Green Crag is the dominant rocky peak in the range of craggy knotts amid the marshy moorland of moss, heather and grasses between the Eskdale and Duddon valleys of south west Lakeland. It can be climbed from either valley, or the road over Birker Fell - which is an area of high ground rather than a summit top itself. The latter makes for a short walk with some rare pathless adventurism, a change of scene indeed from many of the more popular stony fells nearby.
The view north from the summit of Green Crag, and to some extent Birker Fell, is to the Scafell massif and is particularly fine. North east is Harter Fell. Looking back to the start, south west, Devoke Water peeks out from behind Seat How.
Parking on the Birker fell road is limited to vague pull-ins, the name layby is really too grand for these road side gravel patches. The one where we parked is ideal as a starting point as not only does it have a path across the grass but you can see a joining path onto Great Crag. However, don't be fooled by the presence of such paths. whilst they are not illusionary and they indeed help you to "a" destination, it may not be the one you wanted and even if it is, following it on the ground is more difficult than it may first appear.
There are no fences, no cairns, no stone pitched 'engineered' paths to follow, or any sure fire navigational handrails. So don't even think of trying this walk in mist or low cloud.
Park at the informal pull-in at SD17669708.
If you need accommodation we have details of 16 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the parking place pick up the path heading north east, almost perpendicular to the road. In a little under 400m (440 yards) it drops to cross a small beck. Immediately to the right of the path is a very deep peat hollow which may contain water, it has undercut banks so don't let dogs or small children into it as they will be very difficult to extract.
Little of the path can be seen close up so continue north east and in 100m (110 yards) bear slightly left to head more towards the north and Little Crag another 500m (550 yards) distant. On the way cross the two 'arms' of Highford Beck, both are little more than a long step across from one bank to the other.
Bear slightly right below Little Crag to follow the broken down wall to the bottom of the steep grass ramp onto Great Crag - you can go round the back of the crag and climb an easy slope if want you to avoid the ramp.
At the top of the ramp bear left to the summit cairn of Great Crag perched on a rock outcrop.
Now head roughly east towards Broad Crag, a small mound called Meeting Hill just before it is a dry intermediate oasis. Then ease left, north, a little to either go over Broad Crag, or skirt it on the left.
From Broad Crag, looking up at the western slopes of Green Crag the summit sits atop the left most crag. Don't get confused with Crook Crag further over next door and which is slightly lower.
Make for the large stones near the bottom. From there various intermittent paths make their way up through the crags. We headed in a sort of up, left, then right, left and then the ramp in the middle to a small saddle kind of way. A narrow path round the back gains the summit outcrop of Green Crag and the small cairn.
Return is largely retracing your steps south west. Skirting Broad Crag and Great Crag avoids unnecessary re-ascent. Watch out for the peat hollow in the dip just before getting back to the road.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Slight Side from Wha House, Eskdale||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011