Castlerigg Stone Circle Walking Route from Keswick
A short walk with fine views to the surrounding fells setting out along the old railway path, going up the lane to the Stone Circle and returning via Springs Wood. Some road walking is involved.
Castlerigg Stone Circle stands on a superb natural plateau commanding a superb 360 degree view over the surrounding fells. It is composed of 38 free standing stones, some up to 3 metres (10 feet) high. It is one of Britain's earliest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period 4000 to 5000 years ago.
The original purpose of the site is unknown. It could have been used as a trading post. Three stone axes have been discovered inside the circle. In the Neolithic period axes were made from volcanic stone quarried in the fells. Other possible uses include a meeting place for social gatherings, a site for religious ceremonies and rituals or even an astronomical observatory with the stones being aligned to the sun, moon and stars.
Castlerigg Stone Circle was one of the first sites to be covered under the Ancient Monuments Protection Act in 1888 and in 1913 it was acquired by the National Trust through the efforts of Canon Rawnsley.
Distance - 4 miles approx
Time - 2 hours
Starting point - Market Square Keswick
Feedback - Contact Keswick Tourism Association email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes - this route includes some sections on roads without pavements & a couple of busy roads to cross. Wear appropriate footwear as the return section can be muddy.
1. Leave the Market Square between the Royal Oak & Greggs. Turn left into Station St and keep straight ahead. At the junction cross at the pedestrian crossing and go straight on. Cross the bridge over the river Greta and continue on the road between Upper and Lower Fitz Park. Just as the road bends to the right take a path on your left up to Keswick Leisure Pool. Take the path round the right hand side of the swimming pool and then turn right on to the former station platform and along the old railway line path.
2. Keep forward along the railway path and over a bridge over the river Greta. The railway path passes above a row of semi detached houses. At the end of the row of houses take a fork to your right. At the top of the path go through a gate onto Penrith Road. Cross over taking car as this is a busy road. Take your next left and then 50m after the junction turn right up Eleventrees signposted Castlerigg Stone Circle.
3. Continue up the hill. Beyond the houses the pavement runs out so take care on this stretch of road. To your left rises up the wooded flank of Latrigg and a little further on Blencathra comes into view. As you come to the brow of the hill turn right through a gate into the site of Castlerigg Stone Circle. Take time to admire the 360° views of the mountains.
4. With your back to the lane head to the right hand corner of the field over stone steps over the wall. Turn left down the single track lane. Continue to the end of the lane enjoying the views to either side. At the end cross over the busy A591 and go through a gate immediately opposite signposted Walla Crag and Keswick
5. Go up the field keeping to the fence at the right hand side. Go through 2 gates and then after the next field turn right through a kissing gate. Continue alongside the wall and shortly go through a wooden gate. Drop down the field to a gate which leads onto a lane. Turn left into the lane and in 25m take a path off to your right signposted Keswick.
6. Cross a wooden bridge over a stream and follow the path to your right. Go through a kissing gate. Derwentwater now comes into view Follow the path through the wood with the stream to your right below you. The path then becomes steeper and curves to your right . At a fork take the path to your left and follow it down to 2 gates. The path takes you out of the wood and into Springs Road. Follow the road as it bends to the left and then right and ends at a T-junction. Turn left here and follow the road all the way back to the Market Square.