This walk takes us to two fantastic viewpoints - Bleaberry Fell which gives a great view of the high fells and Lady's Rake above Walla Crag, with its views over Keswick and Derwent Water.
Length: 3.5 miles
Map: The English Lakes - North Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active)
Last Walked: November 2010
We start from the National Trust's Great Wood car park, on the road south from Keswick towards Borrowdale. The current car park is a little further north than is marked on the OS map.
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Take the path that leaves the car park at its southern end, farthest from the car entrance. This path climbs gently up through the woods as it heads south, with the lake to the right and the cliffs of Walla Crag to the left. Follow this path as it crosses another track climbing up the hill in the opposite, and all the way to Cat Gill
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Ignore the bridge that crosses the Gill and turn left onto the path that climbs up the hill with the stream to the right. The first part of this path looks to be built on to the foundations of an old stone wall, but it soon turns into a more conventional path. As we climb the ravine of Cat Gill becomes increasingly impressive, especially after it turns to the left to climb up behind the woods.
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We follow the path alongside the stream until we reach the head of the ravine. At the point where the ground begins to level out a small path branches off to the right. Turn onto this path and follow it as it cuts a corner, running around the upper end of the ravine.
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This path soon meets another path at a T-junction. Turn right onto this new path and follow it as it runs south, with Cat Gill to the right. We follow this path as it crosses one side stream, and begins to approach the point where another stream crosses its.
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Just before the main path reaches this second stream a smaller path branches off to the left. Take this path and follow it as it climbs gently across the fell side, heading in the general direction of the
summit of Bleaberry Fell, now visible on the skyline. This path brings us up to the main path between Bleaberry Fell and Lady's Rake. Join this path, which at first heads a little to the right of the summit, before swinging to the left to reach the top (after one final steep climb onto the final summit outcropping).
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Retrace your steps from the summit back to the point where we joined the path from Lady's Rake.
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This time ignore our original path and continue along the main (somewhat wet) path. This brings us to the wall that runs alone the upper end of Great Wood. Use a stile to cross this wall to visit Lady's Rake, a superb viewpoint in its own right.
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After visiting Lady's Rake return to the wall, cross the stile and turn right. This path brings us back to our original path, which we follow all the way back down Cat Gill. Turn right at the bridge and head back through Great Wood to our starting point.