Green Gable & Gillercomb Horseshoe from Seathwaite

An energetic Lake District Horseshoe walk that takes in four summits as you keep to the high ground surrounding Gillercomb. The walk could also be extended to take in Great Gable if time and energy permit!

Technical sheet
No. 293098
A Borrowdale walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 16/09/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h00[?]
Distance Distance : 4.86mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 2408ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 2382ft
Highest point Highest point : 2552ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 420ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Borrowdale
Starting point Starting point : N 54.50012° / W 3.181899°
Download : -


(D)The start is Seathwaite in the upper reaches of Borrowdale where parking can be at a premium on fine days in high season. After walking continue south to the farm and continue through the archway on your right, along a walled lane to reach a footbridge over the River Derwent. Most of your fellow walkers will keep straight ahead and take the path alongside Sourmilk Gill. However our route turns right crossing a second footbridge to follow the river downstream. Go through the first wall heading towards the Borrowdale Yews. The first stream is Newhouse Gill and after crossing the stream turn left and follow the faint path on its north-eastern bank.

(1)This path was once used by the miners working the deposits of plumbago which was used in pencil manufacture in Keswick. The path climbs up towards the first spoil tip, veering slightly left as you climb onto its top where there is a ruined building. The path zigzags higher past a second tip, climbing towards another tip with more ruined buildings. The path continues higher passing another ruin to reach a high intake wall with a ladder stile which leads you onto open hillside. The next section lacks a distinct path and you need to head for the skyline well to the right hand end of Raven Crag. Reaching a wire fence, follow the fence uphill to reach a stile. The summit of Grey Knotts is soon reached. You can now relax as about 1900 feet of ascent has been completed with just another 700 feet to go!

(2)The path continues southwest passing a few small tarns to reach the summit of Brandreth. Green Gable and Great Gable now dominate your attention as you descend south passing another string of small tarns on Gillercomb Head. Ahead lies 450 feet of ascent to Green Gable's summit.

(3)To continue the horseshoe, return towards Brandreth for just over 400 metres to some large boulders. Just before these a cairned path leads north-east along a broad ridge towards Base Brown. With the ascent now complete you can enjoy the view to Glaramara and the Scafells.

(4)Initially the descent northeast from Base Brown's summit is easy going. The path reaches a rocky section. Look out for a narrow and easily missed path going right. This leads to the top of a wide gully, which should be ignored as an easy descent. Instead cross the gully and keeping right you will locate an easier path. Initially the path heads towards Seathwaite but soon bars left under the Hanging Stone.

(5)Continue the descent until you reach the main valley path. Turn right and descend the paved path which descends steeply at times alongside Sourmilk Gill into the valley below. At the foot of the Gill cross the stile, and then the footbridge over the River Derwent and back through the arch at Seathwaite Farm. It's now time for refreshments in the café!

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Start: Seathwaite
1 : mi 0.32 - alt. mi 0.32 - Newhouse Gill
2 : mi 1.52 - alt. mi 1.52 - Grey Knotts
3 : mi 2.79 - alt. mi 2.79 - Green Gable
4 : mi 3.64 - alt. mi 3.64 - Base Brown
5 : mi 4.14 - alt. mi 4.14 - Hanging Stone
D/A : mi 4.86 - alt. mi 4.86 - Finish: Seathwaite

Useful Information

This circuit of Gillercomb is short but does include significant ascent for a route of this length. Following the ridges on either side of the valley the walk stays on the high ground and as such offers wonderful views throughout the walk. An extension to include Great Gable is easily added and a decision does not have to be made until you have reached the top of Green gable. Navigation is generally easy apart from the first climb out of the valley which can easily be missed if you are in a hurry.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Other walks in the area

distance 7.88mi Vertical gain +3087ft Vertical drop -3087ft Durée 5h50 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

This Lake District walk includes an unpathed section of route and is for experienced walkers only and navigation skills are essential. The walk includes Great End approached from the Corridor Route before following easier ground to the summit of Glaramara. The descent from the latter summit requires careful navigation for a trouble-free descent back down to Seathwaite.

distance 5.38mi Vertical gain +2572ft Vertical drop -2572ft Durée 4h20 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

To the west of the Cumbrian Mountains, both Great and Green Gable summits offer a pleasant hike.

Scafell Pike from Borrowdale
distance 9.36mi Vertical gain +2920ft Vertical drop -2917ft Durée 6h25 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

The classic and well trodden ascent of Scafell Pike from Seathwaite in Borrowdale. Ascending via Grains Gill to Great End and then Esk Hause and Broad Crag. The descent is via the 'Corridor Route' to Styhead Tarn and then back to Seathwaite.

distance 7.58mi Vertical gain +1056ft Vertical drop -1066ft Durée 4h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Borrowdale - Cumbria

Combining the delights of Borrowdale with the rural charm of Watendlath, this Lake District walk offers some wonderful views and relatively easy walking. Route finding is generally easy although there is a steady ascent from Lodore up to Watendlath.

distance 12.08mi Vertical gain +3675ft Vertical drop -4386ft Durée 8h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Cumbria

Day 3 of a circular route walking through the Lake District.

distance 3.28mi Vertical gain +991ft Vertical drop -994ft Durée 2h15 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Buttermere - Cumbria

A short Lake District ridge walk that includes two Wainwrights. Surrounded by higher fells, the ridge between Ard Crags and Knott Rigg offers some wonderful Lakeland scenery.

distance 6.94mi Vertical gain +2497ft Vertical drop -2500ft Durée 5h00 Average Average
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

The main objective of this walk is the wonderful lake District mountain Bowfell. Once the summit is reached some less familiar territory is included in the route before the return leg to the starting point point is along the Mickelden Valley.

Blea Tarn and Side Pike
distance 3.7mi Vertical gain +846ft Vertical drop -837ft Durée 2h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Lakes - Cumbria

An out and back walk from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel car-park. The Hotel car parking is available for non Hotel users but you will need to purchase a parking ticket from a machine.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.