This is a short, uncomplicated, walk to the two Wainwright fells of Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, and includes the 'free' Birkett of Ill Crag which is situated between them. Starting from the top of the Newlands Pass, after only a short but steep climb you gain excellent views of the surrounding fells and of Moss Force - a great cascade of water draining Buttermere Moss. The ridge top path undulates and meanders, some of it is on grass, and some later, higher on the ridge is through heather. It is always clear and easily followed. On the return of this linear walk a path skirting to the left of Knott Rigg may be taken to avoid a little repeat climbing.
There is an informal parking area at the top of the pass, Newlands Hause.
If you need accommodation we have details of 21 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the parking area walk against the flow of tourists wandering along to Moss Force, and instead locate the rather short signpost on the opposite corner of the hause. A path passes beside the signpost and climbs the steep grassy bank to the ridge of Knott Rigg and Ard Crags.
An occasional respite and rocky step gives an excuse to look back down to the hause, and to Moss Force - possibly the best view of the waterfall. Behind the force is High Snockrigg which is the step on the western flank of Robinson.
Eventually the gradient eases, and Knott Rigg comes into view on the north-west corner of a mossy plateau. Bear left to the small summit cairn of Knott Rigg.
From the summit of Knott Rigg, bear slightly right to remain on the ridge path. To carry on ahead would invite a comedic but painful tumble down to Sail Beck far below you. Across Sail Beck is the hanging valley of Addacomb Hole carving a huge scoop out of Wandope and is backed by Scar Crag.
Continue over the little bump of Ill Crag marked by a spot height of
Return back along the ridge. Approaching Knott Rigg a path bears left across the mossy plateau to bypass the summit knoll before joining up again along the ridge. Drop steeply down to the Hause.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Moss Force on Newlands Hause||same start point|
|Rannerdale Knotts||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Bleaberry Tarn, Red Pike, and Dodd||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|The Buttermere Edge||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Around Buttermere||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Bleaberry Tarn above Buttermere||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|A Journey from Buttermere to Keswick||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Haystacks||2.6km (1.6 miles) away|
|Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike||2.6km (1.6 miles) away|
|Fleetwith Pike via Fleetwith Edge||2.6km (1.6 miles) away|
|Grasmoor via Lad Howes ridge||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|Robinson and Hindscarth from Little Town||4.3km (2.6 miles) away|
|Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head - A Half Newlands||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|The Grasmoor Six Wainwright Fells||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011