Bleaberry Fell and High Seat from Keswick.

Start. Keswick (Theatre by the Lake).

Route. Keswick - Friar's Crag - Standshag Bay - Calfclose Bay - Cat Gill - Walla Crag - Bleaberry Fell - High Seat - Castle Crag - A591 - Dale Bottom - Nest Brow (A591) - Spring Wood - Castlehead - Borrowdale Road - Cockshot Wood - Keswick.

Notes. This walk's been hidden in the dark recesses of my hard drive for ages, maybe it should have stayed there until the end of a long dry summer, I'd completely forgotten how wet it is under foot between Bleaberry Fell and High Seat, a liberal sprinkling of marsh grass on the OS map doesn't quite prepare you for what lies under foot, by the time I reached High Seat I'd given up all hopes of keeping my feet dry, but with terrific views, and rain to the south a bit of discomfort was easily endured.

I left Keswick heading south along the shore of Derwent Water passing the Landing Stages before reaching Friar's Crag, along the edge of Strandshag Bay then Calfclose Bay followed by a short walk along the Borrowdale Road to access Cat Gill. A steep climb on a good path soon saw me enjoying stunning views from the summit of Walla Crag. The view to the south, in the direction I was heading were the steep slopes of Bleaberry Fell, after crossing Low Moss I was soon on the ascent. Standing at the summit shelter it was possible to survey the fell to the south, boy was it wet, following the boundary fence when possible, I gingerly picked, squelched and paddled my way to the welcome summit of High Seat.

I left High Seat heading east, walking on a compass bearing (no path) looking for the start of a little used footpath I intended to follow through Shoulthwaite, in the event what looked like a sheep track that I ignored turned out to be the path, I join the forest track instead heading in the same direction, I accessed the path later under the cliffs of Goat Crag. After descending to the busy A591 I entered the fields at Dale Bottom. By field paths and farm lanes I strolled through Naddle to re-join the A591 at Nest Brow, after a short walk up hill a finger-post invited me to Walla Crag or Keswick, it was Keswick for me, more field walking followed before descending through Spring Wood. Now on the outskirts of Keswick I had one outstanding appointment, the heavily wooded Castlehead, it's rocky summit gifted me with some of the best views I'd had all day, with heavy rain sweeping in over Derwent Water I reluctantly descended crossing the Borrowdale Road to access a footpath leading to the lake shore.

view route map.


Early morning views across Derwent Water, quiet before the crowds arrive.

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

Friar's Crag seen across Strandshag Bay.

Rising from Derwent Water, Cat Bells.

Looking to Cat Gill between Walla Crag and Falcon Crag.

The One Hundred Year Stone with stunning views through the Jaws of Borrowdale.

Ascending Cat Gill looking to Derwent Water.

The ascent of Cat Gill has very limited views, but when Great Wood finally spits you out the views are breath-taking.

Maiden Moor seen over Derwent Water.

The wonderful view from the summit of Walla Crag, the islands, St Herbert's and Rampsholme Islands, not to forget the high ground, mighty Grasmoor and Grisedale Pike.

To the north magical views over the Vale of Keswick.

On the slopes of Bleaberry Fell looking to Skiddaw.

Ascending Bleaberry Fell with views into Borrowdale.

Not quite the summit but it should be with a view like this, Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake stretched out before me.

The summit Bleaberry Fell looking to High Seat.

Seen across an almost trackless expanse of peat bog and Spagnam Moss, Bleaberry Fell backed by Skiddaw, and I've got wet feet.

Low cloud and rain at the head of the Thirlmere valley, viewed from the summit of High Seat.

Clough Head and the Dodds seen from near Man at the start of my descent.

Under cloud Helvellyn.

Stunning views between the slopes of Lonscale Fell and Blease Fell, with the sharp profile of Great Calva and Knott clearly visible through the gap, make the best of them I'm about to be swallowed up by the forestry.

I've just stepped out of the pine forest, seen from the banks of Shoulthwaite Gill, Iron Crag.

As I wandered through Naddle it was drizzling, the hills were shrouded in mist, this is the first decent view I've had for ages..

The view from Castlehead, with bad weather sweeping in over Derwent Water.

The stunning view across Derwent Water taking in Cat Bells and Maiden Moor.

Before I make my descent a quick look north, the summit of the small hill is certainly an inspiring place.

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