Castle Crag and High Doat.

Start. Grange in Borrowdale.

Route. Grange in Borrowdale - Dalt Wood - Gowder Dub - Broadslack Gill - Castle Crag - Tongue Gill - Scaleclose Gill - High Doat - Johnny Wood - Borrowdale Youth Hostal - New Bridge - High Hows Wood - Low Hows Wood - Grange in Borrowdale.

Notes. Castle Crag a blockage in the Jaws of Borrowdale, independent and rugged, a dwarf amongst giants. Heavily wooded with staggering views over Derwent Water, and south over what old Wainwright described as the “loveliest square mile in Lakeland”, Borrowdale. Where Castle Crag is obvious as you drive the valley road High Doat is not so, but is a wonderful small undisturbed fell, walked by few, in-fact most have never heard of it.

The gold's, russets and reds of Autumn greeted me as I stepped out into a beautiful Borrowdale morning, I'd parked on the small car park at Grange Bridge, most of the valley was in shadow as I followed way-marked paths to Castle Crag. When the path reached the river at Gowder Dub I turned up hill, the music of Broadslack Gill accompanied my ascent. Once clear of the tree cover with views to Skiddaw opening out behind me I joined a path that guided me over shifting quarry spoil depositing me at the summit of this small but well formed hill. Sylvan Borrowdale lay before me in all its glory, the wooded hillsides of Grange Fell and sparkling waters of Derwent Water, a green patchwork of valley fields and another dwarf amongst giants, it's grass top broken by a number of rocky crowns guarded by dense oak woods, High Doat.

I re-traced my steps from the summit to join the path I left earlier, this guided me above the valley floor, foot-bridges aided my crossing of a number of mountain streams, after fording Scaleclose Gill I left the path, a ladder stile assisted my crossing of the dry stone wall, I stepped onto an obvious path ascending the steep western slopes of High Doat. Once on the summit I picked my way from crown to crown, stopping often to soak up the views, so absorbed was I in the beauty and majesty around me, I descended the wrong end of the hill, no problem the old valley road then guided me above Seatoller then along the edge of Johnny Wood and down the banks of the River Derwent. That was that as they say, the west bank of the river was to guide me all the way back to Grange, with one stop on the way, Borrowdale Youth Hostel, the sign read tea and cakes, in I went to find there was plenty of tea available but only one flavour of cake, orange and chocolate, it was bloody good, I dined outside in the beauty of the surroundings the sun on my back. Energised along the river bank I strolled, avoiding slippery gnarled tree roots, passed Rosthwaite Steps and New Bridge to gain access to a good path, this wide well used trod ushered me under the wooded cliffs and abandoned quarry workings of Castle Crag, back to my starting point, the picturesque village of Grange in Borrowdale.

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Leaving Grange village looking to Blea Crag and Cockley How and the Nitting Haws ascent of Maiden Moor.

Delt Wood en route to Castle Crag.

From the top of Broadslack views north to Skiddaw.

The summit Castle Crag and a memorial to the brave men of Borrowdale.

Adopt the pace of the mountain, stop and drink in stunning views across Derwent Water to the Skiddaw massif.

Dwarfed by the landscape, little known High Doat.

Magical views through Broadslack.

Autumns golden gown is slowly wrapping it's self around Borrowdale, as you can see from this shot of Castle Crag and Grange Fell.

Ascending High Doat, in the distance lit by the morning sun Grey Knotts.

Sunlight paints the Low Scawdel slopes of High Spy a wonderful golden hue.

On the summit of High Doat looking to Seathwaite Fell backed by Great End and Scafell Pike.

Viewing Castle Crag, Grange Fell and a distant Skiddaw from High Doat.

Descending the wrong end of the hill gifts me with views over the green fields of Seathwaite to some of the really big hills of Lakeland.

Descending High Doat looking to the pass of Honister, the main motor route into the Buttermere valley.

Over the tree tops of Johnny Wood the saw tooth skyline of the Borrowdale Fells, Thornythwaite Fell, Rosthwaite Fell and the strangely named Bessyboot.

Wandering along the edge of Johnny Wood, the hill on view Base Brown.

Seen from the banks of the River Derwent, Rigghead and the ghosts of past industry.

Near New Bridge looking to Castle Crag and Grange Fell from this rather wide path, testament to the popularity of the walking in these parts.

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