Three Fells from Newlands Hause

THREE Wainwright walk: Robinson, Knott Rigg, Ard Crags.

Walk Rating:⭐⭐

Time: 3 - 4 hours 

Parking: free roadside spaces in the parking area at the top of Newlands Hause (Grid Reference NY193176).

Robinson and Knott Rigg above the Keskadale valley

A surprisingly straight road runs south-west along the valley of the Keskdale Beck towards Buttermere. To get to the lake, the road has to first climb steeply over the col of Newlands Hause, at 1093 feet in altitude.

From this col, three fells can be easily reached on foot - Robinson to the south-east, then Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, both on the ridge that rises from the col to the north-east. The route described here covers all three fells - although it really puts together two separate walks, both starting and finishing on Newlands Hause.

Strava estimates an overall distance of 10km for the complete walk


1) The summit of Robinson, named according to Wainwright's Walking Guide to the North Western Fells after a Richard Robinson, who became the landowner in the sixteenth century, is only a little more than a mile's hike from Newlands Hause.

Robinson and Newlands Hause from Whiteless Pike

2) Start by taking the path that zig-zags above the crags leading down to the Moss Force waterfalls below. There are good views down the valley of the Keskadale Beck.

Looking down along the valley below

3) From the top of the climb, Wainwright's Walking Guide recommends trying a fairly direct route across the top of Moss Force and then up to the summit through an 'apron of scree'.

Robinson, beyond the crags at the top of Moss Force

4) However, the surest way of finding a good path to the summit is to head further away from the top of Moss Force, skirting around, or across, the marshy area of Buttermere Moss as best as you can. 

Skirt around the wettest parts of Buttermere Moss

5) Once the Moss is crossed, a good clear path then climbs up steeply to the flat but stony summit of Robinson (2417').

Crummock Water and Loweswater are both in view below

6) Retrace your steps to head back down the path from the summit towards Buttermere Moss.

Head back down the path towards Buttermere Moss

7) Again, having picked your way across the marshy area, head back down the fellside to Newlands Hause.

Head back down the fellside to Newlands Hause

Knott Rigg and Ard Crags

8) Now leave Newlands Hause in the opposite direction, climbing up the grassy slope and then along the ridge to the summit of Knott Rigg (1824') .

On the grassy summit ridge of Knott Rigg

9) The scree and heather covered slopes of Sail and Eel Crag rise impressively to your left, with the valley of the Sail Beck below them.

Sail and Eel Crag from Knott Rigg

10) The path continues along the ridge, which drops to a heathery depression, then rises up again to the summit of Ard Crags.

The path continues towards the heathery ridge of Ard Crags 

11) In 2021 at least, there was a small cairn on the summit (1906'), complete with a painted stone wishing a happy 90th birthday to someone's (presumably still fit and fellwalking?) grandad. 

On the summit of Ard Crags in May 2021

12) Looking down, the valley road can be seen bending around Keskadale Farm, over a thousand feet below you.

Looking down over Keskadale Farm

13) Once again, retrace your steps to return to Newlands Hause. 

The view greeting visitors as they head up the valley road

Worth knowing: The road up and over Newlands Hause is a favourite for both motorists looking for a scenic drive, and for fit cyclists looking for a challenging climb. 

The top of the climb from Buttermere to the Hause

The ascent from Buttermere features as one of the climbs in the tough Fred Whitton Challenge one-day sportive. It's a 2km long ascent, testing riders with an average gradient of 11% and a maximum gradient of over 20%.

The road sign in front of the Moss Force waterfalls

The climb up to Newlands Hause in the other direction isn't really any easier. The steep part of the climb is shorter, but perhaps even sharper, with the last 250 metres of the road having an average gradient of 18%.

The climb out of the valley of the Keskadale Beck

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