Walla Crag Walking Route

Climb Walla Crag from Keswick for outstanding views over Derwentwater to the fells beyond. This route then takes you down to Ashness Bridge and returns to Keswick via the lakeshore.

  • Distance - 6 miles 
  • Time - 3-4 hours
  • Ascent - 1480ft
  • Starting point - Market Square Keswick
  • Feedback - Please contact Keswick Tourism Association email [email protected]

1 Start from the Moot Hall in Market Square & head between Gregg's Bakery and The Royal Oak at Keswick into St John's Street. Pass the George Hotel on your left and shortly after pass St John's Church on your right. The road curves to the left. Just before the road starts to go uphill turn right into Springs Road.

2. Follow the road as it bends first left and then right until it ends at Springs Farm. Go through the gate and up into Springs Wood. Walk up through the wood with the stream on your left. Shortly the path splits in two, take the right-hand path. The path bends to the left and as it continues upwards the views over Derwentwater to the fells beyond open up as you climb giving you the opportunity to catch your breath and take a photo. The path continues past a mobile mast.

3. Go through a kissing gate and continue through a wooded section to a wooden bridge over the steam. Cross the bridge and continue up to a gate. Turn right onto a lane and shortly at a fork take the right hand one sign posted Walla Crag. Cross the stream over a wooden bridge and follow the path uphill signposted Walla Crag 1 mile. The path soon goes through a gate and continue upwards. After a short but steep climb take time to enjoy the views over Keswick, the Skiddaw range, Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake.

4. The path drops down to where there is often a boggy patch and then rises to meet a wall next to a cairn. Here you have a choice of routes, you can go through a kissing gate on your right which takes you to the summit via a rocky path close to the edge of the crag with fine views over Derwentwater. Alternatively for the less agile or with younger children continue forwards up the grassy path beside the wall. The path goes down and back up again, again it can be quite boggy in the dip. At the top of the next rise, a stile on your right takes you past a cairn to the summit of Walla Crag.

5. After enjoying the summit views head down to a stile which leads over to a short rocky section. At a cairn take the left hand of two paths and then keep right at a fork in the route. Keep to the same rocky path downhill for just over a mile crossing streams as you descend. Go through a gate. Soon you will see another gate leading to a bridge. Don't go through this gate but turn right downhill signposted Ashness Bridge 150m. Go over a stile and bear left to Ashness Bridge, a much-photographed spot often to be spotted adorning tea towels and biscuit tins.

6. Proceed down the road. Part way down the road you can take a diversion to Derwentwater Youth Hostel via a fairly steep rocky path, a great place to stop for refreshments on the terrace overlooking Derwentwater. Otherwise, follow the road all the way down taking care as there is no pavement. Cross over the road at the bottom of the hill and go through a gap in the wall and down the steps to reach Ashness landing stage. You can take the Keswick Launch back at this point if you would like to shorten the walk.

7. To proceed, if the lake levels are low enough, you can walk along the lakeshore. The lakeshore path can be quite scrambly when lake levels are high. Alternatively go back up the steps and follow the roadside pavement and rejoin the lakeshore path at a suitable place further along. A little further along the lakeshore the going becomes easier and the path takes you over a wooden bridge over a stream. The path rises to a bench and soon drops down again to Calfclose Bay.

8. Continue along the lakeshore path over a wooden bridge and past the Centenary Stone. The stone marks 100 years of the National Trust taking care of places like Derwentwater. The path rises into woodland where a small diversion to your left the Millenium Seat makes a lovely place to stop and look out over the lake.

9. Continue along the shoreline path presently going through a gate. The path now heads between a wire fence and grassy area soon passing some houses and then curving left to go over a cattle grid. In approximately 500m turn left through a gateway signposted Keswick 1 1/4 miles. Keep forward to reach first a wooden boardwalk and then a bridge and gate which brings you back to the lakeshore. Keep to the path closest to the lake.

10. Go through a gate after which you can make a short diversion up steps to your left to the viewpoint at Friars Crag. Alternatively, continue along the path past tables and benches to the boat landings. Walk up the road past Theatre by the Lake. Opposite the car park exit turn left through gates to walk through Hope Park. The park offers beautiful gardens, traditional games and Cafe Hope where you can enjoy refreshments at the end of your walk. Follow the path through the park past the crazy golf and leave the park to the right of Cafe Hope.

Download pdf -Walla Crag walking route

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View from Walla Crag