The Borrowdale Valley

The Borrowdale valley is one of the most idyllic places on earth. It runs for some ten miles from the high fells, with 977m Scafell Pike the highest summit, down to the shores of Derwentwater.

It's one of the most popular places to rock climb in the Lake District because there are lots of low level fast drying crags which are easily accessible from the road. Three classic climbs can be found in Borrowdale: Little Chamonix, Shepherd's Crag; Gillercombe Buttress, Gillercombe and Troutdale Pinnacle, Black Crag.

One of the scenic places of this area is the tiny hamlet of Watendlath with a small tarn of the same name, a popular place for fishing. The entire hamlet is owned by the National Trust and is managed by tenant farmers.

In the main valley below some 4 miles from Keswick, past the impressive Lodore Falls, is the small and attractive village of Grange in Borrowdale, reached over the striking two arched bridge, a popular stopping place for picnics or a visit to a cafe. The church of the Holy Trinity dates back to 1861.

From here the valley narrows into the spectacular "Jaws of Borrowdale" with road and paths squeezed into a gorge. With dramatic suddenness the scene changes to one of rich pastures bordered by dry stone walls spread across the flat valley floor. The wide panorama of mountains surrounding the head of Borrowdale are revealed in all their majesty.

All of this spectacular landscape lies within half an hour of travelling from Keswick. The Borrowdale Rambler bus service runs the length of the valley all year round and this can link in to the launches around Derwentwater. Take the open top bus from Keswick to Seatoller, Rosthwaite or Grange for tea and cakes and ride back, no rambling required. Or leave the bus at Rosthwaite and walk over to Puddingstone Bank to Watendlath or climb Castle Crag. If you buy a day rider ticket you can use it on both the Borrowdale and Honister Rambler buses and get on and off as much as you like all day.

Rosthwaite is a lovely village surrounded by magnificent fells and home to lovely pubs and hotels. 

Stonethwaite has a village school, the beautiful but tiny St Andrews Church and an idyllic campsite.

Seatoller at the foot of the Honister Pass has commanding views of the Borrowdale Fells.

There are some wonderful places to stay in Borrowdale - quality hotels, traditional pubs, gorgeous guest houses and camping and glamping.