Grange in Borrowdale
Images courtesy of David Woodthorpe
In the Borrowdale Valley some 4 miles from Keswick 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. These small settlements have been in existence for a very long time and often their name gives a clue about their history. Grange means a farm, usually belonging to a monastery. In this case the monks of Furness Abbey built a monastic grange here in medieval times. The well know double arched bridge was built in 1675 whilst the church of the Holy Trinity dates back to 1861. Grange used to be a Methodist 'dry village' and in fact it is only in recent years that the Borrowdale Gates Hotel was granted a non resident alcohol licence.
The Borrowdale valley runs for some ten miles from the high fells, with 977m Scafell Pike the highest summit, down to the shores of Derwentwater. Beyond Grange 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.
The Bowder Stone, close to Grange in Borrowdale is one of the most famous rocks in the Lake District. It weighs 2000 tonnes, is 30 feet high, 30 feet across and 90 feet in circumference and it balances all by itself. You'll find it a short walk from the National Trust Bowder Stone car park on the B5289 between Grange and Rosthwaite.
The area has lots to offer in terms of activities with fishing, rock climbing and water sports to name but a few on hand. Borrowdale 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.
Grange in Borrowdale is served by the Keswick to Seatoller bus 78 which runs all year round. Additionally between April and October you can ride on the Honister Rambler a circular seasonal bus service which runs in both clockwise and anti clockwise directions taking in Portinscale, Catbells, Grange, Rosthwaite, Seatoller, Honister Slate Mine, Buttermere, Lorton and Whinlatter Forest. Travel through one of the steepest passes in the region, the Honister Pass over to Buttermere. Click here to view bus timetables
Grange is the starting point for many fell walks such as Catbells, Castle Crag and Grange fell. For a low level follow the path beside the river Derwent to the villages of Rosthwaite and Seatoller or towards Derwentwater and along the shoreline to Keswick.