Castle Crag

By request of of my ‘Herdwickian’ companion, Jim Mercer, who asked if we could ‘go up the low fell in Borrowdale that Julia Bradbury did on telly’, this was my second visit to this delectable peak in recent months (also see here). There was no sign of Julia herself on the day, but in all other respects this was once again a very enjoyable round!
As previously, the route was from near Seatoller, thus providing excellent panoramas, right from the start, towards Seathwaite, the entrance to Langstrothdale (Stonethwaite) and attendant fells such as Base Brown, Great End of Scafell and the Thornythwaite-Glaramara massif. These were followed by increasingly good sightings of Castle Crag itself, and also, beyond it, of the distant, snow-capped summits of Skiddaw and Blencathra.
Arrival at the summit yielded comprehensive views of the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’, especially Castle Crag’s twin sentinel, King’s How (Grange Fell), and, of course, of Derwentwater stretching away north towards Keswick and beyond. Given the shortness of the day, the return was by a similar route, but on another occasion we have vowed to instead ‘drop off’ down the east face of the fell and visit the dual-cave erstwhile abode of the ‘Professor of Adventure’, Millican Dalton, and thereafter also savour the pleasures of the River Derwent ‘bend’ below Low How.
As Wainwright puts it in the Castle Crag 4 page of his ‘North Western Fells’, although the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’ area contains ‘no mountain, no lake, no famous crag, no tarn... in the author’s humble submission, it encloses the loveliest square mile in Lakeland’. This surely says it all!
Highest point (Castle Crag): 951 ft./290 m. Distance: 4.65 miles/7.49 km. Ascent: 1320 ft./ 402 m.

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