Keswick, Castlerigg and Derwent Water.
Start. Keswick (Crosthwaite Road car park).
Route. Keswick - Lower Fitz Park - Upper Fitz Park - Penrith Road - Eleventrees - Castlerigg Stone Circle - Castle Lane - Nest Brow (A591) - Castlerigg Farm - Brockle Beck Wood - Great Wood - Derwent Water (Calfclose Bay) - Broomhill Point - Stable Hill - Strandshag Bay - Friar's Crag - Keswick - Lake Road - Borrowdale Road - Main Street - High Hill - Crosthwaite Road.
Notes. Keswick and Derwent Water a wonderful mix of landscape confectionery, taste one you must savour the other, from Friar's Crag drink in stunning mountain scenery and just soak up the atmosphere, and while you're about it take a wander to a Neolithic stone circle perched high on the hillside to the east of Keswick. Commanding stunning views over the valleys of Naddle Beck and the River Greta Neolithic man certainly picked the best spots to build his monuments, and this is one of the best. Or you could just sit there, have a brew and a biscuit, let us do the wandering just relax and enjoy the scenery.
On a grey wind swept day with the promise of rain never very far away, Crosthwaite Road car park to the northern end of Lower Fitz Park marked our starting point, a stroll along the banks of the River Greta eased us into what was to be an easy ramble. Under Station Road Bridge we passed to enter the landscaped gardens of Upper Fitz Park, we forded the river at a modern foot bridge, Penrith Road one of the main arteries into Keswick then guided us away from the town centre.
Normally we'd have followed the railway path avoiding the traffic, in the winter of 2015/16 this popular route suffered serious damage, a number of historic Bow String Bridges succumbed to the force of water, I wasn't sure how much of the route was open, or if it was possible to access Castlerigg. So, entertained by the song of the traffic we wandered on to a narrow tarmac lane, Eleventrees, this ushered us uphill to Castlerigg Stone Circle, where we joined the crowds for the not so perfect photo opportunity.
Photo opportunely abandoned due to a pitch invasion, we wandered west to a stile allowing access to Castle Lane, this narrow ribbon of tarmac guided us to the A591 at Nest Brow, we carefully crossed to be greeted by a finger-post inviting us to Walla Crag, off our route today but the path shepherded us through a number of fields depositing us in a narrow lane leading to Castlerigg Farm. In this lane a finger-post promised passage to Keswick or Great Wood, it was the latter for us.
A dry shod crossing of Brockle Beck was accomplished utilising a narrow foot-bridge, the tree cover of Brockle Beck Wood veiled the views over Derwent Water, as we exited the woodland Borrowdale opened out before us, wonderful Lakeland scenery, a perfect mix of woodland, mountain and lake. After a short stroll down hill we swung left, yes another finger-post pointed the way, this time to Great Wood.
Through mixed woodland we descended to be ejected onto the wind swept shore of Derwent Water, with dark cloud sweeping in from the valley head it was only a matter of time before the wet stuff arrived. With a little haste we walked north, along the edge of beautiful bays, passed picturesque islands on the way to Friar's Crag, from this low rocky outcrop with staggering vistas the length of Derwent Water we wandered back into Keswick pausing to soak up views from the public landing stages en route.
view route map.
Latrigg rising above the valley of the River Greta with the Skiddaw massif behind.
Seen from Eleventrees, again over the valley of the River Greta, Blease Fell and the Blencathra massif.
Castlerigg Stone Circle with views to the Goat Crag face of Castlerigg Fell.
The entrance to this, one of the most picturesque stone circles in Britain.
There's a pitch invasion going on at the moment, I've turned my attention to Castlerigg Fell with Bleaberry Fell the high ground just off centre.
The scene over Naddle, taking centre stage the Helvellyn massif.
Clough Head, Great Dodd and Watson's Dodd seen over High Rigg.
Heading along Castle Lane with this stunning view for company, Grisedale Pike rising from the Whinlatter Forest.
Seen from the path leading to Castlerigg Farm, High Rigg and Great Dodd.
Escape the tree cover of Brockle Beck Wood and wonderful views over Derwent Water open out, The rock eyrie of Causey Pike backed by the dark brooding mass of Grasmoor.
A final look across Derwent Water before plunging into Great Wood, Grasmoor and Grisedale Pike and the tentacular ridges of the North Western fells.
Falcon Crag as seen from Calfclose Bay.
Soaking up views to Skelgill Bank, Causey Pike and Barrow with tree covered Broom Hill Point to the right.
Placed on the edge of Calfclose Bay to commemorate 100 years of the National Trust, the Millennium Stone.
Wonderful views from Broom Hill Point.
Timeless, unchanged and un fashioned by man, although I'm sure we have tinkered, the view to little Castle Crag a blockage in the Jaws of Borrowdale.
Near the landing stages looking to Causey Pike rising above Derwent Isle.
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