Brant Fell overlooks the little town of Bowness-on-Windermere, which is often referred to as just Bowness or Windermere. The way to the fell is quite steep and can get a bit muddy but on a clear day the views from the top are certainly worth it though. Across the town, to the north, stands the diminutive Orrest Head which a certain Mr Wainwright visited on his first excursion to the Lake District and to the west across Windermere is Grizedale Forest.
The walk starts in the centre of Bowness, the most suitable landmark being the mini-roundabout right in the middle: you can't miss it. You quickly leave the shops and bustle behind, climbing steeply along Brantfell Road to reach the fields and fell above the town. This early part of the walk is part of the Dales Way which starts 81 miles away in Ilkley and finishes here. Turning off after a few hundred metres you visit the little viewpoint of Post Knott before turning your back on the views for a short bit to finish climbing to the top of Brant Fell itself. At the summit is a forlorn gateway with no fence or wall still in existence. The large outcrops of rock here have vertical faces of some 6 to 10 feet high so don't trip over the bits of old metalwork still rusting away. To return you narrowly avoid the outward path and descend back to the shops along Helm Road.
Although we suggest a minimum of an hour, you should allow a couple of hours so as not to hurry on this walk.
Parking in Bowness-on-Windermere is reasonably plentiful with a number of car parks dotted around, however it does get extremely busy at weekends and holidays. It is well served by public transport with the railway station and a number of buses that pass through the Lakes.
If you need accommodation we have details of 242 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
At the little mini-roundabout where the A592 and the A5074 meet in the middle of the shopping area head south towards the lake. In 100m (110 yards), beside St Martin's church, the road goes round to the right, break off left into firstly Kendal Road, and then in 50m (55 yards) left again into Branfell Road. This climbs steeply away from the shops and lake.
The upper reaches of Brantfell Road are private but public access is allowed. Continue to the end of the tarmac road and go through the gateway directly ahead. Cross the field, past the end of the Dales Way marker declaring Ilkley to be 81 miles away, and through the gate at the top.
Turn right along the fenced track signposted to Post Knott. You'll visit this 4-way junction on the return. This track soon shrinks to a path, follow it as it bears left through woodland and keeping left climb up to the slate bench on top of Post Knott.
From the viewpoint turn left and in 50m (55 yards) from the bench go through the gate to the right, then bear slightly left on the grassy path to go through another gate next to the National Trust Brant Fell sign.
Follow the path that can be seen bearing slightly right weaving its way between the rocky outcrops climbing the steep grass bank.
Brant Fell summit is topped by two stone pillars of a gateway long since gone out of any use, and some large interestingly shaped rocks.
There are good views all around, but your attention is most obviously drawn to Windermere.
To return to Bowness turn very sharp left, northwards towards the corner of woodland to the right of the gate used on the ascent. Pass above the reservoir and continue ahead on the path to the step-stile partially hidden under the trees.
Cross the stile into the muddy lane, follow it to just before it ends in a stile, and instead cross the stone stile to your right into the field. Drop through the field to the gravel path, which is the Dales Way, and turn left back to the 4-way crossroads.
At the crossroads turn right, go through the gateway at the end of the track onto the roadway and bear left. Keep bearing left to meet Helm Road and turn left to descend back into Bowness.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Cockshot Point stroll from Bowness on Windermere||328m (361 yards) away|
|Orrest Head - the view that changed a young man's life||2.0km (1.2 miles) away|
|Moss Eccles Tarn and Claife Heights||2.9km (1.8 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