Knott Rigg, Ill Crag, Ard Crags & Aikin Knott

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By Gaflatlast on 29/09/20 at 10:10pm (last edited 29/09/20 at 11:19pm)

Tuesday 29th September 2020 and the sun was cracking the flags. Blue sky and the odd cotton wool cloud. There was no wind and this was the same for the whole walk apart from a very slight breeze at times. Were both in our late 50's with not much hiking experience behind us and this is only our 3rd walk so please excuse what might seem non standard explanations here and there. We parked the car at Newlands Hause car park which has enough room for probably about 20 or so cars. Started up the footpath at the very edge of parking area. I've seen pictures of a little signpost showing the way but it had disappeared when we went. The climb up to the first peak was short and steep but overall wasn't too difficult and from here on everything was along a clearly used path with a few ups, alongs and downs which kept the walk interesting. There are several false peaks but only short distance ones really. Plenty of sheep to keep you company and the views all around are magnificent. We comfortably negotiated Knott Rigg, Ill Crag and Ard Crags and decided that we would carry on to Aikin Knott. Once there the decision was made to descend rather than return from whence we came. The descent is a bit steep in places but easily managed with a bit of care. It would be much more difficult in wet conditions. Once down from Aikin Knott's steeper bits on the flatter grassy section, we came to a small wooden stake in the ground showing the direction for Rigg Beck and several paths along the valley under Sail. We stayed to the right of this stake and made a sharp right after only a few yards along an obvious route between the bracken. This path follows a fence all the way down to the road below. Once on the road we just followed it back to where we started from. We were coping very well with the days efforts until the last couple of hundred yards before the car park. The road here just before the last bend hikes up to 20% and at the very end of a walk isn't the best way to finish. It absolutely knackered us both. All in all a very nice walk with some superb views both up across to the higher climbs around us and some dramatic views below down to the valleys either side. We would recommend considering wearing gaiters for the Aikin Knott section if you are concerned with ticks as your legs brush against lots of the plantlife along the edge of the path. I only decided to do this report as I haven't discovered one that describes Aikin Knott route and the return via the road and thought it could be helpful to someone. We do have some pictures and will try and upload them once we've identified what part of the walk they're from.

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