Where is this walk?

Derwentwater via Walla Crag

July 16, 2019

The walk reads like a list of ‘must visit’ sites near Keswick. Walla Crag, Ashness Bridge, Surprise View and a return along the shores of Derwentwater to Keswick complete a fine day out.

The Walk

Let no one tell you the best walk from Keswick is up Skiddaw, it is not. The climb over Walla Crag, down to Ashness Bridge and back along the shores of Derwentwater has that distinction. Add in the extra 3/4 mile there and back to Surprise View and this becomes one of the finest walks in the Lake District.

In the early 20th century Walla Crag used to be a climbers playground but now it is more of a retreat for day tripping fell walkers. Further on the views from Ashness Bridge are the most photographed in the Lake District. I took one which looks like a million others. Surprise View is no different, pleasant but popular. On your return it is possible to avoid the main Keswick/Ambleside road by sticking to the shoreline all the way to Keswick (partly pathed, partly just on a shingle beach) It offers excellent views across the lake to Catbells and Maiden Moor. All in all anyone taking this walk will leave you with a much better understanding of this grand old lake.


A deviation of an hour takes you up to Bleaberry Fell which runs along the spine of the ridge between Derwentwater and Thirlmere and offers some good views.

Navigation Tips on Walla Crag

There is a path alongside the shores of Derwentwater. The road looks too close but a path winds its way on the rocky shore. Follow it as the road has lots of blind corners and fast traffic.

  • Jonny P says:

    Walla’s a great spot, as is the view from the road over to Watendlath. Lots of variations available through trees on the lower slopes. Did I spot the view used a backdrop in the last Star Wars film?

    • Jonathan says:

      Yes it is, mainly looking over Derwentwater towards Catbells/Maiden Moor although it was cgi’d.

  • Vanessa says:

    Did this walk with my 10 year old yesterday. I was amazed by the beautiful view! Walla Crag has one of my favourite views in the lakes and that is saying something!

  • peter david mason says:

    Done this walk today from Keswick to Ashness Bridge and on to Walla Crag.Amazing views,rain kept off so had a great walk.Keswick was buzzing and as i am Cumbrian it was good for our local businesses.Smashing day!!.

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