Walla Crag

Walla Crag

Route: Walla Crag

Area: Central Lake District

Date of walk: 4th November 2021

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.1 miles

Ascent: 1,200 feet

Weather: Sunny

Standing at 1,234 feet, Walla Crag is one of the smaller lakeland fells and, as Wainwright points out, its height is easily remembered by anyone who is able to count up to four. (Shortly after posting this I learned that Ordnance Survey has taken new measurements and the fell is in fact 1,243 feet, a shame as this spoils Wainwright’s witty observation). Whatever its height, it’s a wonderful little fell with various possible approaches, all of them beautiful

We parked in the National Trust car park in Great Wood and set off full of anticipation, as it was a glorious day and autumn colours were showing well in the surrounding woodland. We followed the path heading due south away from the car park. There’s a choice of two alternative paths up Walla Crag both of which fork off to the left. We opted for the first of these today, the longer but gentle ascent via Rakefoot. Our usual choice is the shorter but much steeper route via Cat Gill, which is further along the path

Having climbed through Great Wood and emerged from the wood near Castlerigg we followed a path and a narrow road through Rakefoot, and beyond here climbed up onto the open fellside above Great Wood. There were lovely views of Skiddaw, Blencathra and Derwent Water from here

At a prominent cairn we passed through a small gate to follow a narrow path with the steep rock face of Walla Crag close by on our right. A short and simple climb soon brought us to the summit of the fell, from which there are superb views towards Borrowdale looking one way, and Keswick and Derwent Water looking the other. We then continued in the same direction and passed by the Cat Gill path. We descended gently in the direction of Borrowdale, with lovely views all the way, and eventually arrived at the well known beauty spot of Ashness Bridge. After taking the obligatory photo here we joined a narrow and little used path signposted ‘Great Wood’ which contours along the fellside above the road to Watendlath. There were lovely views over Derwent Water from here

Eventually we re-entered Great Wood, passing by our earlier ascent path, and from here we retraced our steps back to the start of a great walk

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