Castle Crag walk from Grange

Castle Crag walk from GrangeIn his guide to the Lakeland fells Wainwright states that, ‘if a visitor has only two or three hours to spare, poor fellow, yet desperately wants to reach a summit and take back an enduring memory of the beauty and atmosphere of the district let him climb Castle Crag’. This is a very modest fell in scale, but its aspect and the vistas from the summit belie its height of less than 300 metres. Castle Crag guards the entrance to Borrowdale from Derwentwater (centre of picture, surrounded by higher fells) and lies at the centre of what Wainwright describes as the loveliest square mile in Lakeland. There is a choice of ascents but the favoured one is the Castle Crag walk from Grange to the north. It can also be scaled from Rosthwaite (and from Seatoller for a slightly longer walk) to the south. The two shorter routes involve a small out-and-back section, with the route from Grange taking in the most beautiful stretches of the River Derwent, according to Wainwright. After leaving the riverside, the walk gradually climbs up the old road linking Grange with Seatoller. The ascent proper starts at a wooden stile on the left. For part of the climb the route zigzags up a spoil heap of loose slate just before the summit. As the name suggests, there was an ancient fort at the summit which would have been difficult to assail. Today there is a war memorial to the men of Borrowdale. The finest views are to the north, Derwentwater and its surrounding fells with the massif of the mighty Skiddaw providing a dramatic backdrop.