Brandreth is a fell in the English
Lake District which stands between Great Gable and Haystacks in the
The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District,
bordered by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south
east. Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of
At the central hub of the high country are Great
Gable and its satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either
flank of Ennerdale, the western fells in effect being a great horseshoe
around this long wild valley.
Brandreth is a near neighbour of
Great Gable, forming part of the head of Ennerdale.
The spine of
the range runs north from Great Gable via Green Gable to Brandreth,
before curving north west to form the watershed between Ennerdale and
Buttermere. The fells along this section are Haystacks and the High
A lesser ridge also runs out north east from
Brandreth to Grey Knotts, bending around parallel to the main range to
form the side valley of Warnscale. Fleetwith Pike encloses Warnscale on
the other side.
As a consequence of its three connecting ridges,
Brandreth assumes a triangular plan. The south west face falls steeply
but relatively smoothly to Ennerdale, Brin Crag being the only prominent
To the east a rim of crags mark the drop into Gillercomb.
This classic hanging valley lies between Brandreth and Base Brown,
emptying around the latter into the wide strath of Borrowdale at
The northern slopes fall gently toward Warnscale, the
workings of Dubs Quarry lying at the foot of the slope.
Brandreth is thus the only fell to feed Ennerdale Water, Derwentwater
The ridge connecting to Green Gable narrows to
Gillercomb Head, complete with a number of small tarns, following the
line of the ruined Ennerdale boundary fence. The connection to Grey
Knotts is wider but still a definite ridge, crossing the stony terrain
where the transition from one fell to the other is hard to determine.
North westward the topography is more complex, a sloping tableland
gradually resolving into the ridge of Haystacks as the high ground is
squeezed between Warnscale Beck and the River Liza. The rocky top of
Great Round How marks the completion of the change.
summit area is bleak and stony, marked by the remains of old fences. The
top is identified by a cairn built around a boundary post where the
three ridgeline fences meet.
The view south is obstructed by the
Gables but in all other directions the high fells of Lakeland are laid
out. Pillar, High Stile and the North Western Fells are particularly
well seen, a view enhanced from lower down the western slope.
summit of Honister Pass provides a convenient high level start for the
ascent of Brandreth and there is a well marked and mainly stoned path
starting close to the youth hostel which leads directly to the summit by
way of Grey Knotts.
Another route follows the remains of the
inclined tramway to the Drum House and then contours around the western
slopes of Grey Knotts.
From Gatesgarth at the head of Buttermere,
a path runs up the valley of Warnscale Beck. Passing around the crags of
Haystacks it then crosses the plateau to pick up the Ennerdale fence
bound for Brandreth.
If climbing from Borrowdale then the path
alongside Sour Milk Gill into Gillercomb can be used, followed by a
stiff pull up to Gillercomb Head.
A long walk up Ennerdale can
also be the prelude to an ascent of Brandreth but many walkers will
ascend the fell indirectly from one of its neighbours or avoid the
summit altogether as they follow the contouring path from Honister to
routes near Brandreth