29th August 2011

Borrowdale to Thirlmere - High Tove and Walla Crag


Walk Overview
Time 09.30 to 15.00
Duration 5 hr 30 min
Distance 12.7 mile
Ascent 3000 ft
Walking with On my own
Borrowdale Road - Ashness Bridge - Surprise View - Watendlath - High Tove - Armboth - Thirlmere - Shoulthwaite Farm - Rough How Bridge - Shaw Bank - Dale Bottom - Nest Brow - Castlerigg - Rake Foot - Walla Crag - Cat Gill - Derwent Water
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

The Fort; found only a stones throw from the car park.

Well, you have to take a photo if you're walking past don't you.

Cat Bells and Maiden Moor seen from Surprise View.

also taken from Surprise View is this photo of Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.

Walking past the narrower section of the road to Watendlath.
I wonder how many car wing mirrors have been smashed on that rock.

Watendlath duly reached and I decided it was a good idea to walk up to High Tove and then down to Thirlmere.

I reckon this is just about the best viewpoint for Watendlath. The view of the fells behind isn't bad either.

The sign to Wythburn and Blea Tarn wasn't much use to me today; I was going straight ahead.

Squelching my way through the seclusion.

Looking across The Pewits to High Seat.

High Tove summit in front of the Helvellyn fells.

and also in front of Ullscarf.

Clough Head and the Dodds, taken from the route down to Armboth.

Looking in the same direction as the previous photo, this time while I was walking down Fisher Gill.

"Can the last person to leave please turn the light out", , , so I did.


To avoid walking on the main road, I skirted around the edge of Shoulthwaite Moss and headed to Shoulthwaite Farm.

Rough How Bridge; almost hidden from sight amongst the trees and bushes.

Naddle Valley / Dale Bottom. I'm never sure when one turns into the other, but it's all down there somewhere.
The fells behind are Dodd (just), Carl Side, Skiddaw, Lonscale Fell, Great Calva and Latrigg.

This is the lane I followed along the western base of High Rigg almost as far as Sykes Farm.


Stone Cottage; very nice indeed. Although I can't help but wonder why they made this side the front instead of the other side.

Looking ahead to Low Nest Farm.

Just before I reached the road, I took this photo looking back down to Dale Bottom and across to High Rigg, Clough Head, The Dodds and over to Helvellyn.

A look back to see Blencathra.

"me want um daddy"
Those of a certain age may remember who said this and on what film.

As I walked up to Walla Crag I could see a heavy shower moving across Skiddaw. I'd just passed a group of people who were talking among themselves and from what I could hear, they were convinced it was "snowing over there" because "the weather can change quickly in the Lake District". I just said "hello" and "I hope we manage to stay dry".

Looking across to Bleaberry Fell.

Considering it was the middle of the afternoon on a bank holiday, I was surprised to see Walla Crag summit deserted.

and the view from the summit.


Decision time again. Should I carry on (there's a clue to something I said earlier) around to Ashness Bridge or walk down Cat Gill. After one of those "come on make your mind up" moments, I headed down to Cat Gill on the path you can see here.

Cat Bells, Derwent Water and rain, seen from Cat Gill.

This is where the rain eventually caught up with me. Although; considering the rubbish forecast we were given for the weekend, I think I did pretty well so avoid the wet stuff until now.

Who said romance was dead.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks