the gully of Blue Gill.


Walks involving Froswick

Chances are, most people you meet crossing the summit of Froswick will be walking the Kentmere Horseshoe. This is a classic Lakeland walk, a twelve-mile circuit starting from the village of Kentmere. It encompasses the Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Crag ridge, returning along the eastern side of the Kentmere valley, and taking in Mardale Ill Bell, Harter Fell, Kentmere Pike, and Shipman Knotts.

An alternative is to complete the initial ridge and then head west, returning via Stony Cove Pike, St Raven’s Edge, Red Screes, and Wansfell Pike. This is a slightly longer route, and not such a neat horseshoe as the Kentmere route. It does, though, include a great ascent of Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass, and allows a variety of starting points.

The fells surrounding Troutbeck are displayed in the photo below. From right to left, we have Caudale Moor, Stony Cove Pike, Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, and Ill Bell. Yoke is just off to the right. The smaller hill in the middle is The Tongue.


A third alternative would be to start from the car park at Mardale Head, reaching Thonthwaite Crag and Froswick via High Street. The climb up Riggindale Crag to High Street is superb. Return via Shipman Knotts, Kentmere Pike, and Harter Fell.

Such is its location, any walk that includes the summit of Froswick is likely to be breathtaking.


Getting there

Froswick is most readily reached from Kentmere or Troutbeck, both villages in the Windermere area of the Lakes. The fell can also be reached from the car park at the southern end of Haweswater (Mardale Head), reachable from Shap or Penrith; and from the Kirkstone Inn on the A592.

Wansfell Pike


NY 39417 04172

Height: 482m (1581 feet)

Drop: 25m

Classification: Birkett

In many ways, Wansfell Pike is a more satisfactory summit than Wansfell (the true summit) which lies about a mile to the north-east along the summit ridge. Although it is 5m shorter, Wansfell Pike has much better views, which extend across Ambleside and the length of Windermere. The summit is a rocky outcrop adjacent to a fence.


Getting there

Wansfell Pike lies about 1½ miles to the east of Ambleside, and it is most commonly ascended from the town. This led to severe erosion problems by the 1990s, and much of the route is now laid with stone blocks. The fell can also be climbed from Troutbeck in the east, following Nanny Lane, an old drovers trail.

Wansfell Pike is one of the most straightforward fells to climb from the centre of any southern Lakeland town.

Circular routes

An excellent circular walk from Ambleside is to ascend Red Screes, cross Kirkstone Pass near the inn, and ascend Stony Cove Pike and Thornthwaite Crag. Troutbeck could be reached either by descending High Street alongside Higg Gill, or more profitably by the upland route across Froswick, Ill Bell, and Yoke. From Troutbeck, the return over Wansfell Pike would complete a fine day’s walk of around 16 miles.

A shorter circular walk from Ambleside would involve ascending Wansfell Pike from Ambleside, and descending into Troutbeck. Turning south to Town End, the return to Ambleside would be via High Skelghyll and Waterhead. This walk is about 6½ miles long, and would be suitable for those less confident in their fellwalking abilities.