Walla Crag is one of the best viewpoints in the Lake District. This short walk is easily accessible from Keswick, a bustling market town in the centre of the Lake District.

View from Walla Crag, Lake District
View over Derwentwater and part of Keswick, with Bassenthwaite in the distance

Location

We started this walk from the Lakeside Car Park, less than 500 m from the centre of Keswick. It’s £3.40 for two hours, £10 for the day. You can pay by card, or via the MiPermit app. We actually did this walk as a run, in the afternoon, after driving the 2 hours from Ilkley. On public transport, trains arrive at Penrith, from where a roughly hourly, 40-minute bus ride takes you to Keswick. Public toilets are available in the car park.

Trail Route

10.3 km | 2 to 3 hours | 385 m up | 385 m down | 379 m high | 75 m low

After paying for parking, we set off from the southern corner of the car park. This led us onto a small path through the woods. We continued on the eastern edge of the wood for just over a hundred metres. Here we turned east (left), along a path out of the woods, slightly up through some fields. We crossed straight across the B5289 road and back into a wood. Continuing up and over a big mound in this patch of wood, we reached the other side. We continued back out of the wood, onto a small road.

Tips

  • Take: map, compass, sunhat, waterproof jacket , plenty of water lunch and/or snacks, a rucksack.
  • Get the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL4* map for this hike.
  • To conventiently pay the parking fees with the MiPermit app, download the app before you go to save data.
  • From the same car park, you can also stroll into Keswick itself, or take a boat ride on the lake.
  • This walk can also be done as a lovely run (we took 1hr15)
  • You can find other Lake District ideas in our Lake District Guide.
Ascent and view over Blencathra
Beginning the ascent, with a view to Blencathra

We turned southeast (right) along this quiet road. Continuing past Springs Farm Guesthouse, head into the wood along a little path by the river. After 200 m through the wood, we turned right just before the footbridge, to meet a track at the edge of the fields. 600 m further, we met a road and turned southeast (right). A short distance along the road, it turns into a track. After passing a woodland on your left, you head out onto the moorland.

The main ascent now begins, as you continue upwards by a stone wall. Once you reach a flat bit near the top, you can walk through a gap in the wall. You’re now directly above Walla Crag. The views from here are spectacular. Derwentwater is below, and the Lake District fells stretch into the distance across the lake.

View of Derwentwater from Walla Crag
View of Derwentwater on the way down

The Descent from Walla Crag

After 400 m on the north side of the wall, you pass back through it to begin the descent. We didn’t descend steeply here, but continued onwards, south, down a very clear track. We continued along, and gently down this track before it started descending more steeply across the slope. When still at 250 m, we cut southwest (right) off the track, onto a smaller path. This headed directly down through the bracken.

We reached another path just before a stone wall and turned north (right). This path, which we followed for almost 1.5 km, parallels the edge of the lake below. Before the National Trust Great Wood car park, we turned west (left) to head towards the lake. There are quite a few paths here, it doesn’t matter which one you take, as long as it gets you to the shoreline.

From this point, you follow the path along the shore, winding its way back to where you started. You walk through beautiful grassland at the edge of the lake, passing two islands nearby in Derwentwater. You can also see Walla Crag up above, away from the lake. A fancy restaurant, also selling light-bites and drinks, provides refreshments at the end. And if you’re brave, why not go for a swim!

View of Derwentwater and Walla Crag
View back to Walla Crag from Derwentwater

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