Castle Crag and the River Derwent.

Start. Grange in Borrowdale.

Route. Grange in Borrowdale - Dalt Wood - Gowde Dub - Broadslack - Castle Crag - Levery Gill - Tongue Gill - Scaleclose Gill - Scaleclose Force - New Bridge - High Hows Wood - Low Hows Wood - Dalt Wood - Grange in Borrowdale.

Notes. I don't always agree with master fell walker Alfred Wainwright, “blasphemy” I here all you disciples out there in internet land shout, effigies of me are already being prepared pins at the ready, let me redeem myself before someone removes my legs. His description of Castle Crag is bang on, “magnificently independent, so ruggedly individual, so un aggressively unashamed of it's size”. I like to think of it as a blockage in the Jaws of Borrowdale, proof you don't have to climb very high to gain outstanding vistas. Today under clearing skies that was our destination followed by an easy ramble back accompanied by the crystal clear waters of the River Derwent.

After parking in Grange we let the tarmac lane guide us west to a finger-post promising passage to Rosthwaite and Seatoller, no mention of Castle Crag but the OS map promised it was en route. With tarmac under foot we wandered on to access a gravel track passing along the edge of a camp site, this in turn guided us to the River Derwent last seen at Grange. From Gowde Dub a stoney quarry track ascends Broadslack cutting between the sheer cliffs of Castle Crag and Goat Crag, the easy climb deposited us at a path junction, we turned left to start the short but steep ascent of Castle Crag's shifting slopes. The gradient was steep, the path loose but safely deposited us on the summit.

We hung around ages drinking in fabulous views over Derwent Water and the Vale of Keswick, in the opposite direction the green fields of Borrowdale bordered by the really big hills of Lakeland. We sat around just enjoying the atmosphere before re-tracing our steps to the quarry track we left earlier. We walked South crossing Tongue Gill to access a path that would shepherd us above Scaleclose Force into lower pastures and the banks of the River Derwent once more. With the river for company, we wandered back, through the Jaws of Borrowdale passing many abandoned mine workings en route to Grange, where we made straight for the Grange Café just in time for lunch.

view route map.


Grange Bridge, Borrowdale.

Leaving Grange looking to Cockley How and Blea Crag.

The River Derwent at Gowde Dub.

Ascending Broadslack looking back to the a cloud capped Skiddaw massif.

From the steep, loose slopes of Castle Crag views over High Doat to the arms of the Borrowdale Fells, Rosthwaite Fell and Thornythwaite Fell leading to Glaramara.

Between High Doat and High Scawdel, catching the morning sun Little Gatesgarthdale.

Thr green fields of Borrowdale as seen from Castle Crag.

Sylvan High Doat backed by the Borrowdale Fells, on show from the summit of Castle Crag.

Through a gap in the trees, island studded Derwent Water with the Skiddaw massif in sunlight and shade.

Sue soaks up views from the summit of Castle Crag.

In sunlight and shade Grange Fell.

A stunning view across Derwent Water taking in Skiddaw and it's lieutenants, far right mighty Blencathra rising above Walla Crag.

Wonderful Autumn colours on the descent.

A slice of the picturesque, the cliffs of Castle Crag with views through Broadslack to Skiddaw.

Sunlight on the flat lands of Borrowdale, dominating the horizon Ullscarf.

In dappled light High Scawdel seen from Scaleclose.

Under a cloudless sky, Castle Crag.

Birch Trees in High Hows Wood.

The stunning rock architecture of Goat Crag.

The River Derwent washed clean by recent Autumn storms.

Autumn in Low Hows Wood.

Wonderful play of light.

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