10th December 2016

Castle Crag and a wander about

Time 9:50am to 12 noon
Duration 2 hr 10 min
Distance 4.5 mile
Ascent somewhere around 1100 ft
Walking with On my own
Rosthwaite - New Bridge - Castle Crag - Tongue Gill - Johnny Wood - Longthwaite - Peat Howe - Stonethwaite - Rosthwaite
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Car park, Rosthwaite, Borrowdale
There are actually two car parks right next to each other in Rosthwaite. One is the official car park and this is reflected in the pay and display price. The other one is simply a number of parking spaces adjoining Rosthwaite Village Hall which has a honesty box on the wall of the building.
I know which one I'd rather give my money to.
Route Map


The 'proper' car park was empty and mine was the only car making use of the dozen or so spaces next to the Village Hall when I left Rosthwaite this morning. It seemed like the rest of the world was still asleep so not wanting to disturb anyone or set the curtains twitching, I strolled slowly and quietly through a deserted village and, after being watched with a look of suspicion by 2 farm dogs I made my way down the lonning towards New Bridge. Looking upwards I could see the clouds moving quickly across the sky but down here in the valley, it was the type of December morning with still air, low light and a general feel of dampness to the day. The smell of sheep and cattle drifted down the lonning with me and in the distance I could hear a quad bike revving loudly as the rider took it across the steep fellside.

This was indeed one of those dark days before Christmas where I'm always reminded of the times when I'd walk home from school (yes walk on my own) in the dark. In the house there were wet clothes draped over the wooden clothes maiden; all drying off and steaming in front of a real fire. The kitchen would be filled with the aroma of home made mince pies and cakes. Biscuit tins had their lids firmly closed and we were all told not to touch because "they're for Christmas". Blimey, how times have changed. Kids hardly walk anywhere these days, everyone has a tumble drier, coal fires are almost a thing of the past and most Mam's wouldn't have a clue how bake a mince pie themselves. Even the custard we sometimes put on the mince pies was home made.


I turn around to say goodbye to Rosthwaite for a couple of hours.

The stepping stones and the ford are reached but there's too much water flowing for me to be brave enough to give it a go.

See what I mean !!

Here's New Bridge looking nice and 'new' after having the damage repaired from the December 2015 floods.


Time to leave the valley and head up Castle Crag.


Not far from the top now and you get this brilliant view back down to Rosthwaite / Stonethwaite.

A close up of Derwent Water, taken from the top of Castle Crag.

Castle Crag was all mine this morning and although I was only at the summit for about 10 minutes, that can feel like quite a long time when you're enjoying the peace & quiet and taking in the views. No matter how many dozens of time I come to these places each visit is as enjoyable and as special as it was on that first visit when everything was brand new to me.


Here's the gap at Castle Crag. Over there you can see Derwent Water and the Skiddaw fells.

Looking across to High Doat.

and now looking back to Castle Crag.

Johnny Wood.



It's the middle of December, the roads are quiet and there's no need for me to risk life & limb dashing across the road. Instead, I walk slowly across and even feel safe enough to stand here messing about with the camera.

Heading to Stonethwaite.

Stonethwaite seen from the bridge.


And to finish, I stop for a moment to look through the valley from the bend in Stonethwaite Beck.

When I returned to Rosthwaite it was as deserted and peaceful as it was when I began the walk, the air was just as still as it was earlier and the dampness hadn't improved any. I didn't walk past the farm dogs this time but I heard them barking at someone or something or perhaps each other. It was still one of those dark days before Christmas and I'd had a great little walk around this lovely corner of Lakeland.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks