Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell and High Seat.

Start. Keswick (Brundholme Road).

Route. Keswick (Brundholme Road) - Fitz Park - Station Street - St John's Street - Ambleside Road - Springs Road - Springs Wood - Rakefoot - Walla Crag - Low Moss - Bleaberry Fell - Threefooted Brandreth - High Seat - Ashness Fell - Dodd - Ashness Gill - High Strutta - Ashness Bridge - Calfclose Bay - Stable Hills - Strandshag Bay - Lake Road - Derwent Street - Station Street - Fitz Park - Brundholme Road.

Notes. Last time I walked these fells I made a promise to myself, the next time it would be after a long cold spell, and the time before that I swore I'd never set foot on the damn things again. Funny how the memory fades, well I'm back and I knew what I was about to let myself in for. This wide grassy watershed between Thirlmere and Borrowdale is notoriously boggy under foot, old Wainwright hated it, describing it as a dreary trudge. Me well I looked beyond the sphagnum moss and marsh grass to the views and solitude, for these three tops gift the walker whom is willing to brave the morass with some superb views. Come along let me suffer you just enjoy the scenery.

Waller Crag is a short walk from Keswick so I started with that. I parked on Brundholme Road but wherever you decide to park make your way passed the cinema, follow St John's Street and Ambleside Road to the junction with Springs Road.

The tarmac of Springs Road guided me out of Keswick, once at Springs Farm it was rough forest paths under foot. I ascended along the edge of Springs Wood, height gained gifted me with splendid views over Derwent Water and Borrowdale. After the path crossed the gill a short stretch of the grey stuff ushered me to Rakefoot and the start of the steep but short ascent of Walla Crag. Ignoring the weather which wasn't that good today I hung around on the summit, I had the top to myself so made the best of it.

From Walla Crag my next top loomed high on the horizon, the 1935ft high Bleaberry Fell, it may have been just over a mile away but after traversing Low Moss the pull to the summit was a real leg burner. I made good use of the wind shelter that marks the summit, drinking in wonderful views and studying my route ahead. The path linked a few craggy tops, between them peat bog, masses of sphagnum moss and sedge grass. I was prepared for this so through it I plunged, after a great deal of bog hopping I crested the summit of High Seat, a rocky top adorned with a trig point, again the views were wonderful, little did I know there was better to come.

I was about to tread where I'd never set foot before, a descent of Ashness Gill. From the summit of High Seat I descended to the north west hoping to pick up a right of way descending through the high valley, instead what I found was a bloody good path traversing the high ground to the west, crossing Dodd and a number of insignificant tops gifting me with splendid views en route. After all the bog hopping this path was a delight to walk over, across Dodd I wandered before the path descended to the banks of Ashness Gill, continuing down hill I soon reached the intake wall, passed through a gate then descended to Ashness Bridge, amazing I had the bridge, the views over Derwent Water to Skiddaw to myself, a tourist magnet like this and there wasn't a soul to be seen.

More new ground under foot next, why not keep the theme running, a finger-post promised passage to Great Wood. This path I followed, with sheer cliffs to my right and stunning views over Derwent Water my left. I wandered on, after passing Falcon Crag I descended to the valley road to access the Derwent Water shore path. Back on familiar ground I made my way north, along the edge of Calfclose Bay, over Stable Hills then along the shore of Strandshag Bay, I avoided Friar's Crag and the usual crowds that amass there, wandering straight back into Keswick.

view route map.


Walla Crag as seen from Springs Road.

Looking to Maiden Moor and Cat Bells from the edge of Springs Wood.

Causey Pike across Derwent Water.

Ascending Walla Crag with this view behind me, the Skiddaw massif.

From the summit of Walla Crag wonderful views over island studded Derwent Water.

Views over the summit of Walla Crag to Blencathra.

The Vale of Keswick in all it's glory.

Rising above Low Moss, Bleaberry Fell.

Traversing Low Moss you get a wonderful view the length of Borrowdale.

Sunlight dances across the slopes of Robinson, seen over Hause Gate the coll between Maiden Moor and Cat Bells.

A wonderful stage set of Lakeland fells, seen from high on Bleaberry Fell.

A stunning panorama from Bleaberry Fell, drink in the view to Skiddaw and it's associates.

Dominating the horizon to the east, the northern reaches of the Helvellyn massif, Clough Head, Great Dodd and Watson's Dodd.

The striking view to the head of Borrowdale from the summit of High Seat, commanding centre stage Great Gable.

A moody sky to compliment a moody landscape, on High Seat looking across the Thirlmere valley to Helvellyn.

Taking a well earned rest under the summit of High Seat, soaking up this magical view to Bassenthwaite Lake.

Dropping into Ashness Gill from Dodd.

Classic view of Ashness Bridge and Skiddaw.

Seen from the narrow path to Great Wood, Grange Fell, Castle Crag and the Goat Crag face of High Scawdel.

From the shadow of Falcon Crag views over Great Wood and Derwent Water.

Wandering along the shore of Derwent Water reflecting on my exploits of earlier.

Wonderful play of light.

Falcon Crag seen across Calfclose Bay.

Rising from the sylvan western shore, Causey Pike and Barrow, the small finger of land adorned with evergreens is Friar's Crag.

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