24th November 2010

Grange Fell and Walla Crag from Portinscale


Walk Overview
Time 08.00 to 15.45
Duration 7 hr 45 min
Distance 18.6 mile
Ascent 2900 ft
Walking with On my own
near Portinscale - Keswick - Friar's Crag - Calfclose Bay - Barrow Bay - High Lodore - Grange - River Derwent - Rosthwaite - Puddingstone Bank - Grange Fell - Black Waugh - Watendlath - Ashness Wood - Ashness Bridge - top of Cat Gill - Walla Crag - Rakefoot - Castle Lane - Castlerigg Stone Circle - Keswick - near Portinscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking near Portinscale suspension bridge

This is somewhere I tend to start walking from qutie a lot. It's nice and handy for Keswick, Borrowdale, Newlands Valley, Skiddaw, Latrigg and even the Castlerigg Stone Circle area.

The parking is free and no matter at what time of year or time of day I've always managed to get a space here.

From here you're only about 10 minutes walk from Keswick with everything the town has to offer, and in the opposite direction you're less than 5 minutes walk from Portinscale.


Route Map

It was Grange Fell that I really wanted to walk on today, but I wanted to do a longer and perhaps out of the ordinary route. Almost all my route planning is done in my head on the drive to the start of a walk and today I was trying to think of a decent route and how long it would take to get from one point along the various ideas I had to another. As it turned out, my timing for the route wasn't too far off; it only took me half an hour longer than I thought it would. As for the distance, I was literally miles off. I had expected it to work out at about fourteen miles, not over eighteen.

Keswick main street, almost deserted and still dark enough to see the Christmas lights.

Keswick landing stages.


I can only just remember, but I'm sure these two used to have their own TV show called Pinky and Perky. I did ask them to sing for me and all I got was a grunt and a squeal. Perhaps a case of mistaken identiry.

By the landing stage at the bottom of the Ashness Bridge road.

Looking across Derwent Water to Maiden Moor and High Spy.

Woodland in Winter.

High Lodore Farm.

"Hey mister, can I follow you for a while"
"You can if you like but I haven't got time to dawdle about"

Walking over the bridge to Grange.


The River Derwent. I'm glad I wasn't standing here this time last year.

I guess they got fed up with the floods repeatedly washing the path away so this wall has been built. The wall is definitely nice and neat, but 'dry stone' it certainly isn't. Cement has been splattered across the top, which if fair enough if it's been used to give it extra strength to cope with the beck when it's in flood.


Looking back down to Rosthwaite and Borrowdale.

Making my way up to Grange Fell from Puddingstone Bank.

Grange Fell summit.

and again. The fell with the line of snow is Dale Head.

and yet again, this time looking over the central ridge to the snowy eastern fells.

Time for something to eat on the way from Grange Fell to Watendlath.

A view down to the hanging valley I'll be following from Watendlath to Ashness Bridge.

Almost down to Watendlath.

It was peace and quiet in Watendlath today. A far cry from the crowds of people you find here in the middle of summer.


Ashness Bridge.

Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick and the Skiddaw fells.
The day was getting on now and it was starting to cool down quite a bit already, no doubt the forecast for a frosty night was going to be correct.

On of my favourite Lake District views, from the top of Cat Gill looking down to Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.

Only a short walk from Walla Crag summit and looking across to Blencathra.

And also around to the eastern fells.



Walking along Castle Lane.

Sadly, I reached Castlerigg Stone Circle when the sun had gone for the day. It hadn't quite set, but the cloud had built up enough to block it out for the rest of the walk. Never mind, I can't really complain, I'd had more sunshine than I'd expected, probably passed less than a dozen people all day and covered a heck of a lot of ground at a time of year when I'd normally be doing shorter walks.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks