Ard Crags Ridge Walk (Video)
The Ard Crags Ridge Walk
This is a wonderful walk for a number of reasons. Firstly and most importantly it has fantastic views. To the North are views towards Skiddaw and Keswick with glimpses of Derwent Water, to the East the fells above Derwent Water including the nearest Robinson and views down to the Newlands Valley, to the South is the Buttermere Valley with High Stile and Red Pike and finally to the West is Whiteless Pike and Eel Crag with the ridge down over Sail and Causy Pike.
All of these great views usually require a huge uphill effort when your in the Lake District but this walk comes with a cheat which is the second of the reasons that this walk is great. You can drive up to the top of Newlands Pass (lots of parking but can get busy). This takes out most of the vertical meters and it is just a 200m climb to the top of Knott Rigg. This is an initial steep section followed by a gradual rise to the summit. It is then a small descent on the ridge followed by a last small climb to Ard Crags.
From here you can follow the ridge down and walk along to Braithwaite where there are three excellent pubs all serving food and is where we have several cottages. See our Keswick cottages area guide for details on these. You can also leave a car in one of the lay bys at the end of the Newlands valley and drive back up to collect the other from the top. My personal favourite though is to turn around and walk the ridge in reverse. This gives you the views you have had your back to and they are fantastic, back towards the Buttermere valley and the large peaks of Red Pike and High Stile.
The final of the reasons this walk stands out is that it is only short 1hr 15mins to 2hrs 15mins depending on your walking speed. This means you can fit the walk in to a morning or evening when time is of the essence also with the lack of major uphill walking it is a wonderful way to get children enjoying the fells of the Lake District without putting them off by getting really tired.
I have done a video walk to give you a taste of what you can expect from this walk. The walk can be accessed from most of our Lake District cottages but it is easiest either from our Buttermere cottages or our Keswick cottages. Moss my dog certainly enjoyed it!
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