Inspirational Trails 23: Kentmere
Written By: SportsShoes
In part 23 of our Inspirational Trails series, La Sportiva athlete Jacob Snochowski, tells us all about his local fells in the Kentmere Valley, Lake District.
I don’t remember exactly the first time I discovered the Kentmere Valley, was it in 2014 or 2015? But what I do remember is that it was a massive surprise to find such a hidden gem just a 20-minute drive from my house!
Until recently, it was a relatively unpopular valley, a place you would visit to avoid meeting other people. And although this has changed over the last few months, it’s still far from being one of the most popular tourist spots in the Lake District.
What’s so great about Kentmere? For me, it’s definitely the variety of terrain. You can literally find everything from the steep and gnarly off-road climbs, to long runnable uphill gradients and gentle, low level trails. You can pick the classic horseshoe round which would take you round almost 20km with +/-1200m of ascent, or many other route choices - some of them covering almost 3000m+ within 30km’s! Joining other surrounding Lakeland valleys provides some of the best trail and mountain running in the UK, from the technical descents to amazing ridge running and true single-track madness!
The amazing natural beauty of the valley and its surrounding peaks is the cherry on top of the (Kendal Mint) cake for me. From most of the highest summits, you can admire the whole of the Lake District, with stunning views of Lake Windermere, the western coastline, the Yorkshire Dales and the Pennines! The amount of ‘waters’ visible from Nan Bield pass is also very surprising. There is also something for fans of history and nature as you can discover the remains of the old mining village, enormous caves and a variety of wild life such as fell ponies, deer and once upon a time, a family of golden eagles nesting right beside Haweswater.
I’m not lying when I say that some of my most beautiful and memorable fell running moments happened during my visits to Kentmere. It’s a special place for me, a place which I call ‘my own slice of heaven’ and I’m extremely lucky to call this southern area of the Lake District my home.
You can follow Jacob and all his running adventures here.
Photos: Credit to Jacob Snochowski