Castle Crag is one of my favourite walks in the Lake District and I always revisit it whenever I’m visiting my parents in the Lakes. The first time I reached the summit was on my dad’s back in a baby carrier and I’ve had the climbing bug ever since.
I have walked to the summit many times and often starting from different directions, whether we have walked through the Borrowdale Valley exploring caves on the way or headed out with the sole purpose of popping to the top.
Its a great walk for all the family including the four legged friends (as long as you can hoick them over a stile or two). At 290m high the hill is a great place to start Wainwright bagging, the easiest place to start and park is Rosthwaite village and it is a simple route to follow.
At the top of Castle Crag not only are you treated to spectacular views, after a reasonably easy walk, down over Derwentwater and Keswick and up to Eagle Crag but there is a War Memorial to commemorate 2nd Lieutenant John Hamer and the men of Borrowdale who died in the First World War. The memorial and the slate zig-zag assent up to the top are maintained by the National Trust, the scree on the hill side which may look natural is in fact the spoil pile from Castle Crag’s days as a quarry.
I love the walk in company or just with my dogs, you can meet hundreds of people up here during the summer months on a sunny day but in winter time you tend to meet the hardy type whatever the weather they are out fell running or at the summit for first light to catch the best sunrise for their photography. The Flock Inn Tea Room is the best way to end your walk with homemade cakes and award winning Herdwick meat.
As I have developed such a love over the years for Castle Crag it ended up being one of my main subjects for my A level Photography exams as the quirky standing stone towers make this feel a mysterious magical place in the Lakes. Legend has it that when a tower is knocked over a new one appears (I think the large number of visitors building their own standing stone towers might add to this effect though). I always build a new tower on my way up, I could waste hours playing with the slate before even making it to the summit.