1st November 2014

Great Crag, Grange Fell and Castle Crag


Walk Overview
Time 8:50am to 2:50pm
Duration 6 hr
Distance 9.5 mile
Ascent 2600 ft
Walking with Andrew Leaney
Stonethwaite - Lingy End - Dock Tarn - Great Crag - Watendlath - Puddingstone Bank - Grange Fell - Kings How - Borrowdale Road - Bowder Stone - Borrowdale Road - Grange - Broadslack Gill - Gastle Crag - New Bridge - Longthwaite - 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.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map

Such is the weather this autumn that many walks have been arranged and then changed for something else recently. I don't mind the rain, I don't mind the wind, and, I don't even mind them both at the same time. Occasionally though, I just don't see the point in heading out for a battle with the weather. I've done that many times and I have a wardrobe full of 'the T-shirts' to prove it. The first section of today's outing was decided at the car park and the rest was sort of made up as we went along. As I've said in the past, these type of walks often end up giving you some of the best days of all.

The Steps route between Stonethwaite and Lingy End.


Looking across to Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag.

A brief burst of sunshine on Willygrass Gill.

From up here you get a nice peep into Langstrath.

And this, , , , was the best bit of blue sky seen on the walk.

Dock Tarn may not be as attractive as some of the other Lake District tarns, although for me, I've always had a particular soft spot for this place. Probably because it was the first Lakeland tarn we ever visited. I've been here in every weather you could imagine but the most unforgettable visits were the times when the cloud was down and I couldn't see more than ten yards ahead of me.


Watendlath seen from the northern of the two tops on Great Crag. In the far distance, and looking very dark, are the Skiddaw fells.

From the same spot, looking across the top of the central ridge to The Dodds and Helvellyn ridge.


It's an easy walk around here to Watendlath. Easy but quite wet in places.
If you really waned to, you can walk across this area to reach Puddingstone Bank. Although, I don't understand why anyone would take this route and intentionally miss out on a visit to Watendlath. (unless they were short on time)

Zooming in on Watendlath.

The open fellside gives way to this walled track which leads down the side of the tarn to Watendlath.

No one fishing on the tarn today but the hamlet itself was very busy.


Here a brief burst of sunshine on Watendlath Beck.

We've had a quick look around Watendlath and now were heading up there. The path leads right over to Rosthwaite but we're turning off from the top section of the route to head onto Grange Fell.

A view back towards Watendlath.

Well, we'd got away with it so far but here comes the rain. Time to put on the waterproofs.

Grange Fell summit.

Notice the nice colours on the grasses.

"Fancy walking across to King's How"
"Yeah, might as well as seen as though we're this close"


Owned by the National Trust, Grange Fell was one of its first purchases in the Lake District; the money was raised by public subscription as a memorial to King Edward VII at the bequest of the King's sister Princess Louise, who was President of the Trust at the time (1910).

Just below the summit of King's How is a plaque. It reads:-
In Loving Memory of King Edward VII, Grange Fell is dedicated by his sister Louise as a sanctuary of rest and peace. Here may all beings gather strength, find in scenes of beautiful nature a cause for gratitude and love to God, giving them courage and vigour to carry on his will.


Derwent Water and the northern fells seen from King's How.

Natures searchlights over Borrowdale.

Looking down to the Rosthwaite area of Borrowdale.

A steep path takes us down through the woods. With the wet weather it was quite slippery in places.

Heading down to the Borrowdale road. When we got to the road, we had a "where should we go next" moment. I said "Err, I don't mind" and Andrew suggested "Bowder Stone, Grange and back over Castle Crag". Excellent, and off we went.

Although you can't really see it, it was bucketing down at Bowder Stone while we were here. Actually, it rained all the way to Grange.

River Derwent seen from Grange bridge.


King's How seen above the River Derwent.


We leave the woods and make our way up the track next to Broadslack Gill.

Another view looking back along the track.

Looking straight up Castle Crag's crag.

We couldn't help but notice the sunshine catching this holly tree.

We're half way up Castle Crag now and and from here you get a great view down to Borrowdale and across to the fells behind.

A close up of Rosthwaite and Stonethwaite.

Grange, Derwent Water and the Skiddaw fells seen from Castle Crag. The dark fell on the right hand side of the lake is Walla Crag.

Castle Crag summit.

Stone Art in the old quarry. Yes, it's a magical place.


Rather than walk through Rosthwaite we decided to pass straight by New Bridge and and follow the river to Longthwaite.

Not today !!

This is Longthwaite. A lovely traditional looking Lakeland farmhouse but, far too close to the river for my liking.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks