Where is this walk?

Upper Borrowdale

May 30, 2019

From Seatoller the walk through Upper Borrowdale follows the lower slopes of High Spy before dropping down to Castle Crag. The short but steep climb to the classic views from Castle Crag is followed by a stroll up river to Seatoller.

The Walk

The walk round Castle Crag and along the riverside of the upper River Derwent is deservedly one of the most popular walks in the Lake District. I find Upper Borrowdale a microcosm of the Lake District with rocky slopes and cliffs, open fellside, some old mining remnants and a lovely stretch of riverside walking.

I prefer starting at Seatoller and walking back down the valley. This path offers great views of Castle Crag and down to Skiddaw and Blencathra beyond the waters of Derwentwater. Past Castle Crag the walk changes character with pretty woodland paths running beside the fast flowing River Derwent. The river is a catchment for many of the highest mountains in the District to the south of Seatoller.

In my youth we used to go and enjoy ham and eggs in the Yew Tree Inn in Seatoller. Despite reinventing itself over the years as a cafe it appears now to have permanently closed. This leaves no refreshments in Seatoller except the ice cream van which sometimes appears in the car park. Something is needed!


Castle Crag is a lovely little fell with great views towards Skiddaw and Blencathra from its interesting summit. If at all possible include it in the circuit. The climb is short but steep with much of the path winding its way through mountains of slate.

Navigation Tips in Upper Borrowdale

Nothing is more irritating than starting on the wrong path on a walk. In Seatoller walk on the road leading to Honister Pass. After 200 metres take the path on your right on to open fellside. After a short, steep climb this arrives at a more major bridlepath skirting the mountain. Turn right.

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