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Spring Walks 2018, Walla Cragg, Sunday 6th May

A walk of goings & comings?

Reporter: Chris Fildes

Ten of us met on a beautiful sunny day, by the cafe at the end of Springs Road, Keswick. The plan was to start at 10am but it was 10.45am before we set off due to a late arrival. Dave Shepherd recovering from a broken ankle walked a little of the way with us.

We walked alongside a beck on a forest track generally south easterly, gradually gaining height, crossing a road and then fields until we reached the well preserved Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle, constructed 5000 years ago.

We had a break here, Ice creams for some! and then retraced our footsteps. Two of our group turned back due to personal reasons, however we picked up two more, Alan and Caroline were waiting for us at the turn off for Walla Crag. A short gradual climb brought us to the summit, the highest point of the walk a modest 379m but with superb views over Derwent Water, Cat Bells, Maiden Moor, Skiddaw, Bassenthwaite etc and in the distance Castle Crag in Borrowdale. Two of us had our lunch at the top but the rest of the group were spotted sprawled out in a soft heather bed!

The descent towards Derwent Water was delightful and we regrouped at Ashness Bridge the well known beauty spot on the road from Watendlath.

The Herries Chronicles (6 books in all), a well known historical classic by Hugh Walpole takes place in the Lakes, especially this area and makes for good reading, although the first books in the series, Rogue Herries and Judith Paris (they named a cafe after her)! the most powerful.

The four doggies in the group enjoyed the stream somewhat noisily (mostly Freddie) ..... sorry Alan! We then resumed our walk along the road eventually reaching Derwent Water at Barrow Bay. The water level being low we were able to walk along the shoreline passing Calf Close Bay and Standshag Bay.

We stopped for refreshments at the Theatre by the Lake where we met up with Dave once more, (he’d been on a boat trip). It was hot hot hot here! And then we made our way back to the start, crossing the Keswick - Borrowdale road and climbed up through Castlehead Woods to reach Castlehead Crags before descending to Springs Road and our cars.

Most of the group went on for the traditional meal at Middle Ruddings organised by Steve Wardle, which I missed due to being on a tight schedule. But I am told it was up to the usual high standard.

Many thanks go to Helen for organising the walk and for arranging for perfect weather!

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