Walla Crag and Ashness Bridge

Thursday was the last day of our holiday and we decided that although rain showers were forecast we’d get out for a walk. We managed to persuade our son to come out with us so we decided on a route that wouldn’t be too challenging.

We drove over to the National Trust Car Park at Great Wood on the east side of the lake and set off up through the woods, heading for Walla Crag.

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The path climbed up through the woods, eventually reaching a path where we turned right towards Castlerigg farm. Views opened up of Derwent Water and the fells to the west of the lake

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and to Skidaw

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and Blencathra

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Passing the farm we had a short sharp climb up the fell, but with great views

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It’s a relatively short climb up to the top of the crag, although it is classified as a Wainwright as the grumpy author of the classic guidebooks to the Lakeland fells gives it it’s own entry due to it’s popularity. It’s certainly a great viewpoint.

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The dark clouds threatening rain made it very atmospheric.

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Bleaberry Fell, only a mile away, looked inviting

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but son wasn’t so keen on extending the walk, so we continued on our pre-planned route taking the path descending gradually down the hill towards Ashness Bridge.

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Looking back over Derwent Water

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It didn’t take us too long to reach Ashness Bridge, a traditional stone-built bridge on the single-track road to Watendlath. It’s a very popular tourist spot as it’s easily accessible and is allegedly the most photographed packhorse bridge in the Lake District, so I had to stop to take a few snaps.

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Rather than take the path through the woods from Ashness Bridge back to Great Wood car park we decided to follow the road down to the lake and walk along the shore to Calfclose Bay to have another look at the Millennium stones monument.
I’m not sure that this was a great idea because for a good stretch of the way back the path we’d walked along on Saturday was flooded as the Lake level had risen due to the on and off rain since Sunday.

Reaching the sculpture, this is what greeted us

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So far, despite rain clearly visible falling over the fells, especially up Borrowdale and in Newlands Valley across Derwent Water, we’d avoided the showers. But now it started to rain – very heavily. It was only a short walk back to the car, but it was time to get the waterproofs out of the rucksack!

Reaching the car we changed out of our boots and chucked the wet coats into the boot of the car and then drove back to Portinscale. Another good walk.

12 thoughts on “Walla Crag and Ashness Bridge

  1. It is understandable that the bridge is a diligent object for photography!!
    There is nothing so threatening as dark clouds in a mountain landscape.

  2. As you suggest I did Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell on my visit up there. I came down the Cat Gill path which is very steep and treacherous in wet weather. The Ashness bridge route you took looks a better way down

    • Indeed! A couple of years ago we went up Walla Crag on the first afternoon of a short break. We had theatre tickets for the evening and needed to check in our b and b so thought wekd take the short route down (i.e. Cat Ghyll). It was a challenging descent to say the least. Our route this time was easier but also more enjoyable with good views up Borrowdale

  3. More excellent moody cloud shots there. Never been up Walla Crag, too focused in my younger days on climbing “big” mountains but these smaller hills and viewpoints are becoming more attractive as I get older

  4. Ashness Bridge – the classic lakeland picture postcard view! Walla Crag is a very good example, Latrigg nearby is another, of the fact that the best views are not necessarily from the highest hills.

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