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image for Walking Route item typeBorrowdale and Castle Cragadd to shortlist

View over Borrowdale to Derwent Water and Skiddaw

View over Borrowdale to Derwent Water and Skiddaw

Slap bang in the middle of Borrowdale is Castle Crag. It's rather small, this perfectly formed little peak, but it nevertheless managed to resist the erosive forces of the valley glacier and remains today with its head high above the trees. A walk round and up it is a unique experience in the Lake District as no other valley in the area has a similar feature. From its summit you can peer up and down the valley and take in the grand views that are on offer; then from its flanks you can experience the intimacy of the surrounding woods and river banks. This is essentially a low level walk but the ground under foot is rough in parts and shelter can take some time to get to so dress as you would for higher fells.

Route Information

Time/Effort 1 out of 5
Navigation 2 out of 5
Technicality 2 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 263
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL4

Route Essentials

Duration: 2 hours

Miles: 4

Route Details

1. Turn right out of the car park and head west along the lane to the side of the River Derwent. Follow the path on the east side of the river northwest to New Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path along the west side of the river northwest then northeast into the woodland. The path leaves the river and climbs steadily through the trees on the east side of Castle Crag. After 1km through the trees you will reach a junction with a bridleway.

2. This bridleway climbs to the col between Castle Crag and High Spy. Follow the stony bridleway as it climbs south for 600m until just past the foot of the crags of Castle Crag to a steep path on the left.

3. Turn left along this path and follow it steeply east to a ladder stile. Continue along the path as it climbs to a col then follow it as it zig-zags north to the summit of Castle Crag - taking care near the quarry edges.
4. Back-track to the col then take the path that descends southeast. This leads down to the path on the west side of the River Derwent. Join the path and follow it southwest then southeast to New Bridge. Cross the bridge then retrace your steps back to Rosthwaite.

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