Wallowbarrow Crag and Green Crag

Name of walk Wallowbarrow Crag and Green Crag
Date of walk 2015-04-02
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 6 hours 20 minutes
Weather Warm with sunshine
Peaks on walk Wallowbarrow Crag, Green Crag
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Seathwaite Parish Room

After a week of rain and gales, Thursday turned out to be quite a nice day. As it was the Easter holidays we decided to get well away from the ‘madding crowds’ and go to Seathwaite in order to climb up Wallowbarrow Crag, take a detour via Grassguards to Green Crag and return via Wallowbarrow Gorge. A walk of about eight miles. We parked at the Parish Room, next to the church. Their parking is £2, very reasonable. Seathwaite was surprisingly empty, and we met no one all day. We did see a few people at a distance, we obviously chose a good place to be. Ambleside etc. would probably be heaving!


Holy Trinity Church. The original chapel was built in the first half of the 16th Century but in 1870 the old chapel was deemed to be simply too dilapidated to restore. The church was rebuilt in its present form and reconsecrated in May 1875.



The church is famous through its association with Revd Robert Walker, incumbent from 1736 until his death at the age of 92 in 1802. He was admired and respected by his descendants and all who knew him. He is known as "Wonderful Walker" because of William Wordsworth's reference to him in his poem "The Excursion" and sonnet "The River Duddon". The stone with the sundial inset at the entrance to the church is reputed to be the one used by the Revd Robert Walker when clipping sheep at Gateskell. The age of the sundial is unknown.


We took the footpath just across from the church which goes across a bridge.


Then a small footbridge. Indications were that the route was going to be a wet one today!


The route goes through the woods and comes out at the Memorial Bridge. Looking north up the Duddon towards Wallowbarrow Gorge, the route we would return by.


The Memorial Bridge.


From the bridge we go straight ahead across a field that leads to the farm around to the west side of Wallowbarrow Crag..


After passing through the farmyard this is the view up to Wallowbarrow Crag.



Almost at the top of the track on your right will be a sheep trod type track that leads up to the top of the crag. View down to Low Stonythwaite from the route up. A very isolated place to live.


I wonder if they have electricity? Bet they don't have Broadband!


Great views from the top down the Duddon Valley. Stickle Pike centre left horizon, Blackcombe on the right.


The Newfield Inn on the left, behind it is Caw.


Brim Fell and Dow Crag with snow on the tops on the left. Then Buck Pike, Brown Pike, Walna Scar and White Pike.


Grey Friar and Swirl How on the left.


Below is Wallowbarrow Gorge. Looking across to Grey Friar with Seathwaite Tarn in the dip.


Harter Fell with Esk Pike and Bowfell with snow on their summits.


We head back down to the main track to Grassguards


A fine crop of moss on top of the walls. Harter Fell behind.


We head through the farm and turn left on to the new forestry track. Green Crag is in the centre.


The forestry track, through what was once forest, peters out here, a scene of total devastation. We decide to head up to the wall and hope that the ground is not too wet.


View back. It was wet! A combination of tree trunks, tree debris and peat bog. We then had to climb the wall, which is topped by a fence. We found a section where you could climb the wall and go under the fence. Then we were on to grassland which is always wet.


Snowy mountains.


Wet grassland leading to Harter Fell.


We head up towards Green Crag.


Green Crag summit with Devoke Water in the distance.


Me with the Scafells behind.


Still very wintery on the higher fells, but spring-like on the lower ones.


We head back down and aim for the corner of the forest.


From the forestry corner we take the very wet track that leads back to the farm. With the trees all gone there is nothing to soak up the water! We cross the bridge and take the bridle track on the other side of the ford, by the stone wall. This leads down the side of Grassguards Gill, below Fickle Crag.


This way down was very wet and muddy after all the rain, I don't know why it is designated a bridle path, I would not want to take a horse down here. Eventually we descend off the Crag and meet the woods and the track that leads down to the Duddon.


Ged having a go on Fickle Steps. The water level is far too high to attempt a crossing even with the wire hawser to help.


This is my son, Tom in July 2008, crossing Fickle Steps quite easily, as the water level was low. We did not need to cross, but it was fun to go over the river and back again!


There are more obstacles to confuse a blind dog.


The gorge path goes high level towards the start.


Then medium level.


Crossing the boulders.


Then the path skirts the river edge. There are some very big boulders in the gorge.


With the water being so high it is difficult to take a photo up or down the river without the trees and rocks being in the way.



In the summer of 2008 the water levels were low, so you could stand on the shingle and take a photo of the boulders.


Another photo from 2008.

We went back to the car via the Memorial Bridge route. The walk had taken longer than we intended, with all the water and bogs! It took us six hours and twenty minutes. I don’t think I will try Green Crag from this direction again, unless there is a month long drought! Usually we have done it combined with an ascent of Harter Fell from Birks Bridge, and usually in the summer during a dry spell, so the grass/moss is not too bad to cross. We live and learn! 😉