Walla Crag (approx 4 miles - though can be extended to 6 miles)

This walk is available to download from Amazon's Kindle store as an ebook - take the route description with you on your Kindle or other mobile device.

Maps: Sheet OL4: The English Lakes: North Western Area.
View Walla Crag starting points in a larger map
Start: That depends: we considered that we started at the Keswick boat landing stage (NY264227) where we caught the launch to the landing stage at Ashness Gateway (NY268204) - this was where we actually commenced walking. If you're feeling more energetic the walk can be started by walking along Derwentwater's shore path from Keswick instead of taking the launch. There is a large pay and display car park at Lakeside.
Route: Click here to view the route superimposed on GoogleEarth (GoogleEarth must be installed on your computer in order to view - click here to download GoogleEarth).

This route may not climb very high, but it does provide stunning views over Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake and Borrowdale. Most of the route is along paths across open fell. The final stage passes through Springs, Castlehead and Cockshot Woods.
More info: Keswick Launch Company timetables and information;
Wikipedia entryfor Derwentwater;
Wikipedia entryfor Keswick.
Refreshments: There's lots of choice in Keswick: our favourites are (very different) the Square Orange and Bryson's. A welcome surprise on the route was coming across a new coffee shop, converted from a farm building at Springs Farm.
Route profile: route profile
Keswick landing stage We chose to start the walk by taking the launch from the landing stage, clockwise to Ashness Gateway.

(Those who wish to walk the whole distance should follow the signs to Friar's Crag. From here the path doubles back and then south east to Strandshag Bay. Then head inland and enter woodland. At junction with access road turn right towards Stable Hills. Follow the concessionary path round Calfclose Bay and continue south to the landing stage.)

road to Ashness Bridge and Watendlath From the landing stage at Ashness Gateway, walk along to the road. Cross the B5289 Borrowdale Road and walk up the road signposted to Ashness Bridge and Watendlath.
Ashness Bridge After just less than half a mile you reach the Lake District's most photographed bridge! Take the path over rocks on the left, immediately before the bridge.
path from Ashness Bridge to Walla Crag After crossing the rocks there is a clear footpath which leads to
path from Ashness Bridge to Walla Crag a gateway and a wooden stile. Cross the stile and continue ahead. At a junction of paths, turn left along a stony path, heading up towards a narrow wooden gate in a stone wall. Continue ahead, ignoring the gate on left.
path from Ashness Bridge to Walla Crag Continue to follow the stony path up the hill
the view looking back towards Borrowdale pausing to admire the view behind.
the view looking back towards Borrowdale The path continues to climb up the hillside, before turning to the east and levelling out. It turns to the north again and
the view looking back towards Borrowdale crosses a couple of streams. Climb more gently and the path meets a stone wall on the left.
near the top of Walla Crag Look for a stile in the wall and cross it
view looking over Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake from Walla Crag to admire the views.
cairn near top of Walla Crag Walk back to a cairn and then cross another stile in the wall. Turn left
the path from Walla Crag to Keswick to follow the path downhill.
the path from Walla Crag to Keswick This provides views over the valley to the east of Keswick.
the path from Walla Crag to Keswick Pass through the gate pictured.
the path from Walla Crag to Keswick The track leads to the ford shown. No need to paddle: there's a footbridge in the trees on the left. Turn left to walk along a narrow road. Follow the road for a little more than 100 metres, then follow
the path from Walla Crag to Keswick a narrow footpath on the left.
the path from Walla Crag to Keswick Re-cross the stream and turn immediately right.
Springs Wood, Keswick The path follows the direction of the stream and leads to .
Springs Wood, Keswick a kissing gate. Go through the gate. Another path joins from the left and you pass a transmitter mast.

The path turns sharply to the right and then you come to a t-junction.
Springs Wood, Keswick Turn left, continuing downhill through woodland.
near Springs Farm, Keswick A welcome sight as we left the woodland was this coffee shop - needless to say we stopped for refreshment, before continuing ...
Springs Road, Keswick to walk along Springs Road.
Springs Road, Keswick After about a quarter of a mile take the footpath on the left.
near Castlehead Wood, Keswick The path leads into Castlehead Wood
Castlehead Wood, Keswick where the path immediately divides - we choose to turn right and follow the clockwise route through the wood.
Castlehead Wood, Keswick Where the path next divides, take the left fork (the one on the right leads nowhere). The path leads gently uphill and divides again (by the corner of a fence). This time take the right fork.
Castlehead Wood, Keswick This leads to steps down to the road. Cross the road and turn left along the footpath running parallel to the road.
path by B5289, Borrowdale Road, Keswick Leave this path at the finger post pictured. Descend steps
path towards Cockshot Wood, Keswick to walk along this narrow path.
Cockshot Wood Walk through Cockshot Wood - we took the path straight ahead.
leaving Cockshot Wood by Keswick landing stage The path emerges from the Wood opposite the landing stages.

Other walks near here:

All text and images ©Graham Dean, August 2013.

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