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Walking in the Lake District, UK - Castlerigg and Ashness Bridge from Great Wood

A Short circular walk high above Derwent Water.

Grade: Easy
Distance: 7km
Altitude Gained: ~300m
Duration: 3 hours

A short and easy to navigate walk with only moderate ascent on good paths above Derwent Water.

Car parking is available at the National Trust car park at Great wood, with refreshments at nearby Keswick or Rosthwaite.

Looking down to Derwent Water from Walla Crag

Above: Looking down to Derwent Water from Walla Crag - September 2012
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2012

Walk in brief:

When walking in the Lake District there is always a temptation to make a beeline for the summits - the appeal of walking high on the mountain tops is massive. But there are also many other less demanding walks that can be done in the Lake District, many of which still have superb situations to enjoy.

This walk is just one example of excellent low-level walking in the Lake District.

The start from Great Wood :

The National trust car park at Great Wood lies just off of the main Keswick to Honister Road. Facing away from the road, a track climbs from the back left corner of the car park. Follow this path upwards until it makes a sharp right turn, levelling out. At the start of this turn take the smaller path straight ahead, and then left. This should soon exit the woodland following a fence along open fields.

At the end of the open field a T-junction is reached. Turn right here following the path high above the beck to a footbridge. Cross the bridge and turn right along the Castlerigg Lane to another footbridge. Crossing the footbridge brings you to the open moorland of Low Moss and Castlerigg Fell.

At a fork keep left across open moorland before swinging right towards a small coppice and woodland above Waller crag. Take the path left along the head of the Waller crag. After a short while a junction is reached. Right here drops steeply via Falcon crag, nd could be used to shorten the walk. Our route keeps left on the track that contours and then drops slightly, heading south towards the white farm buildings at Ashness Farm. Follow this track with excellent views over Derwent Water until reaching the footbridge at Barrow Beck. Cross the footbridge and turn right for the short descent down to the beautiful Ashness Bridge.

Ashness Bridge, Borrowdale

Above:The beautiful Ashness Bridge, September 2012
© Mat & Niki Adlam-Stiles, 2012

Return from Ashness Bridge

From Ashness Bridge turn right along the lane. Almost immediately on the right a footpath runs almost parallel to the road heading north back towards Great Wood. Take this path, being careful to observe the signs and return to Great Wood rather than climbing to Falcon crag. If you happen to miss this path a concessionary route that runs parallel and can be picked up from a short distance further along the lane.

Passing below some of the popular rock climbing spots in Borrowdale the track soon brings you back to the car park at Great Wood.

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