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This walk is part of the trek A 6 day circular route around The Lake District. 5 YHAs and 34 Wainwrights.
Day 3 of a circular walking route in the Lake District. Nine Wainwrights, two tarns, a pub and a couple of lakes
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) From YHA Keswick turn right on Station Road and cross over the A5271 to go along Station Street. At The Royal Oak turn right to go into the Market Square and maybe visit the Information Centre in The Moot Hall. From there, backtrack along Lake Road (right hand side of the chippy) past the Dog & Gun pub until you reach the George Fisher shop Turn right to go down Lake Road past the Café 26 and ICE (for a quick ice-cream) and under the B5289. Walk through Hope Park past the Theatre by the Lake and on down to Derwent Water. Here, follow the road past the landing stages and boathouses, following the signs to Friar's Crag.
(1) There are some great views across the lake to Cat Bells and the High Spy range. Follow the lakeside path around Strandshag Bay to The Ings crossing a couple of footbridges. At the dry-stone wall turn right to follow the edge of the woods and at a junction bear right to pass through Stable Hills. Go back down to the lakeside then follow the path round to the left at Calfclose Bay. At your first opportunity, step up to the Borrowdale Road where you should find a bus-stop next to a gap in the wall. Turn left to head back towards Keswick until, after about 100 yards, you reach a car park on the right, sign-posted Great Wood Car Park (National Trust). At the back of the car park take the path marked Walla Crag Trail. This heads gradually upwards in a southerly direction until you meet a lane coming up from the main road. There is also a path that comes up from the other bus-stop (Lodore direction) and meets the main track. Turn left up Cat Gill and at the top head north-east to reach Lady's Rake at Walla Crag (seventeenth Wainwright at 379m).
(2) From Lady'd Rake, head south-east climbing steadily to the cairn at the top of Bleaberry Fell (eighteenth Wainwright at 590m). Stay on a southerly course, following a dry stone wall, to pass a couple of small tarns to eventually reach the cairn and trig point at the top of High Seat (nineteenth Wainwright at 608m). Keep heading south down the fell along the dry stone wall to cross The Pewits and cross the wall to reach High Tove (twentieth Wainwright at 515m).
(3) Looking west, you should be able to see Watendlath Tarn down in the valley, then head south-east to Armboth Fell (twenty-first Wainwright at 475m). You have to keep on the highest ground between the headwaters of the streams to climb up to the cairn on the summit. Then head south, passing a couple of unnamed tarns, dropping about 30m in height to cross the stream then head up to the dry stone wall. Look for a place to cross the wall near the 90º angel to reach a post then descend to the path that comes from Watendlath to reach Blea Tarn.
(4) From the tarn, head initially south-east to a style then turn right to head due south along the fence and climb up Standing Crag. Follow the ridge fence round to the right then to the left past a small tarn to reach the top of Ullscarf (twenty-second Wainwright at 726m). Head off down due south, bearing right after a couple of small tarns and left again following the fence until you reach Greenup Edge, where the path comes over from Lining Crag. Turn left here, crossing the headwaters of Flour Gill and reaching the style at Brownrigg Moss. Ignore the path that heads down the Easedale Valley, bearing left to keep to the high ground (unless the weather is appalling) to reach Calf Crag (twenty-third Wainwright at 537m) and Pike of Carrs. The path hugs the crags and has some wonderful views over the valley down to Grasmere. Keep heading south-east to Gibson Knott (twenty-fourth Wainwright at 420m), Bracken Hause and eventually Helm Crag (twenty-fifth Wainwright at 405m).
(5) The rock formation at Helm Crag has given us the famous "Lion and the Lamb" reference (as seen from below on the A591). From the summit, follow the obvious winding path down to the valley bottom to the steep stairs alongside a wall going into the woods. At the track, follow signs to The Lancrigg, passing through the woods and the dedication to the poet Wordsworth. From here it is an easy walk into Grasmere along the Easedale Road (after dinner stroll into the village to have a look at Grasmere Lake and have a pint at Tweedies Bar, the only CAMRA pub in Grasmere). From the Easedale road, turn left to enter the grounds of YHA Grasmere Butharlyp Howe.(A)
D : mi 0 - alt. 295ft - YHA Keswick
1 : mi 0.9 - alt. 253ft - Friar's Crag
2 : mi 2.82 - alt. 1158ft - Lady's Rake (Walla Crag)
3 : mi 6 - alt. 1667ft - High Tove
4 : mi 8.28 - alt. 1594ft - Blea Tarn
5 : mi 13.92 - alt. 1237ft - Helm Crag
A : mi 15.53 - alt. 282ft - YHA Grasmere Butharlyp Howe
Worth a stop at Watendlath for refreshments and some photos of the tarn. Also worth a stop at the Poet's Bar at Lancrigg for a pot of tea and some cake.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Wet weather can be a nuisance, so alternative plans need to be in place before setting out. To shorten the route, take a bus to Rosthwaite and take the Coast-to-Coast route up Stonethwaite Beck to Greenup Edge. If the high route to Helm's Crag is misty and stormy, use the path that goes down Easedale Valley to Grasmere.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.