Castle Crag

Castle Crag

Route: Castle Crag

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 8th October 2022

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.5 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells, several showers

Castle Crag and its neighbouring fell 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

We often start this walk from Rosthwaite, which saves a mile or so, but today parked in the National Trust car park at Seatoller. The approach to Castle Crag from the path below High Scawdel is the finest approach to the fell and one of the best paths in the Lake District. We climbed up the fellside heading west out of Seatoller, and then joined the elevated path which runs along Borrowdale

Castle Crag soon came into view and before long we 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 wonderful views we retraced our steps down the loose slate path to seek out the descent path down into Borrowdale, which enjoys more glorious views. We arrived back at valley level and here we joined the path by the bank of the River Derwent, which would be our companion for much of the return leg. It’s an easy walk back apart from a slightly awkward rocky section just beyond the Youth Hostel at Longthwaite, where chains assist a traverse above the river. All too soon we arrived back in Seatoller to end a superb short fell walk

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