|Castle Crag stands alone in the Borrowdale Valley squeezed between the fells of High Spy and Grange Fell, they form the Jaws of Borrowdale, a narrow entrance to this beautiful dale. It’s summit provides impressive views. To the north the River Derwent snakes through the wooded valley toward Derwent Water, the town of Keswick and the lofty heights of Skiddaw framed by the slopes of the Borrowdale fells.
To the south is valley farmland and the villages of Rosthwaite and Stonethwaite with the fells rising up behind them.
Castle Crag was an ancient hill fort, has extensive slate quarry workings and was home to Millican Dalton an eccentric "Professor of Adventure" who lived in caves near the summit for over 20 years. Despite Castle Crag being less than 1,000ft, it’s 980ft high, Alfred Wainwright classified it as a Wainwright in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells and said of Castle Crag, that it ‘is so magnificently independent, so ruggedly individual, so aggressively unashamed of its lack of inches, that less than justice would be done by relegating it to a paragraph in the High Spy chapter.’ Recently it was made famous by Julie Bradbury in the BBC series, Wainwright Walks.
To the summit
Castle Crag is situated at the south end of Derwent Water between the villages of Grange and Rosthwaite. Grange is 4 miles south from Keswick down the B5289, the Borrowdale Road. Take a right over Grange Bridge, signposted ‘Grange, Newlands’ and park in the village, some good places near the church.
Walk up the road and before the church on the right take a left down a lane between a house and a wall, it signposted Public Footpath to Castle Crag and Rosthwaite. Walk up the lane and into the trees were the lane becomes rougher and follows the river, keep left. The lane comes out of the trees and ascends gradually between Castle Crag on your left and High Spy on your right.
You pass the rocky crags of Castle Crag and before you reach the top of the pass above, where the path crosses beck turn left up a path that goes up the slope following a stream for a short while then up the slate steps to the wall above. Cross the wall by the stile and follow the steep zig-zag path up the slate workings, this is steep for a while and hard work.
Once at the top of the zig-zags there is a quarry on your left - the summit is round to the right. It is a relatively flat grassy area above the trees with the odd rocky outcrop, one has a metal war memorial attached to it.|
Michael Ryan - 21/Jan/11