14th April 2007

A wonderful Watendlath walk - Great Crag and Grange Fell


Walk Overview
Time 08.00 to 13.00
Duration 5 hr
Distance 6.8 mile
Ascent 2134 ft
Walking with On my own
Stonethwaite - Lingy End - Dock Tarn - Great Crag - Watendlath - Grange Fell - King's How - Borrowdale - Rosthwaite - Stonethwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Stonethwaite

Despite there only being spaces for about 5 cars next to the phone box this is somewhere I've only failed to get to get parked on one occasion. Found in the middle of Stonethwaite, this about as good as it gets for sheer variety of walks.

There is also a small parking area just before the main village. It is more of a lay-by than anything else but there is room for about a dozen cars.

Parking is free and for those wishing to eat or drink after a walk the hotel / pub is less than a minutes walk further into the village.


Route Map

It was more like June than April today, even as early as 8am, as I was leaving Stonethwaite it was anything but cool and by midday it was as warm as an average day during the height of summer. It's just a pity the hazy conditions prevented any chance of decent long distance views, but as long as its dry, warm and sunny I can live with a bit of haze to contend with.

A hazy view looking back along the path between Stonethwaite Bridge and my turn off for Lingy End.

The view back along the path from Lingy End.

The fells were deserted again today; granted, it was early when I set out, but the first people I saw were at the top of King's How and after that I didn't see anyone else until I got back to Stonethwaite Bridge. Fantastic!

Reflections at Dock Tarn.

And again.

And a picture of the tarn itself.

Great Crag.

Rosthwaite seen from one of the many rocky tops around the Great Crag area.

After leaving Great Crag I headed back down to rejoin the main path between Dock Tarn and Watendlath, which is an easy to follow stretch of path; helped a little by the occasional signpost along the way. I remember how glad I was to see the signs along here on my first ever "proper" fell walk many years ago. The biggest problem back then was having the confidence that I was actually heading in the right direction, particularly as that was the first time I'd really lost sight of civilisation.

Passing through some beautiful countryside along the track which leads straight to Watendlath. The tarn can be seen behind the wall on the right of the picture.

I had visions of Watendlath being packed today, which isn't too bad if you're expecting it, but to find the place deserted on such a glorious day was definitely the icing on today's walk.

Peace, quiet, warm sunshine, no wind, no people and one of the most beautiful places in the Lake District; well, things just don't get much better than this!!

The packhorse bridge over Watendlath Beck.

The beck eventually tumbles down towards Borrowdale Valley to form the "famous" Lodore Falls. Although I doubt the falls would have been able to put on much of a show lately, with the lack of water we're experiencing at the moment. So much for the "it always rains in Cumbria and the Lake District" opinion people often feel the need to force on you when they find out you live here.

And from the same spot looking towards the Rosthwaite path (to the right of the trees). And the path I'd came along from Dock Tarn which runs into the picture from the left hand side to join the Rosthwaite path on the other side of the gate.

A very hungry and very tame Watendlath resident with a liking for egg sandwiches.
"Hang on a second, what do you mean EGG, , , you could have told me it was an egg sandwich I was eating or I might have had second thoughts".
"You didn't give me the chance to tell you what it was; you just took it straight out of my hand. Anyway, you're lucky it was only egg, we've got some cooked chicken in the fridge at home and I nearly used that".

King's How seen in front of Maiden Moor.

And again from a little further along my route.

A close up of Castle Crag summit.

A lovely walk back down to valley level, followed by an equally lovely walk through the valley and back to Stonethwaite.

High Doat (covered in trees), High Skawdel and High Spy seen from the path next to Stonethwaite Beck.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks