Walla Crag walk

Walla Crag

Route: Walla Crag

Area: Central Lake District

Date of walk: 13th October 2022

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 3.6 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies

Walla Crag near Keswick is a fell which I’ve often climbed, and one which I could never tire of. There’s a wonderful panorama over Derwent Water and Keswick from the top and good views into the heart of Borrowdale on the way down

I parked in the National Trust car park at Great Wood and followed the footpath heading south along the wood. I ignored the first sign pointing to Walla Crag, which leads to the summit via a more circuitous but gentler route. I carried on a little further until I reached the bridge over Cat Gill. Until recently there was a sign here ‘Cat Gill – very steep!’ It’s now been removed, possibly because the exclamation mark exaggerates the difficulty

The Cat Gill path is indeed quite steep and rocky (and is much easier to ascend than descend) but there are no dangers. Hands aren’t needed and it provides a very quick way to the top. Much of the path is a rocky staircase, part man made and part natural. There are some attractive waterfalls along the way. Before long I arrived at Lady’s Rake from where it’s a short stroll to the summit. From here there are superb views over Derwent Water and to Bassenthwaite Lake beyond. Bright sun and a cloudless blue sky meant that the light was poor for photography, but it was a lovely panorama nonetheless

I retraced my steps for a short distance and then joined the path which leads up to Bleaberry Fell, but soon branched off that to walk above Falcon Crag in the direction of Borrowdale. There are lovely views into the valley from here. I descended gently to Ashness Bridge, a popular (and in my opinion rather overrated) beauty spot, where I took the obligatory photo to add to the thousands that have been taken from here

This marked the start of the return leg and, from the bridge, I followed a path above the road and below Falcon Crag, with views over Derwent Water all the way. The path brought me back to Cat Gill and after crossing the footbridge I retraced my steps to the start

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