Route: Borrowdale

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 16th October 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.5 miles

Ascent: 900 feet

Weather: Mixture of sunshine and cloud

Just as forecast it rained all morning, but by lunchtime there were signs of clearing skies, so there was just enough time for a short afternoon walk. We could think of nowhere better than Borrowdale, which many would contend is the most beautiful valley in the Lake District. It’s hard to argue with this, especially in autumn when the ancient deciduous woodland is seen at its best

We parked in the National Trust car park in the small village of Seatoller at the foot of the Honister Pass. We followed a path out of the corner of the car park, heading steadily uphill towards High Doat. This isn’t one of the lakeland fells, but it is a great little vantage point with views over Borrowdale

From High Doat there followed a down and an up to the glorious mid-level path leading to Castle Crag, the smallest of the fells but one of the best. We’d been intending to climb to the top, but realised that time was running short, so contented ourselves with more good views over Borrowdale from the foot of the fell. (For anyone wishing to climb Castle Crag, the summit is within easy reach of this walk – click here for a visit 6 months ago)

From here we retraced our steps for a short distance before turning off to the left and making the easy descent down into the valley via a grassy path down Lingy Bank. We arrived at the bank of the River Derwent and here joined the Cumbria Way for a short distance. The Cumbria Way turns east into Rosthwaite, but we continued along the western bank of the Derwent. There’s a rocky section near Glaramara YHA where chains are provided, but there are no dangers and progress would be safe without them

Beyond the river, the path continued to circuit around the edge of Johnny Wood, bringing us back to Seatoller just as the sun was starting to drop behind the fells

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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