Walla Crag and Derwent Water.

Start. Keswick (Brundholme Road).

Route. Keswick - Fitz Park - Station Road - Ambleside Road - Springs Road - Springs Wood - Rakefoot - Walla Crag - Falcon Crag - Ashness Bridge - Ashness Gate - Barrow Bay - Kettlewell - Screes Coppice - Lodore - Great Bay - Manesty Park - Myrtle Bay - Abbot's Bay - Brandelhow - Whitesike Bay - Brandelhow Park - Victoria Bay - Hawes End - The Park - Silver Hill - Fawe Park - Nichol End - Portinscale - River Derwent - Keswick.

Notes. What can I say about Walla Crag I haven’t already said, more to the point what’s left to say about Derwent Water. This has fast become one of my favourite excursions, and I think many other peoples. Easy climbing after a short walk in from Keswick must appeal, for little effort you’re gifted with views to die for. Island studded Derwent Water rolls out from beneath your boot soles, the stunning Vale of Keswick and the acuminated mountains of the North Western Fells. Having been blown away by the views I descended into them, an easy ramble along the western shore of Derwent Water my chosen return route.

My day started in Brundholme Road on the edge of Keswick, a short walk through Fitz Park deposited me in Station Road which in turn guided me to Ambleside Road, passed the Cinema then the Church of St John I wandered, at the foot of Manor Brow a narrow tarmac lane emerged from my right, Springs Road my guide into the hills.

With Springs Road under foot I strolled passed smart housing, tarmac ended at Springs Wood, the climbing started here. Through Birch and Oak woods I ascended, the song of Brockle Beck my companion on this ascent. After ignoring a smart new footbridge I continued climbing to reach a much smaller one, crossed to access the lane to Rakefoot, a few yards up said lane a finger-post greeted me, an invite to climb Walla Crag, up I went into mouth-watering views. I sat on the summit drinking coffee soaking it all up, the top was mine to enjoy alone, I made the very best of it before moving on. Moving on meant skirting the edge of Low Moss before fording the head of Cat Gill, from the head waters of the gill a long easy descent followed depositing me at Ashness Bridge a much visited Lakeland gem. I continued descending the tarmac of Watendlath Road now under foot, the road terminated at Ashness Gate, across the road Derwent Water.

With the Derwent Water shore line to guide me I wandered south, round Barrow Bay to join a woodland path at Kettlewell, through cool moss painted woodland, passed the Lodore Hotel to gain access to a path signed Manesty, this path I followed across the foot of Derwent Water before joining the opposite shore. Passed delightful bays with names such as Great and Myrtle, through sylvan Manesty Park I strolled before reaching Abbot’s Bay then Brandelhow Bay, Whitesike Bay came next followed by Victoria Bay and Otterbield Bay, here the path swung away from the lake to access a tarmac lane next to Hawes End Outdoor Centre.

A short stretch of tarmac ushered me to a finger-post promising passage to Keswick, this path wide and well trod guided me through mature woodland, grassland followed by more woodland, passed Stable Hill and Lingholme, along the edge of Fawe Park to Nichol End before ejecting me on the road accessing Portinscale. A short walk into the village followed, when the road swung sharp left I turned right, a sign announced I now had the Cumbria Way under foot and, it was to guide me to Keswick. Passed the Derwentwater Hotel I wandered, a fine footbridge ushered me over the River Derwent, an excellent fenced path cutting through sheep and cow pastures then guided me to Keswick depositing me on High Hill, all that remained to pick the best route back to the parked car.

view route map.


Strolling through Fitz Park with the River Greta to my right.

Maiden Moor and Cat Bells seen from Springs Road.

The high tops of the North Western Fells, in dappled light Causey Pike and Barrow, kissed by cloud Grasmoor and Grisedale Pike.

Great Wood cascades from the cliffs of Walla Crag, seen from the edge of Springs Wood.

The route ahead.

Skiddaw with a cap of cloud seen over the Vale of Keswick.

A wonderful play of light in the valley with the Blencathra massif dominating the view.

Climbing the final few feet, looking back to Blencathra and the vast expanse of the Eden Valley.

Towering above the Vale of Keswick the Skiddaw massif.

Near the summit of Walla Crag viewing Bleaberry Fell over Low Moss.

The summit of Walla Crag gifts the lucky walker with a birds eye view over island studied Derwent Water.

The unfolding panorama.

Stunning, over the white washed buildings of Keswick, dominating the horizon Skiddaw and it's lieutenants, from left to right, wooded Dodd, the relentless ridge ascending to Carl Side, still kissed by cloud Skiddaw, to the right a tad looking higher Little Man followed the the massive bulk of Lonscale Fell.

From my descent route above Eagle Crag views to the head of Borrowdale over sylvan King's How and Castle Crag.

The bewitching beauty of the Vale of Keswick.

A truly humbling sight, seen over shadowed King's How, Great End, Scafell Pike, Base Brown and Great Gable.

Watendlath Beck below Ashness Bridge.

Barrow seen over Derwent Water from near the jetty at Ashness Gate.

Stunning panorama from the edge of Barrow Bay, Derwent Water captures the spirit of the sky.

This path through Screes Coppice may be next to the valley road but it's a superb stretch of woodland walking.

Viewing Walla Crag (top right) viewed over Cannon Dub.

Brandelhow Point seen over Abbot's Bay.

Just north of Victoria Bay enjoying moody views to Blencathra.

Otterbield Bay with views to Cat Bells.

The final push, the Cumbria Way guides me back to Keswick.

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