Castle Crag is a hill in the North Western Fells of the Lake
District. It is the smallest hill included in Alfred Wainwright's
influential Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, the only Wainwright
below 1,000 ft.
The fell has an impressive appearance, a rugged
height apparently blocking the valley of Borrowdale which is squeezed
between Castle Crag and Grange Fell, its neighbour on the other side.
This narrow gorge is known as the 'Jaws of Borrowdale and is
prominent in views from Keswick and Derwentwater.
High Spy, the
parent fell, forms part of the north-south ridge between Borrowdale and
the Newlands Valley.
The rough spur of Low Scawdel (1,709 ft)
runs out due east from the summit, breaking steeply over Goat Crag and
then falling to Broadslack Gill. This small tributary of the River
Derwent separates High Spy from Castle Crag.
The wooded height of
Castle Crag rises between Broadslack Gill and the Derwent, the two
streams meeting to the north beneath the outlying knoll of Low Hows. It
has steep faces on all sides except the south, where a low ridge runs
out and then swings west around the head of Broadslack Gill. A narrow
pass provides the link to High Spy.
The summit area is believed
to have been an ancient hill fort, although the western section has been
sliced away by quarrying. It can only be gained by means of a sloping
crack to the south.
The very highest point is a rock outcrop
about eight feet high and twelve feet across. Atop this is a well
constructed circular cairn of slate. A memorial to Borrowdale men killed
in World War I is affixed to the outcrop.
There is a fine view
down the valley, Skiddaw seen to good effect across the lake. Southwards
Great Gable and the Scafells ring the head of the Derwent catchment,
while near at hand, enhanced by the steepness of the slope, is a view of
the woods and crags of mid Borrowdale.
Castle Crag may be
ascended easily from the villages of Grange in Borrowdale or Rosthwaite,
and can be combined with the lovely riverside walk along the River
The Allerdale Ramble long distance walking route runs
along the valley of Broadslack Gill, whilst the Cumbria Way crosses the
eastern slopes of Castle Crag.
Walking routes near