Walla Crag via Ashness Bridge.

Start. Keswick.

Route. Keswick - Lake Road - Landing Stages - Friar's Crag - Strandshag Bay - Stable Hills - Calfclose Bay - Ashness Gate - Ashness Bridge - Brown Knotts - Falcon Crag - Cat Gill - Walla Crag - Rakefoot - Springs Wood - Springs Road - Keswick.

Notes. Walla Crag rising to the south of Keswick commands a fine view point, just stand at the small cairn that marks the summit, drink in views across rocky crags and chiselled ridges with shapely summits guiding the eye to the head of Borrowdale, to the north a wonderful panorama over Keswick and it's vale, taking centre stage Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwent Water and mighty Skiddaw, not to forget a litany of shapely mountain peaks just across the valley. Well that was the view from Walla Crag but the walk in from Ashness Bridge is equally good, maybe more so as the stunning scenery is unveiled with every step. With the short days of winter upon us this walk was short, the ascent easy, the views breathtaking, what more do you need.

I was in the company of my good lady today, it took some persuading to drag her away from the shops in Keswick, eventually we made it to the Landing Stages on Lake Road, a short walk along the lane took us to Friar's Crag and the world famous view point known as Ruskin’s View. The view point gifts the visitor with stunning views over Derwent Water so is often busy, dare I say we had better to come. Our route followed the eastern shore skirting Strandshag Bay and Calfclose Bay before reaching the Landing Stage at Ashness Gate, watch out for otters there's a few hunting along this quiet shore line.

From Ashness Gate we ascended the single track road that leads to Watendlath, our destination Ashness Bridge seen many times on biscuit tins, mint cake wrappers, coasters and place mats, calendars the list goes on. At this tiny pack-horse bridge we left the road ascending in the company of Barrow Beck, after a couple of hundred yards a path cut diagonally across the fell side, we followed this path passing below Brown Crag then above Falcon Crag, crossed the head waters of Cat Gill before alighting at the summit cairn on Walla Crag, all the way the views got bigger and better, an excellent ascent path well worth another visit.

The summit conquered our descent followed the dry stone wall north, descending to Rakefoot Farm where a tarmac lane carried us to a finger-post inviting us to Keswick, we obliged crossing the beck before descending through Springs Wood, we stepped from the wood onto Springs Road from where it was a short walk back to the town centre.

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The Landing Stages at Keswick with a stunning view across Derwent Water.

"One of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe" John Ruskin.

Seen over Strandshag Bay, Walla Crag.

A truly humbling sight, Derwent Water and Borrowdale from Friar's Crag.

Seen across Derwent Water, Skelgill Bank leads to Cat Bells with Causey Pike rising to the right.

The sharp profile of Skiddaw seen from Strandshag Bay.

Wandering along the shore of Derwent Water looking to Skelgill Bank.

Almost dwarfed by the landscape, Stables with Skiddaw rising behind.

Another bay, another stunning view, from left to right, Skelgill Bank, Causey Pike with Grisedale Pike rising above Barrow far right.

Viewed across Calfclose Bay, Barrow with Grisedale Pike rising to the skyline.

Nearing the jetty at Ashness Gate looking to the white washed buildings of Keswick.

Gracing the skyline to the north, mighty Skiddaw and it's lieutenants as seen from the jetty at Ashness Gate.

Ashness Gate with views across Derwent Water.

A classic Lakeland vista, Ashness Bridge with views over Derwent Water to Skiddaw.

The walk in from Ashness Bridge gifted us with magical views like this one across the head of Derwent Water.

The summit Walla Crag with views to Clough Head and Great Dodd.

Seen rising above the Birch trees on Walla Crag, Blencathra with it's many ridges.

With views over sunlit lowlands and dappled light across the face of Skiddaw the summit of Walla Crag can be a magical place.

A blue/grey crown of Lakeland giants.

Rising to the south Bleaberry Fell.

Sunburst over Derwent Water.

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