Walk 1011 - printer friendly version
Knott Rigg and Ard Crags Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 3.5 miles / 5.7 km
Ascent - 1100 feet / 333 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference NY192176
Lat 54.547179 + Long -3.2506017
Postcode CA13 9XA (approx. location only)
This short Lake District ridge walk is ideal for those new to hill walking and for those times when you only have a couple of hours to spare or there is a short break in bad weather. However having said that, do not think this walk is second-rate as it offers some grand views and excellent walking.
The start is the roadside parking on the grass at Newlands Hause (Grid ref. NY192176), the highest point on the road from Buttermere village to Braithwaite. From here take the signed footpath uphill to Ard Crags. Climbing quite steeply on grass, the path gains height quickly offering improving views over the hause and beyond. The first rocky section is not the summit. This is located further along the ridge. It is also recommended to keep on the left hand path rather than follow the lower path on your right that avoids Knott Rigg's summit. In poor visibility there is also the possibility that if you trend too far to the right you will start descending towards Keskadale Farm. If you are losing height too quickly, return uphill and reassess your position. Reaching Knott Rigg's top (556 m.) you can see the ridge ahead.
Continue along the ridge dipping to a col before regaining all the height you have lost to reach a long finger of ridge that stretches north-east towards Causey Pike. The summit of Ard Crags (581 m.) does not offer any new perspective on the surroundings but provides the satisfaction that you have reached the second Wainwright of the day. Continuing further along the ridge is very pleasant but do remember that any height you lose has to be regained on the return to the start.
To complete the walk turn back along the way you came, perhaps opting for the path crossing the left flank of Knott Rigg to save a few metres of ascent. Descending steeply to Newlands Hause you might also be tempted with a short walk to the foot of Moss Force, which can be very impressive after heavy rain.