Walla Crag

Walla Crag

Route: Walla Crag

Area: Central Lake District

Date of walk: 10th November 2023

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 4.2 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies

Walla Crag near Keswick is a fell we’ve often climbed, but 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

We parked in the National Trust car park at Great Wood and followed the footpath heading south through the wood. We ignored the first sign pointing to Walla Crag, which leads to the summit via a more circuitous, but gentler route. We carried on a little further until we reached the bridge over Cat Gill, and one of its waterfalls. We would return via the bridge, but for the ascent it shouldn’t be crossed, and the path ascends along the left side of Cat Gill

The Cat Gill path is quite steep and rocky (and is much easier to ascend than descend), but there are no dangers, though the rocks were wet and slippery today, so we had to take care. Hands aren’t needed and the route 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 we 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. Low lying cloud provided atmospheric conditions and we were treated to the spectacle of a brocken spectre as we looked towards Skiddaw

We retraced our steps for a short distance and then joined the path which leads up to Bleaberry Fell. This is a rather featureless section until the path branches off above Falcon Crag in the direction of Borrowdale. There are lovely views into the valley from here. We descended gently to Ashness Bridge, a popular (and in my opinion rather overrated) beauty spot, where I took the obligatory photo. We didn’t linger here and after following the road downhill for a few yards we branched off along a terraced path below Falcon Crag. The path provides wonderful views over Derwent Water for most of the way until it re-enters Great Wood. From here we crossed the footbridge over Cat Gill and retraced our steps back to the start of a walk which never fails to please

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