For the Sally's Cottages staff Christmas outing this Thursday, we are going to The Cottage in the Wood. It is always a real treat to eat there, especially for me (Suzanna) as I used to work there!
A few winters ago I went for a nice snowy walk with Liam, the owner of the Cottage. Looking back at the photos, it reminded me that sometimes a simple walk with good company, is the best walk of all. Walla Crag is not very big, and it doesn't take more than an hour to walk to the top and back, but sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have this little fell on my doorstep.
My favourite way up Walla Crag is via Cat Gill, a slightly longer walk of around 5 miles. To get there you need to walk alongside the lake towards Friars Crag and carry on skirting the edge of the lake till you reach Calfclose Bay. At this point cross the road into the Great wood and bear right through the carpark. Carry on through the wood till you reach a narrow wooden bridge. Turn left up hill in front of the bridge to walk alongside Cat Gill, a narrow wooded gill. This is a steep but beautiful climb and you reach the top in no time at all.
At the top of the falls, follow the path to the left. Don't forget to pause and take in the snapshot view of the lake between the trees. It doesn't really matter which side of the wall you walk on, but the path on the left of the wall takes you directly to the top of Walla Crag. This is one of the finest viewpoints for the least amount of effort. It is only 379 metres high but the views go on for miles and miles.
Now it is a simple walk downhill back to Keswick. Leave the summit and carry on in the direction of Keswick, keeping the lake to your left. Walk down to Rakefoot and through Springs Wood. I like to do this as a circular walk, not least so I can call into Annie's Pantry, the cafe on Springs Farm, home to three of our self catering Lake District Cottages.
The cafe opened earlier this year and is run by Hazel the owner of Springs Farm. All her cakes are homemade - just what you need after a chilly walk! The cafe is dog friendly too so you can sit inside in the warm with your pooch.
This is a must do walk from our self catering Lake District Cottages in Keswick. We still have some late availability for a Christmas break at the cottages on Springs Farm. Fingers crossed for some pretty snow this Christmas!