Eagle Crag, Sergeant's Crag and Ullscarf

Deep into Borrowdale a side turning goes to the pretty hamlet of Stonethwaite, really just a couple of cottages, a farm and a campsite. This little side valley is beautiful, pastoral sheep fields echo to the sound of spring lambs bleating for their mothers. Cross the the bridge over Stonethwaite Beck to the bridleway used by both the Cumbria Way and Wainwright's Coast-to-Coast and you could be in the middle of no-where. Following the valley south east it narrows and Smithymire Island sits near the confluence of Langstrath Beck and Greenup Gill. Here the valley is dramatically split by the forbidding Eagle Crag. It looks like a place walkers would do well to shy from, but Wainwright documented a fine "direct" route, bypassing crags, clambering up a gully, and a series of terraces to lead you on one of the finest ascents in Lakeland. We use it on this walk, combined with a visit to Sergeant's Crag and the notoriously boggy Ullscarf in an excellent walk. This is possibly the best way onto Ullscarf which is otherwise long, tediously boggy and generally unpleasant.

In fine weather this direct route to Eagle Crag is a fair proposition for any reasonably experienced walker, but do not attempt it in poor, inclement weather. Neither is it recommended for descent. Pick a fine day as you will want the views.

Parking in Stonethwaite itself is limited to residents, please park considerately on the approach road where there are a number of verge-side places. The Honister Rambler bus goes through Borrowdale and so passes the end of the road to Stonethwaite.