The Keswick and Walla Crag walk in the Lake District

South-east from Keswick town centre to Castlerigg, then south-west across the top of Walla Crag before dropping down to Ashness Bridge. Further south along the minor road into Ashness Wood and west downhill to meet the B5289 road near the Borrowdale Hotel. Continuing west to join the Cumbria Way south of Manesty, then north along the bridleway beneath the eastern slopes of Cat Bells to Hawes End. After re-joining the Cumbria Way it’s north through woodlands to Portinscale and east back to Keswick. A 12-mile walk in the Lake District.


The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District North-Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL4, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.

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Standard Ordnance Survey map of the Lake District North-Western Area, reference OS Explorer OL4, scale 1:25,000.
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The view north from Walla Crag towards Latrigg and the Skiddaw range of mountains.


Looking west across Derwent Water from Walla Crag. The smaller island is Rampsholme Island and the larger one is St Herbert’s Island. Immediately behind the lake is the ridge made up of Skelgill Bank, Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy. Further back are some of the other north-western fells such as Barrow, Rowling End, Causey Pike and Robinson to name but a few.


Walkers enjoying the views of Derwent Water and, in the distance on the right, Bassenthwaite Lake.


Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and the River Derwent floodplain. The river rises at Sprinkling Tarn underneath Scafell Pike and flows generally north to Cockermouth then west to Workington, where it enters the Irish Sea.


The view south-west from Brown Knotts across the southern half of Derwent Water. The woodland of Manesty Park sits below the steep slopes of Cat Bells and Maiden Moor.

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Footbridge across Barrow Beck which flows into Derwent Water from Bleaberry Fell.


Ashness Bridge, a traditional stone-built packhorse bridge striding Barrow Beck.


Ashness Bridge is perhaps the most photographed packhorse bridge in the Lake District due to its location and stunning views. This extremely popular viewpoint looks over towards Derwent Water and the Skiddaw mountain range. Similar images are often seen adorning mugs, biscuit tins and tea towels.


Watendlath Beck.

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Watendlath Beck flowing through Mossmire Coppice.


Flooded track at the southern tip of Derwent Water, between the B5289 and the River Derwent footbridge.


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