Lake District


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~Bonscale Pike from Howtown~

28th May 2022

Molly Bonscale Pike

Molly near the top of Bonscale Pike

Howtown Pier Steel Knotts

Ullswater Scenery

Today, Peter and I decided to take the "Ullswater Steamer" from Pooley Bridge to Howtown to take a walk up Bonscale Pike. Taking the boat adds a little variety, lessens the need to find somewhere to park around Howtown and will leave us with an option to lengthen the walk later in the day.


Walk Start

We are following a route recommended by Wainwright in Book Two: Bonscale Pike Pg 3. We started at a gate opposite the narrow lane which leads away from Howtown Pier. Once we reach the farm wall above the first field, we turn south (right) and contour along the foot of the fell until we meet the path going up the fell.


Steel Knotts

Steel Knotts

As we climb, we gain great views. Steel Knotts will be the last fell we summit today, all being well. It is a steep ascent and we looking for a cairn on a boulder.

Cairn on boulder

Cairn on Boulder

There are quite a few reasonably well-worn paths on the side of the fell and the cairn, along with the map in Wainwright's guide, helps us to find the right path for our ascent of Bonscale Pike.



Bonscale Tower

Bonscale Tower

Two towers adorn the fellside in this area, quite recognisable as features of this mountain.

Bonscale Towers

It took 1hr and 15 minutes to reach the top of Bonscale Pike from Howtown.

Bonscale Pike Molly

Molly on top of Bonscale Pike 1,718ft asl

A man with his dog have settled on the viewpoint, exactly where we would have sat for light refreshments had they not been there.

Man and dog


Hallin Fell

Hallin Fell

Our next target will be Loadpot Hill,1.5 miles away. Not a stretch for keeping the camera switched on and ready for shots; it's quite nice to have a section of the walk where no brain power is required.

Fell Ponies
To Loadpot Hill
Fell Ponies

Seeing the three ponies livened things up a little, otherwise it was as dull as expected.

Molly Loadpot Hill

Molly on top of Loadpot Hill 2,201ft asl

To Wether Hill

Molly on top of Wether Hill

Molly on top of Wether Hill, 2,210ft asl

This is never going to be a place of pilgramage; few will jump for joy upon reaching this untidy mound of stones, but Molly is delighted because she has never been here before. Peter and I reached here from Burn Bank on a fine walk back in October 2011. Wainwright suggests "humans will find it a dreary and uninteresting place".

To Steel Knotts

About half a mile south of the summit of Wether Hill, you will see a stone wall rising from Mere Beck, Rampsgill. This marks the position of the footpath down to Gowk Hill and away to Steel Knotts.

Brownthwaite Crag

The route drops down to an abandoned farm building and then up to Brownthwaite Crag before reaching Steel Knotts.

Farm Building

The Dining Room

We found a couple of flat stones within this ruin and settled down to eat a sandwich. It turns out that, way back in 2009, I had walked a similar route starting in Pooley Bridge, and also had my lunch in here. I'd forgotten all about that occasion.

Brownthwaite Crag

Brownthwaite Crag

Molly Pikeawwassa

Molly on top of Steel Knotts aka Pikeawassa 1,414ft asl

Bonscale Pike from Steel Knotts

Bonscale Pike

Descent Route

Cote Farm Howtown
Cote Farm

Upon reaching Howtown, we decided to wait for the next boat. The alternative was a four or five mile walk back to Pooley Bridge (depending on route taken). It's a bit of a drag for tired feet, I did it back in 2009 when the boat was too full to take all the waiting passengers.

Howtown Pier

Howtown Pier Shelter

There is not much to keep folk amused in this shelter. It has no door or windows, just open spaces. No charge points for mobile devices; no internet access; no toilets or refreshment facilties and you are not allowed to have a barbeque. We ended up talking to two other fellwalkers who had done the same route as us, but the other way round.

Ullswater Steamer

To Pooley Bridge

Ullswater Steamer

The Pier, Pooley Bridge

The second bump on the ridge is Bonscale Pike. We parked just up the road where the temporary car park was built after the loss of the bridge in PB after Storm Desmond (December 2015). The new bridge is fully operational, but for now the car park remains and long may it do so, it's a great facility and very handy for anyone using the steamers. The steamers are diesel-powered and don't produce or emit steam, but don't let small details spoil your day.

Walkers: Peter, Molly and Me.

Time taken: 5hrs 8.5 miles.

Route: Ascent of Bonscale Pike from Howtown; Summit of BP; Loadpot Hill; Wether Hill; by Gowk Hill, Steel Knotts and straight back down to Howtown.

Weather and conditions: Cool with sunny intervals, little in the way of wind on the tops.

A similar rotue in April 2009

A walk up Wether Hill in October 2011

Photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2022 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....