Friar's Crag and Castle Head.

Start. Keswick (Lake Road).

Route. Keswick (Lake Road) - Theatre by the Lake - Landing Stages - Friar's Crag - Strandshag Bay - Cockshot Wood - Castle Head - Springs Road - Ambleside Road - St Johns Street - Derwent Street - Lake Road.

Notes. Friar's Crag a rocky promontory jutting out into Derwent Water, gifts the lucky visitor with stunning views down Borrowdale, described by Ruskin as “one of the most beautiful scenes in Europe”, with credentials such as that and easy access the place attracts many visitors. Before modern day tourism this popular outcrop was believed to be the departing point for monks on pilgrimages to St Herbert's Island on Derwent Water. To the north east, just a short walk from Friar's Crag, a low wooded hill rises to the 500ft contour gifting the lucky rambler with magical views, equally good if not better than Friar's Crag, it may be a small overlooked bump but the views will blow your mind.

We were in Keswick boot hunting, as I'd forgot to alter my watch from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time we thought we had less time than we actually had. boot shopping was abandoned in favour of a walk to Friar's Crag in time for sun set.

From the main car park we wandered through an underpass at the foot of Lake Road, passed the Theatre by the Lake and the Landing Stages we walked before joining the crowds on Friar's Crag. That was the moment it dawned on us, our timing was hopelessly wrong, it was my fault and I'll never hear the last of it. From Friar's Crag the lake side trod ushered us along the edge of Strandshag Bay to access a green path heading north, this path deposited us in Cockshot Wood, here we joined a path heading to the Borrowdale Road and the sylvan slopes of Castle Head.

The steep climb that followed was well worth the effort, the craggy summit welcomed us with stunning views over Derwent Water and down the length of Borrowdale, we hung around soaking them up, watching sunburst over the many islands of Derwent Water. Once the light show was over we descended to the east traversing a path cutting between sheep pastures to access Springs Road, we turned left wandered to it's junction with Ambleside Road and then casually strolled back into the centre of Keswick.

view route map.


Cat Bells and Skelgill Bank loom over Derwent Isle.

As viewed from Friar's Crag Maiden Moor and Cat Bells with St Herbert's Island lit by the afternoon sun.

A blockage in the Jaws of Borrowdale, Castle Crag with Grange Fell rising to the left and Low Scawdel the right.

Falcon Crag over Strandshag Bay.

Sylvan Castle Head.

Kicking leaves en route through Cockshot Wood.

Kissed by cloud mighty Skiddaw.

Resplendent, Autumn in Castlehead Wood.

The stunning view across Derwent Water from the summit of Castle Head.

Dominating the skyline to the west Grisedale Pike.

Sunburst over Derwent Water.

Magical views the length of Borrowdale with the Skafell massif under a blanket of grey cloud.

Rising above the wooded shore of Derwent Water, Causey Pike with the great wedge of Barrow to the right.

A wonderful light show over island studded Derwent Water.

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