Walla Crag and the Great Wood

Walla Crag is a fabulous viewpoint on the eastern side of Derwent Water, much of the panorama is hidden until having climbed through the trees the ascent of Cat Gill is left behind, and the crag is finally gained. The summit cairn once stood much closer to the edge than it does now having been moved back to the official Ordnance Survey spot height.

Even the path alongside Cat Gill is interesting, steep at times, and stone pitched in places. Brief enticing glimpses of the waterfalls can be heard often tease the walker by hiding out of clear sight deep within the gill.

It is said that Lady's Rake, the only breach in the crag, was named after the Countess of Derwentwater who used the precarious rake to evade capture after the arrest of her husband for his actions in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715. These days the rake is not a recommended ascent or descent route!

The top of the crag is reasonably safe in mist, a wall back from the crag is a good handrail which should not be strayed from in those conditions. On this walk Brockle Beck acts as a good collector of wayward walkers, funnelling water and walkers alike down to the farm at Rakefoot.

The start point is the National Trust pay and display car park at Great Wood, on the Borrowdale road a couple of miles south of Keswick. Exiting the car park in one direction you return from the opposite: always a good ingredient for a great circular walk.