Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag in Borrowdale Walking

The best routes in the Lake District aren't all on the big headlining fells; there's a lot to be said for the smaller, less well-known tops too. This is a short but exciting walk up the impressive front of Eagle Crag in Borrowdale, followed by a lovely ridge walk to Sergeant's Crag, and an off-path exploration down into the depths of the beautiful Greenup Gill. The way up Eagle Crag looks intimidating from below, but it turns out to be straightforward, with just a couple of rocky steps to negotiate.

High Raise from the ridge down from the summit of Sergeant's Crag  © GrahamUney
High Raise from the ridge down from the summit of Sergeant's Crag
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Detailed description

NY2625113767 From the telephone box walk south through the village, taking the public footpath through the campsite. The path continues through drystone walls to emerge beyond the campsite above a confluence in the river where the Langstrath Beck meets Greenup Gill. Keep following the river to gain a track, and walk along this through a gate to reach a footbridge on the left, over the Langstrath Beck.

NY2719012645 Cross the Langstrath Beck using the footbridge and turn left, following the path back down the other bank until you're just shy of another footbridge, this time over Greenup Gill. Don't cross the footbridge, but instead pick up a faint path up the west bank of Greenup Gill, following it through two drystone walls. Beyond the second wall there's an awkward rock step, and above this you should follow the path steeply uphill, keeping parallel to the wall. In its higher reaches this path zigzags upwards, but brings you to a stile over a drystone wall, just over a little col on top of Bleak How. Climb the stile, and follow the narrow path, turning left up a rocky gully. Immediately up the gully, cross a rock step on the right (being aware of the drop down the cliff immediately to the right of the step), then continue on a good path as it zigzags up through rough terrain to the summit ridge of Eagle Crag. The summit lies atop a rocky bluff, just to the left of where you reach the ridge.

NY2754512099 Follow the peaty path southwards to a rock step down near a stone wall. Beyond, the path is boggy, but leads up towards the climb to Sergeant's Crag. There's one awkward step up a slab, then easy ground leads to the summit of Sergeant's Crag.

NY2740111377 Continue southwards off the top of Sergeant's Crag, keeping to the path for just under a kilometre. Now leave the path and descend easy, grassy slopes northwards into the bowl of Greenup Gill. This combe is un-named on the OS maps. You'll hit the stream of Greenup Gill, and should follow this, initially on its west side until just beyond a sheepfold. Then cross the stream easily to the east side and continue downhill to reach a good path (taken by the Coast to Coast Path).

NY2823311527 Turn left, downhill, on the Coast to Coast Path, descending Greenup Gill. The path is stony, but obvious, and it soon brings you out in the flat valley bottom. Keep the river to your left throughout, and ignore the path off to the left which goes over a footbridge over Greenup Gill. Keep going for 1.5km beyond the Greenup Gill footbridge, and just after a gate you'll come to a big junction of tracks. Go left through another gate, over a bridge, and you'll find yourself back in Stonethwaite at the telephone box.

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