Friday, 6 August 2010

Derwentwater, Borrowdale and Castle Crag.

Launch through the trees  GJC_IMG_6979 - Version 2
Keswick Launch, Derwentwater
Derwentwater is sometimes known as Queen of the English Lake District, Although it is by no means the largest, it is surrounded by some amazing scenic hills and mountains. A fleet of these boats,shown above, otherwise known as the Keswick launch have plied their trade for years using seven different landing stages around the Lake. After the disappointment of the weather from the previous post, the cloud started to lift so I thought I could squeeze in a short late afternoon walk. A drive to the south end of Derwentwater brought me to the picturesque village of Grange in Borrowdale.

River view cafe  GJC_IMG_6993
Grange Bridge Cottage Tearoom, Grange in Borrowdale
As an introduction to this walk, Alfred Wainwright was a walker who described 214 Lakeland mountains and hills in the seven "Pictorial guide(s) to the Lakeland Fells"during the 1950's and 60's. The books that are an amazing piece of artwork to hold by the viewer, are filled with hand drawn maps, ascent routes up the hills and neat handwriting. It is unbelievable to think that this project took him well over ten years to complete and without his own transport. Many people, including myself, use these guides on the hill alongside the map as they are so good and informative.
  As I was a bit short of time, I opted for Castle Crag which is the smallest of the 214 and just about three miles (4.8km) walk from Grange. The first third of the walk is on the flat and follows country lanes, the River Derwent and through some woods. The second section starts a gradual incline out of the woods and along side the hill to where the photograph below is taken. Derwentwater starts to come into view in the distance. This was the profile that Wainwright decided to draw on the title page of this hill in his Pictorial guide to the North Western Fells, book 6. I think you can imagine the detail of the Art with the rocks and scree. There wasn't as many trees then though when I compare this photograph with the book.

Castle Crag  GJC_IMG_7014
Castle Crag, Borrowdale
Also in the picture, the path of ascent can be noted and seems quite straightforward until the grassy section comes to an en end, and then I remember what Borrowdale is famous for...... it's slate. There's tons of the stuff here.

The slate climb  GJC_IMG_7024
The slate ascent, Castle Crag, Borrowdale
A zig zag path gives some airy viewpoint at the south end of the hill before the summit is reached with the north facing view of Derwentwater.

Dull view to Derwentwater   GJC_IMG_7042
Derwentwater from Castle Crag
The village of Grange is in the foreground with the route I took going around the group of trees on the left. Keswick is at the far end of Derwentwater just in front of the mountain Skiddaw (3054ft /931m). No chance of seeing the top of that today, unfortunately, thanks to the cloud.

The Way down  GJC_IMG_7057
The descent, Castle Crag
Time to descend again down, join the path just over the other side of the wall and circumnavigate Castle Crag in an anticlockwise direction. I was leading a walk, last time I was here, and didn't have time to take a diversion from the path to see a famous Lakeland cave. Millican Dalton was a hermit that used to live in this cave during the summer of the 1940's and earned his living as a walking guide to the largely unexplored territory at that time to most.

The Cave  GJC_IMG_7063
The Cave, Castle Crag
Once back on the main river path, it was a straightforward walk back to join the path I left on the outward journey. All too soon I was back in Grange where the teashop was about to close. No doubt, this is a place where people talk about the beauty and wonder  of the Lake District.

Way in for tea  GJC_IMG_7074
Grange Bridge Cottage Tearoom, Grange in Borrowdale
...but as I didn't have that kind of time, I just had to catch up with what the locals thought about it...

Sheep  GJC_IMG_7070
Borrowdale Sheep
The splendour of the short walk on my first day was amazing but the effort I had to put in,  ......... was nothing to write home about !!

Postbox  GJC_IMG_7072
Postbox, Grange in Borrowdale


  1. I'm glad I found your site, or you found mine. Excellent writing and photographs. Thank you.

  2. Great blog!!

    Thank you for your kind words on our blog. Just like Adrian said I am glad to find your blog coz you found mine. :) I love photographs, history and travel so I really enjoy reading your posts. I visited England once (Essex and London) a while and I loved beautiful scenery. I'll be looking forward to seeing your update again.

    Momo'n'Pinot's mom

  3. Hello, nice to meet you, thanks for your words over the blue door, I was talking about open doors looking for news landscapes. I hate "toros and toreros", and I was very happy because in Cataluña had forbbiden it.
    Well I like very much your blog, and I think the Great Island where you live is very very beautiful, and hide incredible landscapes.
    Thanks for share with.
    I'll come by here. So long

  4. I've forgotten say, that the door is in a very small village, here in Galicia, northwest of Spain. Bye again.

  5. I like your blog...very nice photos!

  6. Hi! I'm a brazilian living in Surrey for the past over 12 years, and feeling very fortunate (lucky), loving the Great Britain very much, in every single aspect of it. Your post, with a very well described walking narrative, just come to ensure my admiration for this country and its people. Congratulations!


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