Great Crag

Great Crag

Route: Great Crag

Area: Central Lake District 

Date of walk:  17th August 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.6 miles

Ascent: 1,400 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny patches and a few spots of rain. Very windy on the tops

It was two years ago to the day that I last visited Great Crag, a mid-level lakeland fell which is covered with a coat of purple heather at this time of the year

As on the last occasion we parked in the small hamlet of Stonethwaite and crossed the beck via Stonethwaite Bridge, turning right immediately to join the Cumbria Way for a short distance. We then left the Cumbria Way to join a path heading uphill which followed the course of Willygrass Gill. The gill was on fine form after yesterday’s incessant rain. It was a steep climb, but the addition of rock steps made the ascent a straightforward affair and before long we arrived at Dock Tarn

The tarn is surrounded by numerous mounds and tors, all covered with heather, and it’s a lovely sight. As Wainwright says, ‘Dock Tarn is a place to lie adreaming, and life seems a sweet sweet thing’. Great Crag is a complicated place, full of ups and downs, and determining the summit and the path to it is not a simple affair. There are numerous small paths, some of which peter out. We simply aimed for the highest point and after some meandering arrived there. Another top with a slightly larger cairn was nearby, so we visited that too. Both were wonderful spots

We then rejoined the main path below and descended towards Watendlath. We were a little short of time to visit this remote hamlet, as I’d done last time here, and we took a shortcut across some wild and very juicy terrain leading to Puddingstone Bank. The path descended alongside Bowdergate Gill, with wonderful views into Borrowdale, before merging with the Cumbria Way lower down. From here it was a short stroll beside Stonethwaite Beck back into Stonethwaite, and the end of a superb walk

Click here or on the Map Page icon for the route map

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