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" Walla Crag and Ashness Bridge "

Date & start time:    Saturday 22nd September, 2018.  1pm start.

Location of Start :   Great Wood NT car park, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 272 214 )

Places visited :         Cat Gill, Walla Crag, Ashness Bridge and back under Falcon Crag.

Walk details :             3.9 miles, 1150 feet of ascent,  3 hours 20 mins.

Highest point :          Walla Crag, 1230 ft - 379m.

Walked with :             Jo and Neil, Ann and the dogs, Amber and Dylan.

Weather :                    Overcast to start, improving nicely as the day went on.

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A seemingly brief moment between our Scottish holiday and the arrival of our new little bombshell. 

Both Jo and Neil are in the area so we take the opportunity to stretch our legs Cumbrian style

and head out on a circular walk overlooking Derwent water.

After a Friday evening "Celebration of Simon & Garfunkel" concert in Loweswater

we met Neil and Jo for a second time at the car park in Great Wood, just out of Keswick, for a walk to Walla Crag.

Our exact route was not signposted as we plan to take the more direct Cat Gill route up to the summit.

Parking in Great Wood . . . on this busy day we just managed to find three car parking spots as we had all arrived from different directions.

Interestingly, the warden asked us to each take a free parking ticket via the machine (free for NT members) as it records the car park usage

and also allocated money to the Cumbrian area of the Trust from National funds, bringing them more money for local projects.

The start of the steeper climb up Cat Gill . . . on our return we would walk back to the car park via the bridge on the right.

Well it did describe it as a steep climb . . .
. . . but there is always time to stop and relax by the stream.
Onward and upward again.
Jo nearly reaching the gate near the top.

As we climb and leave the wooded ravine the views widen to include Derwent Water, Catbells and the NW Fells.

On the more level ground the panorama widens even more.

The visibility is good and we can see all the way to Great Gable and Scafell Pike (left) at the southern end of Borrowdale.

In the background (centre and right) are Robinson, Ill Crag and Grisedale Pike behind Catbells and Barrow Fell.

The top of Walla Crag and we peer over the precipice, down to the many islands of Derwent Water.

Derwent Isle, with Lingholm House, Nichol End and Derwent Water Marina on the far shore.

A group photo on the true summit, set back fifty yards or so from the edge.

You don't need to be introduced to Jo and Amber, Neil, Ann and Dylan do you ?

Today we extend the walk over to Ashness Bridge so take the track across the top of Cat Gill

admiring the small waterfall as the stream leaves Low Moss.

Looking down the falls from where Neil was standing.
Shortly afterwards our view is of people on the Cat Gill ascent.

The wider symmetry of Falcon Crag on the left and Walla Crag on the right,

with an island filled view across to Portinscale and Keswick.

Zooming in on the view . . .
. . . then moving on along the wide path.

We walk out onto the moorland above Falcon Crag.

Looking down on Lords Island, Derwent Island and the Peninsular out from Crow Park.

The Keswick campsite is sitting near the waters edge at the bottom end of the lake.

Jo and Neil discussing the walks they've done

and how the geography of the fells ahead of them ties in with what they remember.

An alternative leisurely pursuit or two . . . sitting and sailing.

Dylan leads us on towards Ashness and the view is now of the top end of the lake.

Great Gable is seemingly the highest peak . . . but we know the one behind is taller !

A ferry leaves the Lodore landing stage close to the river.

The water level in Derwent Water seems to be high, as there's a lot of standing water on the marshland at the head of the lake.

The Keswick Launch breaks through the ripples like an arrow head.

A competition  emerges . . . who will reach Ashness Pier first ?

We'll class it as a dead heat . . .

the first time I can remember seeing clockwise and anti-clockwise ferries arriving at the same pier at the same time.

With clear water now . . .
. . . a Dragon Boat can make a safe landing at Lodore.

The sunshine encourages everyone to sit and enjoy the view.

Above us a Kestrel hovers . . .
. . . searching the moorland for food.

When the fly they move fast but when they hover they are absolutely stationary. 

They flutter or quiver their wings characteristically fast and their body vibrates in time

but if you look carefully at one actually hovering, you notice that their heads are absolutely still.

Looking down we see the Derwent Water (independent) Youth Hostel below us.

. . . and shortly afterwards the narrow road that crosses Ashness Gill at a rather famous spot.

The 'chocolate box' or 'biscuit tin' view of the iconic Ashness Bridge.

The last tin I saw with this view on the lid had significantly less trees than there seem to be now.

The classic, narrow packhorse bridge.

[ I'm sure that right hand side has been modified recently looking at the new cement  ?]

Above the bridge is the old 'Scout Bothy' which has now been converted to a National Trust Information Centre

It also serves informal teas and coffee on high days and holidays till late afternoon.

They were open until four o'clock . . . and as luck has it . . . it was just closing !

A quick view inside while they close the shutters . . .
. . . reveals a nice warm fireplace . . .

and a large table to sit around and chat if you want.

Afterwards we take the path to Great Wood . . .
along a narrow path . . . It is narrow
. . . cos' there's not mushroom to pass.

Falcon Crag from below . . . on cue about half way back.

Down on the lake more visitors are afloat . . . this time paddling under their own steam.

The later section of this walk becomes more wooded

and with it the environment for mushrooms and toadstools improves.

These delicate ones are growing out of an old pine log.

This interesting bunch are more of a grassland variety.

Back to Cat Gill . . . and wearing red helps to get you into a photograph when all around is generally green or brown.

Old trees tell of a time of flood or gales.
We round the circle as we reach the signpost once again.

- - - o o o - - -

A short walk brought us back to the car park and then we all headed back over Honister Pass to Loweswater

to enjoy a cup of tea to make up for the one we didn't get at Ashness Bridge.

This one had home made Loweswater fruit cake with it . . . a real bonus !

- - - o o o - - -



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

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Previous event - 14th - 19th September - Scotland - the Mull of Kintyre

A previous time up here - 6th April 2011 Calvert Trust and Walla Crag

Next walk - 26th September - Dougal of Loweswater

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