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Walla Crag and Castlerigg Stone Circle

Important note: Two bridges on the return along the old railway path have been destroyed in Storm Desmond, December 2015. Either retrace your steps from the summit of Walla Crag. Or from Castlerigg Stone Circle exit by one of the gates and turn left walking along the minor road down to Chestnut Hill and then the main road into Keswick.

A circular walk of moderate proportions starting in the centre of Keswick at the Moot Hall, now the Tourist Information centre, wandering along the shores of Derwent Water to climb the beautiful and steep Cat Gill to the top of Walla Crag. From the crag you can just see the Stone Circle in front of Blencathra. The return to Keswick along the old Penrith to Keswick Railway line completes the circle.

Keswick's Moot Hall has a rather fine clock tower which only has an hour hand. At Friar Crag is a memorial to John Ruskin who was a very public figure of the Victorian era lesser known for his later conservation work. The National Trust's Centenary Stone can be found in Calfclose Bay, it celebrates 100 years of the trust in 1995.

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 spot height.

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 Walla 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 Moot Hall in Keswick right in the middle of the shopping precinct and central to many of the parking options. The Moot Hall is the Tourist Information and Visitors Centre so is well signed from all points of the town.