Watendlath from Keswick via Walla Crag and Ashness, with a twist!
This is one of my favourites when we have a few hours to kill in Keswick, and there’s no real walk planned for the day, it gives great views and a bit of a workout at the same time!
It begins with an ascent of Walla Crag: a brilliant viewpoint over Keswick and Derwentwater. There then follows a descent to Ashness Bridge, thence Watendlath village.
From the top of Walla Crag
View from above Springs Farm
From Keswick Moot Hall, walk into St. Johns Street, and on to St. Johns Church, the road then becomes Ambleside Road. Just before the road begins to climb steeply turn right into Springs Road (0.5 mile) Walk to the end of the road to Springs Farm, after crossing a small bridge at the entrance to the farm the route bears past a stable block and then follows the course of Brockle Beck. Cross the bridge up to a gateway giving access to a roadway about a mile away.
Turn right and walk to the end of the road where another footbridge crosses Brockle Beck. On the other side is the start of a very distinct path which follows the line of a stone wall to the summit of Walla Crag. The summit cairn is a few yards behind the wall getting on for a mile away (you’ll curse me here as the walk up Walla is very steep and makes your lungs burn! Well mine anyway since I’m chronically Asthmatic! ). From the summit cairn continue South to the stile, take the left hand branch which follows the fellside (KEEP TO THE MAIN PATH!), which leads over Falcon Crag and down to Barrow Beck which you should follow downstream to Ashness Bridge.
Better Half crossing Barrow Beck...
Follow the road from Ashness Bridge up and over the hill to Watendlath, (Easy). Or you can walk on the road for about ten to fifteen minutes, until you reach a gate which leads to the path thence a footbridge over the aptly named Watendlath Beck, giving access to the path which follows the course of the beck to the village about two miles away.
Last shot before the incident below!
Reflection in Watendlath Beck
Well it would have been two miles away but not on the day in question! As we ambled along Watendlath Beck path heading towards the village we couldn’t help noticing some Highland Cattle on the beck shore, My Partner remarked “One of them looks pretty big!” I paid no heed as I was sizing up a Picture and everything goes out of the Window then of course! “Jules it’s a Bull!” she said. Then I looked up and sure enough it was a thousand or so pounds of Highland Bull, Horns and all staring at the two of us and scraping the ground with its front hooves! We beat a slow and deliberate but as hasty as we dared retreat back to Ashness placing a makeshift warning on the gatepost, and instead of Ice Cream at the Cafe in Watendlath, had a few nerve steadying Pints in the Borrowdale Gates Hotel!