The Lesser Heights above Borrowdale.

Start. Rosthwaite.

Route. Rosthwaite - Hazel Bank - Puddingstone Bank - Brund Fell - Long Moss - King's How - Long Moss - Cummacatta Wood - Grange Bridge - Grange - Dalt Wood - Broadslack - Castle Crag - Tongue Gill - Scaleclose Gill - High Doat - Johnny Wood - Longthwaite - New Bridge - Rosthwaite.

Notes. I make no apologies for not getting the camera out of the bag in the rain, the last time on Lingmoor Fell there was water running from it's inner's, I suppose I should think myself lucky it still works. As it dose come take a wander over the lesser heights above Borrowdale, we'll go to some delightful hidden corners, I'll suffer the soakings you just enjoy the walk on this day of sunshine and heavy showers.

Rosthwaite marked my starting point, with a finger-post pointing to the delights of Watendlath. On a good path I ascended Hazel and Puddingstone Banks, when the path passed through the final intake I stopped to scan the map. A faint trod followed the boundary wall north, this I followed over boggy ground to access a ladder stile, after crossing said stile I ascended through bracken and purple heather, passed between granite outcrops to gain the summit of Brund Fell. Heading west then north west I descended into a boggy defile christened Long Moss, before ascending the heather and bracken clad slopes of King's How. The wonderful views and delightful scenery I'd enjoyed on the walk in were tempered by a steep, slippery descent through heavy rain, the pitch path through Cummacatta Wood was more a hindrance than help, after a long tentative descent I alighted onto the valley road near Grange Bridge, it was lunch time and I spied vacant tables under the veranda of the Grange Tea Room and Restaurant.

Meal over I sat watching an almost biblical downpour, just drinking tea waiting for the deluge to pass. Shower over I headed south, my sights set firmly on Castle Crag. With wet tarmac under foot followed by a stoney track I headed to the banks of the River Derwent, on reaching the river I ascended an old quarry track cutting between the slopes of Castle Crag and Goat Crag, two thirds of the way up a faint path lead left onto the steep slopes of Castle Crag, it's a short ascent over shifting quarry spoil but well worth the effort. I had the summit to myself so sat enjoying stunning views over Borrowdale and Derwent Water. With rain bearing cloud tumbling over the summit of Skiddaw before rolling into the valley like giant balls of cotton wool I turned my back on the views, re-tracing my steps to the quarry track before continuing on to High Doat. On my walk in the rain overtook me, torrential stuff soaking me to the skin. With Borrowdale fast disappearing in the murk I wandered on, over Tongue Gill and Scaleclose Gill to be met by a ladder stile allowing access to the slopes of High Doat. A short traverse of boggy ground followed before the short sharp pull to the summit. Hazy views welcomed me, mountains like ghosts peering through the gloom, needless to say I didn't hang around, my descent took me through Johnny Wood to join the banks of the delightful un spoilt River Derwent. All that remained was a picturesque ramble along the banks of this delightful stream, I intended to ford the river at Rosthwaite Steps, but as it turned out that was out of the question, I wandered on to New Bridge where I crossed with dry feet, a short extension to what had turned out to be a splendid but, at times very damp walk.

view route map.


Ascending Puddingstone Bank with splendid views over Borrowdale.

The Johnny Wood face of High Doat, seen over the pastures of Borrowdale

Super views from the Watendalth path, on the far horizon just visible over Thornythwaite Fell, Great End, in the notch Lingmell with Great Gable to the right.

Big skies on the ascent of Brund Fell.

Great Crag backed by High Raise.

Looking down into the Watendlath valley with the Helvellyn massif dominating the skyline.

It's like a garden up here, with wonderful views.

Stunning views to the Skiddaw massif, with Cat Bells and Maiden Moor catching the morning sunlight.

Skiddaw above Derwent Water.

Looking over sylvan Troutdale with Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell in the middle distance and Blencathra on the far horizon.

Braving wet feet traversing Long Moss looking to Rosthwaite nestled amongst green fields and mighty mountains.

It's raining, I'm sheltering under a tree doning my coat before the descent through Cummacatta Wood.

Castle Crag next on the list, at 951ft the lowest summit on the Wainwright list.

The track through Dalt Wood leads to the delights of Castle Crag.

Clear of the trees with views to Skiddaw.

Not quite from the summit of Castle Crag but it's a jolly good view, over Rosthwaite, Eagle Crag guards the entrance to Langstrath with High Raise and Ullscarf on the horizon.

From the summit of Castle Crag breath-taking views over Borrowdale and Derwent Water.

The cliff, scree and wooded Borrowdale face of King's How, as seen from Castle Crag.

Another wonderful view over the pastures of sylvan Borrowdale, taking centre stage the Borrowdale Fells.

High Doat capturing the mid day sun.

Castle Crag through the rain, seen from the ascent of High Doat.

Near the summit of High Doat looking to brooding hills marking the northern boundary of the Seathwaite valley.

The River Derwent near Longthwaite.

Rosthwaite Steps, there's a decent bridge a few hundred yards down stream if you don't fancy wet feet.

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