"Must see” icons near Keswick include Castlerigg stone circle, Walla Crag, Ashness Bridge, Surprise View and Watendlath.

This walk visits all five of them. It’s a hilly walk offering fantastic views starting in Keswick town centre and returning from Rosthwaite by bus.


1. From Moot Hall head northeast to Station Road, across the River Greta and past Fitz Park. Turn right onto Brundholme Road and right to go up onto the railway path. Walk along the path for half a mile and after passing under a concrete bridge leave to the left to meet the A5271. Turn left beside the A591 then cross the road to bear right up the minor road signed ‘Castlerigg Stone Circle’. It’s a steady uphill climb for three-quarters of a mile to Castlerigg Stone Circle on the right. The dramatic site offers panoramic views with the fells of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop. It is one of the earliest British circles, being about 5,000 years old.

2. Go back to the road and turn right then right onto the footpath signed ‘High Nest A591’. Follow the footpath to the A591. Cross the road, turn right and after 125 yards left onto a footpath signed ‘Walla Crag’. The path bends to the right around a wall, passing a campsite on the right. Turn left on the road and keep ahead where it is signed Walla Crag. Turn right over the footbridge or ford then go uphill and through a gate. Walk up the steep path with a wall on the right and views of Blencathra behind. After passing a wood turn right through a kissing gate and follow a narrow path round the edge of a steep drop to the top of Walla Crag. Enjoy splendid views over Keswick, Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwent Water and the fells beyond.

3. Walk down 100 yards to a wooden stile on the left of a larch wood. Follow the path ahead but bear right to circle the edge of the fell and cross a gulley at the top of Cat Gill. The path descends southwards aiming towards the end of Derwent Water along a stony downhill path then through a wicket gate. Turn right just before the beck and go along the path signed ‘Ashness Bridge 150m’. Ashness Bridge must be one of the most photographed places in the area.

4. Turn left and follow the road up to Surprise View. Admire the sight over Derwent Water then continue up the road for a further quarter mile to a footpath on the right, signed Watendlath. Follow this path down to cross Watendlath Beck then up the beck-side path to Watendlath. The name of this scenic hamlet and tarn might derive from Old Norse words meaning barn (lath) at the end of a lake (water).

5. From the bridge at Watendlath walk past the end of the tarn and up a stony track to the top of Puddingstone Bank. Descend straight ahead through a gate, down a stony path then through a gate on the right, signed Rosthwaite. Follow the path to Rosthwaite to where the bus stop for Keswick is across the road. Stagecoach 78 buses pass hourly from 09:50 until 17:50 and more frequently during the summer season.


Distance: 9.5 mi (15 km)

Time: 5 h Ascent 2,300 feet (700m)

Map: OS Explorer OL4

Start: Moot Hall, Keswick town centre

Grid ref. NY 266 234

Postcode: CA12 5BL

Terrain: Varied, including steep ascents