Great Borne and Starling Dodd above Ennerdale

Standing tall at the head of Ennerdale is Great Borne. Its south western slopes fall to Ennerdale Water in a series of knolls, firstly Brown How and then Bowness Knott below which a car park sits - the furthest place you may drive a car unless going to the youth hostel at Gillerthwaite or the field centre. Accessing the fells on the ridge to the north of the water is often barred by forestry and fencing. It is largely at the two ends and just east of Gillerthwaite where there is a gap in the trees where walkers will find steep access. This walk is the shortest practical over the two most northern of Wainwright's Western Fells: Great Borne and Starling Dodd. Other summits include Herdus, Gale Fell, and Little Dodd which make for a good outing.

This walk does not include Bowness Knott as the natural onward journey climbing Rake Beck turns into a wet slippery scramble that is surprisingly awkward. Better to save the Knott as a short excursion of its own.

The descent from the ridge at Little Dodd is quite steep and largely pathless. The slope southwards may be walked down anywhere in the vicinity however tongues of boulder scree may make for an uncomfortable descent. Heather also makes for a differently unpleasant descent. So we find a shallow gully which whilst easy to navigate is likely to be slippery in the wet. Care, and not rushing, is required as it would be easy to slip and it's a long bumpy way down to the forest.

Roads to the small car park below Bowness Knott are narrow and twisting, the nearer you get the narrower they become. Watch out for the occasional bus, or tractor. You will need to get there early at holiday times to get a space.