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" Castle Crag with Finlay of Borrowdale "

Date & start time: Thursday 15th May 2014, 12.45 pm start.

Location of Start : Grange in Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 252 175 )

Places visited : Hollows Farm, Broadslack Gill path to Castle Crag, back via the riverside.

Walk details :   4 mls,  950 feet of ascent, 3 hour 50 mins.

Highest point : Castle Crag summit  951ft - 290m

Walked with : Trevor and Gill, Ann and the dogs, Finlay, Harry and Dylan.

Weather : Beautiful sunshine.

 " Castle Crag with Finlay " at EveryTrail

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A combination of weather, work, holidays and the like have meant that we've not met up with Trevor, Gill since early March.

Their dog Finlay has grown in the intervening 10 weeks and now challenges Harry for size . . . amazing.

He's now  a large nine months old and reminds us that Dylan won't remain a puppy for very long.

However Dylan's still a small puppy but we think he's fit enough for a slightly longer walk today.

Meet the gang . . . Gill, Harry, Finlay, Dylan, Trevor and Ann . . . at their house in Grange.

Trying for a photo-shoot of all three dogs in the garden . . . thanks for the assistance Gill.

Managed it . . . by luck as well as good management.

- - - o o o - - -

After a lovely lunch at home with Gill and Trevor it was time for a walk.

The cafe had to cope without us today as we had already eaten.

We take the road to Hollows Farm which starts alongside the building . . . heading for the "smallest of the big ones" . . . Castle Crag.

The wetland areas alongside the river are a tangle of undergrowth, trees and lovely bluebells.

Looking up at Blea Crag and Nitting Haws

There's a great path up there . . . from the valley floor to the High Spy summit.

" Object of desire " . . . Dylan is too small to worry about its size as he can't see over the wall.

The road past the farm changes to an unmade track by the campsite

and ends up at the beach where we meet the River Derwent again.

Dogs will be dogs . . .

Dylan the nervous but still dry youngster, Harry the mature wet-to-the-knees old fellow

and Finlay, the very wet care-free teenager.

The old track climbs up Broadslack Gill valley and out of the woods.

This would have been the old pony track between Grange and Honister at the head of the pass years ago.

We've turned left off the track and are now heading up on the first part of the climb to the summit of Castle Crag.

A very serious looking Dylan waits to have his photo taken by the hole in the wall.


The first Hamer Memorial.


The dogs have gone across to the seat where the quiet plaque,

unseen by many, records the

"Donation of Castle Crag to The Nation"

in memory of Sir William Hamer.  1939


He died at the start of the 2nd World War. (1939-45)


Continuing on, up to the awkward ladder stile.
Out onto the old slate tip

Did you spot the Herdwick who followed us up ?  Almost a case of dog-worrying by the sheep !

The famous Scots Pines . . . always a favourite photo.
Dylan and Finlay on the slate.

As we climbed the slates "tinkled" with sound.

If you find yourself in Keswick Museum they have a complete xylophone made up of perfectly tuned musical slates

The correct name for the instrument of course is a "lithophone".

We climb the 'lithophonic' path up to the old slate workings

and as we do the view opens out and we see all of Upper Borrowdale from Rosthwaite right up to Scafell Pike.

The treat bag must be out . . . the inside secret of getting that special pose . . .

P.S.     . . . it doesn't always work, especially with young dogs.

[ You know the general expression, never work with children and animals ! ]

Looking across to tree covered High Doat and up to the rounded Great End.

Scafell Pike has a temporary cover of cloud.

The sound of a distant helicopter passing over the high fells

and heading Whitehaven direction encourages me to zoom in on the tallest peaks.  The helicopter is just to the right of the highest summit.

Nearing the top of the fell . . . looking down on the quarry floor.
Bright green larch against the backdrop of High Spy.

Across the void . . . Trevor, Ann and Gill stand on the opposite edge of the quarry.

There's a sixty foot wide by thirty foot deep excavated hole between us.

Skirting around the edge of the abyss on the wide grassy platform,

we get a lovely view north to Skiddaw on the other side of Derwent Water.

A wider shot with King's How taking pride of place on the opposite side.

For some reason it is covered as minor summit of the Grange Fells rather than being a named Wainwright top in itself.

It's a great little mountain to climb and well worth a visit if you have time.

Relaxing on the actual summit

which is surrounded by a dwarf wall convenient to sit upon.

Trevor waited on the grass below as the top of the rock didn't really have space for three and three  active dogs.

- - - o o o - - -


On the summit of Castle Crag is the more famous War Memorial

to those of the valley who gave their lives in the first World War.

Many memorial crosses still survive from last November's

memorial service.

At the head of the list of men we see Lt. John Hamer

killed in action in 1918

Presumably he was the father or a close relative of

William Hamer mentioned in the slate memorial that we passed earlier.


- - - o o o - - -




Warning:  There follows a series of seriously doggy photos.       For those of a nervous or non-doggy disposition,   look away now.

Dylan in regal mode . . . holding his own lead so that he doesn't run away   ;o)

" Actually you put a rock on top of the lead . . . so I couldn't anyway. "

" While your standing about taking pictures I'll just have a quick rest "

Harry sits too . . . but he's still keeping an eye on what's going on.

Dylan . . . travelling in stile . . . as we descend from the summit, heading for the Rosthwaite path.

Eagle Crag stands proud at the head of Stonethwaite Valley.

To the left is Greenup Gill and to the right, the start of the long valley . . . "Langstrath".

We take the footpath around the bottom of Castle Crag, heading back towards Grange.

If you head up to the left you'll find Millican Dalton's cave . . .
. . . but we continue on to the right following the river.

The dogs take a dip in the still waters of the river.

This section of the river is most often seen from the road on the opposite side.

Only a slight breeze ruffles the surface of this long stretch of water.

A short stretch of faster moving water with delightful rocks, one of which had a small pied wagtail on it.

The next calm section leads down to the beach that we passed on the way up the fell.

Living locally, Gill and Trevor often walk here and this makes the pool one of Finlay's favourites.

Retracing our steps past the campsite. 

There were a couple of large tents as well as the one caravan but generally it was remarkably quiet today.

In the next field the farmer keeps a couple of fine horses.

Many years back we stayed in this field with our caravan . . . that must have been before the present campsite was formalised.

Back to the village and the second cafe by the river

. . . again under utilised today due to Gill's kettle being on the boil across the road.

- - - o o o - - -

I often include this view as a starter picture to describe the weather but today you've already seen the weather.

This photo was taken late afternoon just as some mountain cloud started to drift across the face of Great Gable.

- - - - o o o - - -

Thursday evening 15th May was the start of the Keswick Mountain Festival

The Festival Village is developing in Crow Park, down by the lakeside.

Ann and I had tickets to the Alan Hinkes illustrated lecture in the Theatre by the Lake.

Afterwards we walked down to the Boat Landings to enjoy the last of the evening sunshine.

The colour of the evening sun made the boats glow much more attractively

than the rain shower did when I was last here.      Now where did we park our car ?

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a forecast of sunny weather for the festival weekend ahead.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 13th May 2014 - Knott Rigg without a Hat

A previous time with young Finlay - 13th Dec 2013 - Finlay of Borrowdale

Next walk - 17th May 2014 - Rannerdale Knotts and the Bluebells