Thursday, 2 August 2012

Walla Crag

Walla Crag -  379m

7.5 miles

The weather forecast wasn't desperately encouraging and we're still finding our 'walking' legs, so we decided to take a guided walk run by volunteers in the Lake District National Park. 

The walk started in the centre of Keswick, making its way through beautiful manicured gardens and by the Theatre By The Lake, joining a flat path at the side of Derwentwater. It was good to see many people taking an opportunity for a stroll by the lakeside. We stood on the viewpoint of Friar's Crag, to survey Lord's and St. Herbert's Islands, and Catbells on the otherside of the lake. Fellsides around the lake and beyond disappeared into many shades of grey, giving the scene an ethereal quality. It was here too that a monument to John Ruskin had been erected, suggesting that this view had been one of his earliest childhood memories.
Catbells & St Herbert's Island

Leaving the lakeside path behind, we took a gently ascending path through Great Wood before crossing Cat Gill and passing underneath Falcon Crag. After a gentle descent, we came to the picturesque, stone-built Ashness Bridge. We ate our pasties and cake to the magnificent sound of cascading water rushing down the beck. A wonderful spot.

Ashness Bridge

Onwards and upwards, we followed a clear, well-walked track up the fellside to Lady's Rake and the summit cairn. Beautiful views dissolved into the mist. Bassenthwaite Lake could be seen in the distance. Clouds hung low, obscuring Skiddaw, emptying their contents over us, rain stinging our faces. Refreshing.
Walla Crag cairn

The descent via Springs Wood quickly returned us to the outskirts  of Keswick and our starting point. With relatively few on the fellside with only natural elements making up the soundscape, the bustling pedestrianised centre came as a bit of a shock. Our guides had made our walk interesting and it had been a lovely route once we had left the busy lakeland path. I'm sure Walla Crag will be a Wainwright that we return to.

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