Knipescar Common

Length 5 Kilometres | Highest point 342 metres

Knipescar Common 342m, 1131ft, GR 527191


The name of the Lowther family crops up throughout the Lake District. Lowther Castle, near Askham, on the east of the Lakes is now derelict but shows the wealth accumulated from mining activities in the west of the county. Several farms in the area are owned by the family. The River Lowther flows out of Wetsleddale, just south of Shap, and after joining Haweswater Beck continues northwards passing the delightful village of Askham and through a wooded vale before joining the River Eamont at Brougham, just south of Penrith.

On Knipescar Common
On Knipescar Common

Just to the east of the River Lowther, near Bampton Grange, Knipescar Common commands a fine position giving a view up towards the dam holding back the waters of the now flooded Mardale. Its distinctive limestone scar bears witness to the difference in the underlying rock structure from the Borrowdale volcanic rock on the other side of the valley.

Lowther Valley from Knipescar Common
Lowther Valley from Knipescar Common

Although the Scar can be ascended directly by the grassy slopes of Knipescar Common, a pleasant circular walk is recommended. Park alongside the unfenced road between Bampton Grange and Knipe and cut across the lower slopes to join a public footpath by a wall corner at GR 523189. Follow this SE to the point where it almost joins the road, then turn NE along the vague line of an ancient lane, bearing right to a squeeze stile concealed behind a hawthorn copse, then continue to the ruined Low Scarside, a fine house built in 1674. Above and behind the old house go up through a gated field to reach open ground. Finding a way through the intricate maze created by sheep through the gorse bushes is an interesting exercise. On reaching the grass track next to the boundary wall, turn left to enjoy almost 2km along the Scar, with panoramic views to east and west and some fine examples of dissected limestone pavement. Descend from the northern end by sheep trods following the wall (5km, 157m, 1hr 30min).