High Doat and Castle Crag above Borrowdale.

Start. Seatoller.

Route. Seatoller - High Doat - Allerdale Ramble (footpath) - Castle Crag - Cumbria Way (footpath) - New Bridge - Longthwaite - Seatoller.

Notes. It was snowing when I went to bed last night, what a surprise when I opened the curtains this morning, not a cloud in the sky, I grabbed my bag, map and compass before making my way to Borrowdale, my intention to bag two of this beautiful valleys lesser heights, High Doat and the heavily quarried Castle Crag, at 951ft the lowest summit in the Wainwright list, being under 1,000ft it doesn't warrant a mention in the Birkett list, height can be deceiving.

My day started in the National Trust car park at Seatoller, a gate and stile at the rear of the car park allow access to the lower slopes of High Doat. I ascended to the northeast before swinging west to reach the summit. I continued west descending into a narrow boggy valley before stepping onto an old quarry track (Allerdale Ramble), this I followed to Castle Crag. The ascent through shifting quarry spoil always looks daunting but in essence is an easy climb, I was soon standing on the most picturesque summit in the whole of Lakeland.

Re-tracing my steps through the spoil heap to reach a ladder stile, I crossed the wall before descending to join the banks of the River Derwent, striding out on a good path (Cumbria Way), keeping to the west bank I soon reached and passed Longthwaite followed by the Borrowdale Youth Hostel. After the hostel the path left the river skirting the edge of Longthwaite Wood before crossing the lower slopes of High Doat, I was now on the path I set out on earlier, the gate and stile to access the car park visible across the field..

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On the lower slopes of High Doat looking to Seathwaite Fell.

From the summit of High Doat a stunning view up Seathwaite, to the left Thornythwaite Fell leading to Glaramara, the right the ridge of Base Brown leading to Green and Great Gable.

The ragged heights of Rosthwaite Fell carry the eye to Glaramara, before the long ridge of Thornythwaite Fell leads to the valley floor.

Castle Crag with the sharp profile of Skiddaw rising into a blue winter sky.

Spectacular views from the descent of High Doat, the spoil heaps on Castle Crag can clearly be seen.

The golden slopes of High Scawdale with High Spy rising to the right.

Seen from the footbridge over Scaleclose Gill, the wooded slopes of King's How and Castle Crag rising above Borrowdale.

On another footbridge, this time the one over Tongue Gill, looking to the formidable face of Eagle Crag rising from Stonethwaite.

Rising high above Derwent Water mighty Skiddaw the Slate Mountain.

Quarry spoil on Castle Crag, yes the path climbs that, take a look bottom left in front of the trees.

The summit of Castle Crag, adorned with a memorial to the men of Borrowdale, what a place to be remembered.

Mouth-watering views over Derwent Water.

Across the Jaws of Borrowdale, the heavily wooded slopes of King's How.

Magical views over Borrowdale seen from Castle Crag.

On the banks of the River Derwent looking to New Bridge, if you have the appetite for more adventure....

....a couple of hundred yards down stream this splendid set of stepping stones span the river, your choice.

From Longthwaite viewing King's How.

For walkers in their twilight years, or with a poor sense of balance, maybe the rock is slippery when wet, some kind sole secured a length of chain to aid our passage.

The unspoiled River Derwent, this is how a river should look, no stone and concrete to hold it prisoner.

Seen from the banks of the Derwent, Glaramara rises above The Combe.

Rising high above Seathwaite, Base Brown.

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