3rd April 2011

Borrowdale road to Watendlath - and back


Walk Overview
Time 10.10 to 12.30
Duration 2 hr 20 min
Distance 8.5 mile
Ascent 1050 ft
Walking with On my own
Near Borrowdale Road - Ashness Bridge - Surprise View - Ashness Wood - Watendlath Beck - Watendlath - road back to Ashness Wood - Ashness Bridge - Near Borrowdale road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, bottom of the Ashness Bridge Road, Borrowdale

A nice and handy little car park that gets you into the Keswick end of Borrowdale, offering easy access to the Ashness Bridge / Watendlath areas and of course Borrowdale itself.

Parking is free, but there are only a limited number of spaces, most of which are often taken up by inconsiderate parking.


Route Map

Cat Bells and Causey Pike seen from The Fort.

The forecast was for April showers today and that's exactly what I got. Some weren't worth putting a jacket on for and others, while they only lasted for a couple of minutes, they had the rain bouncing off the ground, , , I don't know whether to be pleased or not. In light of the forecast I headed out to do one of the many walks I like to keep up my sleeve for days like this.

Considering the car park had 14 cars in it (yes, I counted them), Ashness Bridge was surprisingly quiet. I only saw 4 other people between here and Watendlath, so it begs the question 'where did everyone go'.

Ashness Farm.

Woodland near Ashness Farm.

A somewhat dark view from Surprise View.

and in the opposite direction, a somewhat lighter view.

This is the path that leads down from the road to the bridge over Watendlath Beck.

On the ground next to the bridge you're given 3 options on where to walk.
I'm heading straight ahead to WATENDLATH, although that's not how we'd say it. I've always known it as Wotendl'th.
"wot" as in what do you want, and don't pronounce the final "a".

I believe my Grandfather used to help out with the farming at Watendlath when he was just a young man, so if they say it's Wotendl'th that's good enough for me.

It's an easy to follow route from here to Watendlath, just follow the path or the beck or both. Eventually you'll get there.



A long distance view back down the valley.

A quiet April day at Watendlath, , , , well it was until I got around the other side of the buildings where I met a large group of youngsters who'd came down from the High Tove area (no wonder they looked so muddy). To say the least some of them looked a bit scrawny so I've no idea how they'd managed to carry such huge back packs up and down the fells. I just can't imagine what they were carrying in them.

Anyway: I said hello, they said hello and then one of them asked that question "do you know where the path is". Obviously I said "which one", then another lad mumbled in despair "O God, don't tell us there's more than one". Without laughing, I got it out of them that they were heading to Rosthwaite, and showed them which way to go. They actually seemed to be a group of decent kids, and as I watched them struggling up the hill, I couldn't help but think whoever told them they needed this much stuff should be made to carry it up the hill for them.


One more photo before I leave Watendlath.
The orange dots on the right hand side are the two backmarkers of the group, no doubt thoroughly enjoying their time in the Lake District.

The twisty bit of the road.

Some breads of cows I'm inclined to give a wide birth to, but Belted Galloways generally seem quite placid. In fact, this lot were about as interested in me as I am in, , , flying to the moon or football, to name two things I couldn't care less about.


I wonder what happened to the other half of the big rock.

Looking across to the Skiddaw fells from Ashness Bridge.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks