Length 8 Kilometres | Highest point 379 metres
Walla Crag 379m, 1243ft, GR 277213
This prominent hill overlooking Keswick makes an easy short walk from the town and the panoramic view from its belvedere is a fine reward.
Start from the town centre by walking up the Market Square past the Moot Hall and leaving by the road on the left. This becomes St John Street leading past the cinema and the church. After 650 metres, at the foot of Manor Brow, turn right into Springs Road and follow this to its end. A signed footpath leads through Springs Farm, forking right at the first bridge, up past the adjacent television mast, through a gate to cross the stream again at a second bridge. On reaching the narrow lane beyond, turn right towards Rakefoot and at the end of the lane re-cross the stream to reach the open hillside leading to the fine, rocky top of Walla Crag (3km, 290m, 1hr 15min).
There is an exceptional view over Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, taking in the Newlands fells, Skiddaw and Blencathra. From the stile just beyond the top of Walla Crag, take the path to the right which follows the wall down into the impressive chasm of Cat Gill. This path drops steeply and care is required in the wet. At the bottom, turn right to reach the NT car park in Great Wood. Cross the car park and the Borrowdale Road beyond to reach the lake shore. Turn right and follow the delightful shore path around Calfclose Bay. A detour away from the shore is required at Stable Hills but the path continues past Friar’s Crag and the boat landing to reach the road leading back into Keswick (8km, 2hr 30min).
From the stile beyond the top of Walla Crag, another path straight ahead leads to Bleaberry Fell and High Seat. After 500 metres this path forks; the one to the right traverses the hillside towards Ashness Bridge and the Watendlath road with a longer return back along the lake shore. A pleasant alternative would be to return by launch from the landing stage at the bottom of the Ashness road.