Parking: Keswick town centre pay and display parking
Distance: 6 miles
Walla Crag height: 379 metres
OS grid reference: NY 27686 21287
Grade: Easy to moderate
Time: 3 – 4 hours
This Walla Crag walk begins in the picturesque town of Keswick and features epic views over Derwentwater and the surrounding fells. You’ll pass through pretty woodlands and waters before reaching the peak. So, grab your camera, and don your boots on this circular walk to Walla Crag in the Lake District.
Walla Crag from Moot Hall
- Begin this Walla Crag route at Keswick’s Moot Hall in the market square before walking onto St. John’s Street, between Gregg’s and the Royal Oak pub. You’ll soon pass St. John’s Church on your right. As the road bends left and heads uphill, turn right onto Springs Road.
2. Continue on Springs Road to Springs Farm. Here, go through the gate into Springs Wood. Enjoy the scenery as you walk along the path with the stream to your left. As the path splits in two, take the path to the right. As the path continues uphill, prepare for stunning views. If you want to stop for a breather, there are a few places where you can rest and take some photos.
Walla Crag Climb and Summit
3. Pass through the kissing gate and cross the wooden bridge. At the gate, turn right, following the lane until you reach a fork. Take the right path, signposted Walla Crag. After a short climb, stop to take in the incredible views over Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, as well as the vistas across Keswick and the Skiddaw range.
4. This next section of this Walla Crag trail can be extremely boggy in places. After following the path, you can either head right through the kissing gate and take a rocky path to the summit, or you can opt for the easier route that continues straight ahead. When you take this path, look out for the stile on the right and cross it to pass a cairn before reaching Walla Crag summit.
Derwentwater view from Walla Crag
5. Take your time at the top to enjoy the views before heading down the path via the stile. After walking down a rocky path, you’ll reach a further two paths. Take the path to the left and keep to the right-hand side where the path forks. Continue for around a mile, walking along a rocky path where streams cross. Pass through the gate and on reaching the second gate, don’t pass through but take the path to the right, which leads to the signposted, Ashness Bridge. The bridge is an iconic spot for picnics and pics.
6. As you continue down the road, you can take the path to Derwent Youth Hostel where you’ll come to Barrow Cascade. Alternatively, carry on all the way down the road. On reaching the bottom of the hill, cross the road, through the gap in the wall and down the steps to Ashness Jetty. If you prefer, you can cut your walk short and take the Keswick launch.
Calfclose Bay and the Centenary Stone
7. If you’re continuing the walk, you can either walk by the lake or up the steps and along the roadside. You can join the lakeside path at an easier point. Further up the lakeshore go over a wooden bridge that crosses a stream and follow the path until it reaches Calfclose Bay.
8. Continuing along the lakeshore path, cross the wooden bridge to the Centenary Stone, which represents 100 years of the National Trust maintaining the area. As the path rises, pass through woodland and stop at the Millennium Seat for superb views over Derwentwater.
Derwentwater Lakeside to Hope Park
9. Continue your walk along the shoreline, through a gate and down a path, passing houses and crossing a cattle grate. At around 500 metres, go through the gate and take the signposted path to Keswick. Continuing forward, you’ll reach a wooden boardwalk which leads to a bridge and gate. The path then continues to the lakeshore where you’ll continue to take the path closest to the lake.
10. After passing through yet another gate, take the steps to the left for a peek at the views from Friars Crag. If you prefer, you can bypass Friars Crag and continue down the path to the boat landings. Walk on to pass the Theatre by the Lake, and opposite the car park you’ll find gates leading to Hope Park. The park is a beautiful place to stop and enjoy refreshments and also visit the bronze statue of Max the Miracle Dog. Exit the park at the right of Café Hope, go through the underpass at the bottom of Lake Road and return to the centre of Keswick to complete your Walla Crag walk.