Castle Crag

Castle Crag

Route: Castle Crag

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 4th November 2018

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.9 miles

Ascent: 1,100 feet

Weather: Cloudy with some light rain

Castle Crag and King’s How are known as the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’, and anyone who has driven into the valley will know why this is – these two sharp peaks form the gateway to Borrowdale, one of the loveliest square miles in the Lake District. I’d visited King’s How last week, and this reminded me that a return to its neighbour was well overdue.

I usually start this walk from Rosthwaite, which saves a mile or so, but today parked in the National Trust car park at Seatoller. The weather was rather grey and overcast but at least it compared favourably to yesterday’s miserable conditions, when it rained torrentially all day. I climbed up the fellside heading west out of Seatoller – thanks to the recent rain the footpaths were like small streams – and joined the mid level valley path which leads to Derwent Water and Keswick.

Castle Crag soon came into view and before long I arrived at the foot of the fell. Standing at 985 feet, it’s the lowest of the lakeland fells as classified by Wainwright, and the only one under 1,000 feet to make an appearance in his guides. Its rugged appearance and wonderful position caused Wainwright to break his own rule and to award the fell the ‘full treatment’… ‘a distinction well deserved’.

It’s a steep but short climb to the summit and near the top the path consists of loose slate, the remnants of quarrying which once took place here. After admiring the views, which were limited by the low clouds, I descended via another path of loose slate and rejoined the path to Keswick. After a few minutes I arrived at the bank of the River Derwent and this signalled the half way point of the walk. The return journey was along a series of paths with the river never far away on my left. The weather was poor for much of the walk, but the outstanding scenery overcame this deficiency, and it was an enjoyable walk

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