Walla Crag from Keswick
By Emma Knipe
on May 4, 2020 5/5 (1)
Walla Crag from Keswick
Circular route to a low summit and stunning viewpoint, easily accessible from Keswick town centre.
Route Start Location: Keswick
|9.92 km||367 m||3 hours|
Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.
Activivity Type: Moderate Walk
Summits and Places on this Route
Public Toilets in the Lakeside Car Park. Lakeside Café Restaurant is at the start of the route, plus plenty of pubs, cafés and shops in Keswick. Annie’s Pantry, a seasonal tearoom is just before Springs Wood, approximately a quarter of the way around.
A few short, mild scrambles and exposed paths.
Parking : CA12 5DG
Multiple pay-and-display car parks in Keswick. Lakeside Car Park is the closest to the start of the walk.
Various bus routes to Keswick including links from Lancaster, Carlisle, Windermere and Ambleside.
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Walla Crag from Keswick
This is a short walk up to Walla Crag near Keswick in the Lake District. Despite being only 379 metres in height, and technically a viewpoint rather than a hill (as it lacks any prominence – only 24 metres) it is nevertheless one of Wainwright’s Central Fells. It’s well known that Wainwright wasn’t tied down by height, re-ascent and other such nonsense, instead including those hills that he thought were worth the effort of climbing. We’re certain that those ascending this quick walk from Ambleside, to catch the sunset perhaps, won’t be disappointed with the view over Derwentwater and the surrounding Lakeland mountains from the viewpoint of Walla Crag!
Starting next to Derwent Water, the route passes the picturesque Keswick jetty before climbing through woodland to reach Castlerigg. From here, the path crosses open moorland and follows a rocky, and occasionally exposed trail, to reach the low-lying summit of Walla Crag. On a clear day, the views extend across Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake, the Northern Fells and out to Scotland.
1 From the Lakeside Car Park, turn left back onto the road and head south towards Derwent Water lake. Continue past the Theatre by the Lake and the National Trust gift shop. At the Landing Stage, keep left to follow the lakeside pathway.
2 After a few metres, turn left, following the public footpath sign for Cockshot Wood.
3 The narrow woodland trail runs alongside a fence before reaching a junction. Continue straight ahead, following the National Trust purple waymarkers through the woods.
4 The path eventually drops down and continues between farming fields.
5 There are great views of the Skiddaw range to the left.
6 Continue up the steps and carefully cross the road.
7 Go straight ahead through the gap in the stone wall and then bear left to follow the often muddy path through Castlehead Wood.
8 At the junction, keep left. The path descends down through the woods. Keep following the path downhill to eventually reach a wooden gate. Go through the gate and follow the track between the fields to reach a road.
9 Turn right and continue along the road over the stone bridge. Keep left. The road merges with a farm track and heads towards the Tea Room and Farm Shop.
10 Keeping the Tea Room on the left, continue uphill and go through the wooden gate. The rocky track runs through Springs Wood to reach a junction. Turn right, following the signpost for Rakefoot Farm/ Walla Crag.
11 The path climbs around to the left, with wonderful views of Derwent Water and the Northern Fells.
12 At the junction, go straight ahead along the narrow woodland trail.
13 The path crosses a footbridge and climbs towards a wooden gate. Go through the gate and immediately turn right. Continue along the road. Turn right and cross the wooden footbridge.
14 The path climbs towards a wooden swing gate and then continues alongside a drystone wall.
15 As the route begins to descend, the path moves away from the wall and crosses the moorland to reach another wooden gate.
16 Go through the gate and follow the well-defined path along Walla Crag. There are a few short, rocky scrambles and exposed sections of the path, as well as breathtaking views of the lake below.
17 The path eventually reaches a large, flat rocky summit, with wonderful views across Derwent Water, Keswick and Bassenthwaite Lake.
18 The well-defined path descends down to a stile in a drystone wall.
19 Cross the stile and continue straight ahead. The wide track gradually bears around to the right and crosses a few small streams.
20 Ignore the left hand fork to Bleaberry Fell and continue following the track towards Falcon Crag. The path descends through a series of wooden gates and crosses a narrow footbridge to drop down to Bark House Mountain Base, a National Trust stone bothy. If you’re lucky, the bothy will have a roaring open fire.
21 Continue down to the road and turn right. After approximately 600 metres the road reaches the busier B5289. Carefully cross the road and go through the narrow gap in the stone wall directly ahead. Continue down the steps to reach the jetty at Barrow Bay.
22 Turn right and follow the faint path along the pebble beach.
23 The path narrows and becomes a little rocky before merging with a wider track through the woods.
24 Keep left, following the shoreline, with wonderful views of Catbells across the lake.
25 The path eventually reaches a fork; take the left hand path, signposted for Friar’s Crag.
26 At the edge of the woods, go through the gate and keep left, following the well-defined shoreline track. Go through the next gate and turn left for a slight detour to Friar’s Crag, offering a stunning view towards Borrowdale.
27 Turn right and, keeping the lake on your left, follow the track back to the Landing Stage and on to the car park.