This is a compact little walk, the climbing starts right away at the edge of the road and heads upwards on a narrow path almost immediately into the trees. Quickly the road is forgotten, and the adventure begins.
Wainwright was rather down on Castle Crag and The Benn. We're not sure why. Admittedly they are not the highest or most exciting places in the Lakes, and the fort is long gone, but they have their charms. The faint path to The Benn from the forest road is a gentle meander under low lichen covered trees and through mossy hollows to a fine little summit above the tree tops where the views are fabulous.
There is a small pay and display car park at the junction on the west side of the Thirlmere dam, and a layby just around the corner directly opposite the start of the walk.
If you need accommodation we have details of 22 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Go through the gate beside the public footpath sign to Castle Crag. Follow the narrow path climbing through the trees. It is a little steep and rough at times. Go through the double gates, cross the track and climb the path directly opposite. Continue climbing to another double gate, go through again and cross the track to take the path opposite. Follow the path to the top, as the gradient eases look out for the United Utilities sign on the left.
At the sign, where the trees open out, turn left and skirt the recently felled area on a faint path. Continue through the trees, at the top of the wooden walkway and steps bear left to continue to the top of the crag.
Return down to the sign board, bear left across the forest track, and go through the gate. Follow the path, walkway and new bridge across the notorious boggy bit to the obvious crag.
With care the crag can be climbed on a path traversing right.
Return to the forest road, and bear left along the road. In just 100m (110 yards) as the road bears left and descends, bear right on a faint path climbing the hillside. The path verging on indistinct meanders through the trees, boggy patches and later heather eventually ends on the summit of The Benn. The last bit looks a little intimidating but the path skirts any difficulties.
Return again to the forest road and the junction of paths. Bear left past the sign board and drop back down the route of ascent.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|The Dodds and Clough Head, via Sticks Pass and St John's in the Vale||1.1km (0.7 miles) away|
|Great How||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|High Rigg, Naddle Fell, and Wren Crag||1.2km (0.7 miles) away|
|High Tove and Armboth Fell from Thirlmere||1.8km (1.1 miles) away|
|Helvellyn round from Thirlmere||2.4km (1.5 miles) away|
|Launchy Gill||3.2km (2.0 miles) away|
|A Short Walk From Ashness Bridge to High Seat||3.8km (2.3 miles) away|
|A Short Stroll to Lodore Falls||4.0km (2.5 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and the Great Wood||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell from Great Wood||4.3km (2.6 miles) away|
|Castlerigg Stone Circle||4.9km (3.0 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