Walla Crag, with Bleaberry Fell and High Seat option
Walla Cragg is a nice walk and can easily be combined with an afternoon in Keswick or at Derwent Water. It can be done from Keswick Town Centre, but this would involve quite a lot of road walking so for me, with dogs, through the woods is much more enjoyable.
Parking is best at the National Trust Car Park at Great Wood. This is a large car park and I have always found space here. National Trust members park for free, none members pay, but all payments go to the National Trust and help keep the footpaths maintained.
From Kestrel Lodge take the A591 towards Keswick go into the town centre B5289 which is sign posted Borrowdale. Drive along the side of Derwent water and park at the National Trust Great Wood car park.
Take the path at the far left of the car park, this winds up through the wood on a good path, it’s a gradual accent, and a nice woodland walk. When you get to the high point of this path, you need to take the left hand fork. The path gets narrower and winds through the wood until clearing the wood and follows along the side of a wall and fence. All this area through the woods and this path is ok to let dogs off lead, the fields are all fenced in so no sheep issues.
Follow this path to a T junction in the route. Turn right and keep following the path over a bridge and to a gate. You meet the road at this gate, turn right and follow the road passed the farm and to the roads end. There are often sheep from here on up, so watch out if your dog’s not good around them. Go over the bridge and small stream before following the path upwards. Through a gate and then simply follow the path that follows the line of the wall up.
You have two options when you see a stile at the top of this first steep rise.
Option 1 – over the stile and follow the line of the Cragg at the edge of the cliff. I’ve done this once but not being a lover of heights, I now go the other way – but this option does give you great views over Derwent and Catbells.
Option 2 – Simply follow the line of the wall/fence to the next stile where you can see the summit and cairn. Over the stile and you are at the top of Walla Cragg.
What Next ???
Peak Baggers – Back through the stile and simply continue on this path you can see Bleaberry Fell in front the path is grassy and can be boggy at times but it is an easy path to follow. Once at this cairn again head onwards to High Seat – this is literally over a “Boggy Mess” with very little in terms of path – if you’re going to do it, follow the fence line but expect bogs, wet feet, and little to no path – basically follow your nose to the next fell top. I would probably do High Seat from Ashness Bridge as it’s a nicer walk with good views, but if you do head onwards to High Seat then you can come back on the path down towards Ashness Bridge taking the fork in the path around the mountain and back to Walla Cragg just before the bridge itself.
There is a circular route option, it’s a good path, but is steep steps that can be wet and slippery. I usually re-trace my steps back to the car park, but for a circular route, I like the walk and enjoy the easy walk back down but others prefer a circular route hence the options.
For the circular route and if you’ve been bagging, follow the path off the top continuing straight and towards the woods. Just before the woods you hit the steps down simply head down this steep path which once at the bottom winds back to the car park.
You can of course choose the steps up and the other path down if your knees are up to it!