This is a steep little walk where the climbing starts straight from the road, heading upwards on a rough path through the trees. Quickly the road is forgotten, and the adventure begins.
The view down Thirlmere reservoir from Raven Crag is superb and well worth the effort to get up there.
Castle Crag was the site of a small iron-age hill fort perched on the sandstone outcrop. Traces of its defensive ditch and earthen bank have long been lost under the heather and bracken. It's a seemingly forgotten viewpoint, its narrow path betraying that most people only head for its neighbour Raven Crag.
The walk starts at a layby on the back of Thirlmere road. Approach from the Keswick end as the dam road is currently closed as is the middle of the minor road alongside the reservoir.
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the layby turn left and almost immediately sharp right and go through the gate in the deer fence. Follow the gravel path climbing steeply up to the trees. As you ascend the path becomes rougher. Cross the forestry track to the path opposite and continue upwards. Cross a second track continuing on the path opposite. Reaching the deer fence go through the gate to the top track. Bear left and almost immediately go through the kissing gate on the right. Follow the narrow path descending slightly to a footbridge and past the sign saying "Castle Crag Hillfort". In front of the rock wall bear right through the bracken and climb the short slope to the summit.
You may spot an Ordnance Survey bolt amongst the grass and undergrowth.
Return back to the track, cross over to the gates in the deer fence, this time taking the one on the right. The path is gravelled and then steps lead into the trees again.
Follow the steps and boardwalk to the open area on top of the crag.
Return again to the forest road and go through the gate on the right through which you came on the ascent. Follow the path back to the minor road and the parking area.
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||1.9km (1.2 miles) away|
|Helvellyn round from Thirlmere||2.4km (1.5 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||4.2km (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