Where is this walk?

High Spy over Borrowdale

August 25, 2017

High Spy is in the centre of a long wide ridge separating Borrowdale from Newlands. This walk combines High Spy with an exploration of Upper Borrowdale.

The Walk

It was a glorious sunny (and hot) day when myself and Greg headed up High Spy to the broad ridge that separates Borrowdale and Newlands. A steep pull brought us to the ridge, passing via a slate mine, and to the high point literally of the walk. The views in all directions are spectacular. In the near ground there is the wide ridge heading towards Catbells. To the right the views open out towards Derwentwater with the backdrop of Skiddaw and Blencathra. Looking towards the west over Newlands the views stretch towards Buttermere and beyond the the sea.

We headed down the ridge a little, towards Maiden Moor, before finding a path down the steep slopes towards Derwentwater. The second part of the walk explores the Upper Borrowdale valley. On this occasion we did not this time make the short excursion up Castle Crag (it was too hot). In fact the riverside walk through the trees was lovely as it was so cool. The woods follow the shoreline of the River Derwent and after the heat of the exposed mountainside it was so enjoyable. Before long you arrive back at the large car park at Seatoller.


Spend some time exploring the slate mines around Rigghead quarry. Here there are the remains of some buildings, a slate staircase and plenty of loose slate. The quarrying has been in operation for 100s of years, only relatively recently closing down.

Navigation Tips on High Spy over Borrowdale

The return via the river is really awkward in places, particularly when wet. However bad though it is better than the road which is busy with blind spots.

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