Walla Crag from Keswick.

Start. Keswick (Brundholme Road).

Route. Keswick (Brundholme Road) - Station Street - St John's Street - Spring Road - Spring Wood - Rakefoot - Walla Crag - Falcon Crag - Ashness Bridge - Ashness Gate - Borrowdale Road - Calfclose Bay - Stable Hills - The Ings - Strandshag Bay - Friar's Crag - Landing Stages - Lake Road - Derwent Street - St John's Street - Station Street - Fitz Park - Brundholme Road.

Notes. The heavily wooded face of Walla Crag marks the most northerly edge of a number of cliffs running down the eastern side of Borrowdale, an end to the volcanic turmoil of the high fells and the start of a pastoral, civilised landscape, a mosaic of fields, picturesque villages and shallow island studded lakes. Staggering views to the Solway Firth and the Eden Valley welcome the intrepid visitor to this, one of Lakeland's lesser heights. It's not all endless vistas a number of Lakeland giants dwarf this rocky summit, but to view them from just over 1,200ft enhances the whole experience.

A stones throw from the Moot Hall at the south end of the marked place in Keswick, St Johns Street leads between quaint shops through the quieter quarter of town, I followed it passed the cinema and Parish Church, at the foot of Manor Brow I turned right into Springs Road, this single ribbon of tarmac guided me past some smart houses before terminating at Springs Wood, a stoney track then guided me. Above a sylvan gorge I ascended, the track climbed past a radio mast into fine views over Derwent Water and Borrowdale, at a path junction it descended into the gorge, a wooden foot-bridge greeted me allowing a dry shod crossing of Brockle Beck, once at Rakefoot I re-crossed the beck before starting the short sharp ascent of Walla Crag.

With a dry stone wall for company and a well trod path under foot I soon found myself perched on the summit drinking coffee and soaking up splendid views over Derwent Water and the Vale of Keswick. An icing sugar day greeted me, snow on the high fells, but here on Walla Crags rocky aerie I was well below the snow line. Cup empty I threw my bag onto my back before heading south along the edge of Low Moss, the views down Cat Gill were fabulous but I had something better in mind, a small pack horse bridge with equally good views.

The path I was treading slowly guided me off the hill depositing me at Ashness Bridge, a much visited tourist attraction, quiet today the road was sheaved in ice, cars were unable to climb the hill. I had the bridge and views to myself, another opportunity to sit a while. Once back on foot I descended the road, paused at the jetty at Ashness Gate, assessed the risk of wandering along the lake shore, opting for the narrow pavement it wasn't long before I re-joined the lake shore path for the final stretch back to Keswick.

Along the edge of Calfclose Bay I wandered with stunning views over Derwent Water for company, over the National Trust owned Stable Hills, passed The Ings and on to Strandshag Bay, standing guard over the northern end is Friar's Crag with it's stunning vistas over Derwent Water, I couldn't get near for people so left to find a walker friendly pub in Keswick.

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The snow covered ridges of Grisedale Pike rise into a cloudless sky.

A Wintry Derwent Water with Causey Pike rising to the west.

Above Rakefoot viewing mighty Skiddaw.

Wonderful views over the Vale of Keswick, seen from the ascent of Walla Crag.

On the slopes of Walla Crag looking to Blencathra.

Viewing the Dodd's, Great, Watson's and Stybarrow over Low Moss.

Taking a breather on the summit of Walla Crag with this beautiful view for company.

Who needs summer when winter brings views like this one, Cat Bells over Derwent Water.

Stunning views taken from above Cat Gill, Seat How and Barf above Bassenthawite Lake, below my feet island studded Derwent Water.

Looking back to Walla Crag with Skiddaw rising behind.

Under a heavy dusting of snow, Causey Pike and Grisedale Pike with Skelgill Bank kissing the lake shore.

Views over the head of Derwent Water to the Jaws of Borrowdale.

One way to see the beauty of the Lake District.

Ashness Bridge, visited and photographed by many, but today it's mine to enjoy alone, a rare occasion.

The jetty at Ashness Gate.

The jetty provides a fine view point for the many ridges of the Skiddaw massif.

From the edge of Calfclose Bay views to Maiden Moor.

Autumnal colours.

Stunning views across Derwent Water, taking in Barrow backed by Grisedale Pike.

On a blistering cold day crystal clear views to Maiden Moor and Cat Bells.

Magical vistas down Derwent Water to little Castle Crag in the Jaws of Borrowdale.

The cliffs and wooded slopes of Walla Crag, on show from the lake shore path.

Gracefully piercing the western sky, Causey Pike and Grisedale Pike with Barrow bridging the gap.

Back at the parked car with cloud rolling in adding mood to this image of Skiddaw.

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