ONE Wainwright circular walk: Castle Crag.
Time: 2 - 3 hours (depending how long you take exploring caves and quarries!)
Parking: a few free spaces in Grange on the parking area in front of the church, just over the bridge crossing the river (Grid Reference: NY 254 175). You can also take the bus that runs regularly from/to Seatoller, through Borrowdale, to/from Keswick.
|Castle Crag from King's How|
Why should a small hill, the only one of the Wainwright fells under 1000 feet in altitude, be such a favourite amongst visitors to the Lake District? Perhaps, because, as Wainwright puts it in his Guide to the North Western Fells, it stands "in the author's humble submission ...(in) the loveliest square mile in Lakeland - the Jaws of Borrowdale".
|Follow the path away from the river|
10) Look out for a junction where a thinner stony path, leaving the main path on the right of a bend, climbs up to the fellside towards some caves and spoil heaps above. This is a detour that is definitely worth taking.
|The carved letters at the entrance to the 'Attic'|
|Follow the path up the hill into the woods|
|Looking south towards Rosthwaite as you climb into the woods|
15) On the way up the hill, there's another little detour, less well known, which should also not be missed. On your left, look out for a little stone hut. Walk over to the hut from the path, and then look a little further around the hillside beyond the hut where you should see a little gully filled with holly trees.
|Cross the next wall using the ladder stile|
|In the quarry (in the rain!) beneath the summit|
23) Now climb to the summit on the clear path that climbs up between the larch trees to the right of the quarry. There is no other safe route to the top!
|Looking south-west over the quarry to the Scafells|
|The memorial plaque at the top of Castle Crag|
26) Now make your way back down the path besides the quarry and then along the zig-zag path down the spoil heap below it.
|Descend into the valley beneath further banks of spoil|
28) The clear path bends sharply left to descend to the valley below from where you can then follow the old paved road back north towards the banks of the River Derwent and, from there, walk back along the tarmac road to Grange.
|Take the old road along the valley back towards Grange|
Worth knowing: To complete your tour of Borrowdale, it's worth visiting the "Bowder Stone", a huge boulder perched on one of its corners in the ground beneath King's How, on the opposite side of the Derwent from Castle Crag. It probably landed in this position having fallen from Bowder Crag, 200 metres above.