28th September 2011

A Borrowdale walkabout


Walk Overview
Time 08.10 to 14.10
Duration 6 hr
Distance 14.5 mile
Ascent 2500 ft
Walking with On my own
Gutherscale - Side of Cat Bells - Manesty - Grange - Allerdale Ramble - Seatoller - Stonethwaite - Rosthwaite - Puddingstone Bank - Watendlath - Watendlath Beck - High Lodore - Derwent Water - Great Bay - shore line footpath to Hawes End - Gutherscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Gutherscale (below Cat Bells)

A convenient car park for an ascent of Cat Bells, and access into both Newlands Valley and Borrowdale, but be warned, if you try to park here in the middle of the day it's doubtful that you'll get a space.

On a positive note, parking is free.


Route Map

It looks like summer is due to return for a couple of days, and not before time.
Today I brushed off the shorts and headed out with the intentions of walking over Helvellyn. Once I got closer however, I could see the conditions were very hazy and there was a good deal of high level cloud about. After a quick 'make your mind up' session in a lay-by outside Keswick, I decided to forgo a day on the high fells for a day at lower level in the sunshine and below the haze. With these days being so few and far between I think this was definitely the right decision today.

On the path that skirts along the side of Cat Bells and looking over Derwent Water to the cloud free Skiddaw fells and the cloud covered Blencathra.

On the road to Grange I passed Yewdale Knott.   and Manesty.
I actually passed Manesty first, but seen as though I was looking ahead to Yewdale Knott and back to Manesty, the pictures would appear to be the wrong way round.


I had a forced sit down here for a few minutes and to be honest I was pleased about having to stop in such a lovely spot.
The reason; a stone in my boot. While I was walking it felt like half a building brick digging into my foot. When I emptied the boot, a small piece of grit fell out about half the size of a piece of sweetcorn.

With a little height gained behind Castle Crag, the view of Derwent Water and Skiddaw opens up behind you.

Tongue Gill.

Looking back towards Castle Crag.

A somewhat hazy view down to Borrowdale.
There appears to be some cloud over on Helvellyn. If I'd gone there I might just have been walking in the cloud, and the given the amount of haze, the views wouldn't have been as clear as I was getting here anyway.

Yes, I was trying to talk myself into believing I'd done the right thing by staying lower down on such a gorgeous day.

I took this photo at the point where I left the route across to Honister Pass and headed down to Seatoller.

The houses in Seatoller come into view.


Seatoller, the end of Borrowdale and the start of Honister Pass.
I suppose I could have knocked on the door and asked them to move the bins while I took a photo, but I thought they might give me an answer of two words that both begin with "F".

It was lovely walking through here this morning; a real taste of summer, albeit in autumn.


Billy no mates.

Another nice section of path in the area is this one linking Stonethwaite and Rosthwaite. Considering it was such a nice day, I was surprised that I never say anyone else the whole way along here; not that I'm complaining.

Stonethwaite Beck.

It never seems to get much sunshine (for obvious reasons), but I always think this is a nice spot that reminds me of how the main routes through the valleys used to look.


Gaining height and looking back for a view of Borrowdale.
The route I took earlier went around the right hand side of the fell with the trees in the middle of the picture (High Doat).

Lunch with a view of Grange Fell.

Suitably fed and watered I carried on down to Watendlath. Possibly the most idyllic hamlet in the Lake District and somewhere I always enjoy.

Watendlath's packhorse bridge.
I didn't need to go over the bridge today, I turned left through the gate and followed the path down the valley.

, , , , the valley.


Following Watendlath Beck.
It's difficult to go wrong along here. If you stray one way you end up clambering over steep rocks, if you go the other way, you get wet feet.

I used the path from Watendlath Beck to High Lodore as a route back down to Borrowdale. Most of the time you're walking through woodland with no distant views, and then you suddenly get this view down to the valley, , ,

, , , and looking to the right, you see Derwent Water and Cat Bells.

High Lodore Farm.

Somewhere between myself and the distant Skiddaw fells is Derwent Water.

Chinese Bridge. I've no idea why it's called this !!

Pick-nicking and sunbathing next to the River Derwent. I didn't expect to see anymore of this until next year.

Once I was over the bridge and onto the boardwalk I took this photo looking across to Walla Crag and the top of Bleaberry Fell.

Woodland in Manesty Park.

As far as peace and quiet goes, this is about as good as it gets.

"We're gonna hit the pile of stones, don't panic, don't panic !!"
"Okay, what do I do, , , yes that's right, I'll make an emergency announcement"
"Will all passengers seated on the open decks please make their way nice and calmly towards the back of the boat, and don't panic"
"Let me see now, one of these levers must slow this thing down, , , Eeny, meeny, miny, moe"

"Phew, that was close"

A bit of hand cream wouldn't go amiss here.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks