Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell from Great Wood

Any walk to Bleaberry Fell is going to involve some amount of boggy or marshy ground. Here we suggest perhaps the driest route to this fell which terminates the northern end of the central ridge. This high ground sandwiched between Thirlmere reservoir and Derwent Water to the west is at best wet, at worst it is unbearably swamp like. Little wonder it forms part of the United Utilities Thirlmere reservoir catchment area.

It is said that Lady's Rake, the only breach in the face of Walla Crag, was named after the Countess of Derwentwater who used the precarious gully 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!

This walk starts at the National Trust Great Wood car park on the road to Borrowdale. If keen you could walk out from Keswick along the shore of Derwent Water to make it a longer day. Climbing up beside Cat Gill on a wonderful terraced path you are accompanied by the sound of the falls and cascades deep in the gill, of which just occasional glimpses can be seen through the shrubs and trees lining the gill. Steep zigzags climb out of the gill and wonderful views framed by the trees give you a good excuse to stop for a breather. Above the Gill you follow a good grassy path through bracken to the excellent viewpoint of Walla Crag. There are so many fells to see across Derwent Water, as well as to Keswick, and Bassenthwaite Lake. From there the path deteriorates a bit whilst crossing the high moorland becoming wet in places. Higher up, approaching Bleaberry Fell, at a sheepfold a good track appears and along with a stone pitch path delivers you easily to the grand summit. The return retraces a few steps, but then bears left to traverse the fellside and a possible visit to the picturesque Ashness Bridge. Another traverse path meanders back towards the start point through summer bracken, blackberry brambles, and takes you below the impressive cliff of Falcon Crag. A small footbridge over Cat Gill helps drop you back to the car park.