7th August 2011

Raven Crag


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 11.30
Duration 2 hr
Distance 3.5 mile
Ascent 1100 ft
Walking with On my own
Near Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag - forest track to Shoulthwaite Gill - forest track to road at Smaithwaite - near Thirlmere Dam
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Thirlmere Dam

I think I'm correct in saying this is the preferred parking spot for peak baggers who are intent on a quick there and back walk up Raven Crag. And while this is indeed the closest parking spot to Raven Crag, there actually considerably more routes to be had from here. To name a few, you could undertake a complete circuit of Thirlmere, head north to St John's in the Vale and High Rigg or even have a short walk onto Great How.

In or around August 2011 a pay and display machine was installed in this car park.

However, , , , if you continue a short way down the road towards the A591 you can park for free in a lay-by. The free parking spot is indicated by the higher of the two red arrows.

Route Map

What a cheek, as I drove over the dam towards the 'triangle' car park I spotted a van with "car park" something or other on the side, and then I saw the guy kneeling down either installing, or working on the new ticket machine. Should I stop and take a picture or say something, , , nah, it's not really his fault. What I could do however, is drive past and park in the lay-by a little way down the road.

Beginning the walk through the woods and looking back to see the road, Thirlmere and Helvellyn.


A brief opening on the woods allows this view across to Raise, Whiteside and Helvellyn.

Looking back down the avenue through the trees.

Recent tree felling has really opened up this area. And while I'm sure they know what they're doing and they don't just cut trees down because there's nowt else to do, what I don't understand is why on earth they can't leave the place a bit tidier. It's obviously possible to get heavy machinery up here, so would it really be too much to get all this stuff shredded. It has to look better than this.

You may remember from photos or from coming here yourself that the path used to take a lovely tunnel like route through the trees, well, it's gone now.

Raven Crag summit.

And the view from the cairn, looking towards Raise, Whiteside and Helvellyn.

Looking to the left and you see Clough Head and the Dodds topped with cloud.
Bottom right is Thirlmere Dam.

Back round the other way again and this is a view down towards the Dunmail Raise end of Thirlmere.

Heading back down now.

I didn't walk across today, but this is a picture looking to Castle Crag Fort.
From here, it looks like you could walk straight across to the fells you can see over there. You're welcome to try, but you'd need a bridge, a tightrope or a set of wings to get there.


This is why you can't walk straight across from Castle Crag.

Shoulthwaite Gill.


Smaithwaite and Bridge End Farm.

Raven Crag, seen as I walked back along the road to the car.

and to finish, here's a picture of Watson's Dodd, Great Dodd (sort of) and Calf How Pike.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks