English Lake District
Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the North-western Fells (above) has walks covering the northern side of Borrowdale. For the fells to the south of the valley - Rosthwaite Fell, Glaramara and Seathwaite Fell, you will need Wainwrights Pictorial Guide to the Southern Fells (below).
If you are plan on walking in the Borrowdale valley, the ordnance survey map for this area is The English Lakes: North-western Area (OS Explorer Map Series)
Borrowdale is a picturesque valley in the north west of the Lake District. At the northern mouth of the valley, there is the Vale of Keswick and the scenic lake of Derwent Water. On the north side of the valley overlooking the lake is Cat Bells, one of the lower Lakeland fells, and subject of one episode of Julia Bradbury's Wainwright Walks. She mentions in one of her programs how Wainwright considered Borrowdale to be the nicest square mile in the Lake District, but also how it happens to be the wettest in terms of annual rainfall. That is, of course, why it is so green.
View of Borrowdale. Photograph by Ann Bowker
South of the Lake, the first village you come to is Grange just off the B5289, built on the side of the River Derwent. It is from Grange that Julia Bradbury started her walk to Castle Crag in her first series of Wainwright Walks. Wainwright recommends this low Lakeland fell for people with only a couple of hours to spare in the Lake District.
View of Castle Crag and the Jaws of Borrowdale seen from the River Derwent. Photograph by Ann Bowker
Castle Crag also forms the western side of the gorge known as the Jaws of Borrowdale on account of its jagged tooth-like appearance in the centre of the valley. The B5289 and River Derwent squeeze through the valley at this point. Past here the valley floor opens out into a wide plane of green pastures on the southern side. In the middle of this wide open space, surrounded by fells, is the village of Rosthwaite. Although small and quiet, it is the largest village in Borrowdale, and is considered the valley's capital.
Further south, the valley forks into two directions, separated by Rosthwaite Fell and Glaramara. To the south-east, is the Langstrath Valley where Langstrath Beck and Greenup Gill join to form Stonethwaite Beck. Between Stonthwaite Beck and Rosthwaite Fell is the small picturesque village of Stonethwaite.
South-west of Rosthwaite Fell, the Borrowdale Valley continues to the village of Seatoller. Here the valley forks again to the west where the B5289 crosses the Honister Pass going down to the next valley of Buttermere, and south to the valley head high up in the fells past the hamlet of Seathwaite. This is where the streams of Grains Gill and Styhead Gill flow down from the Scafell Pike Range of Fells to form the River Derwent.
Glaramara and Grains Gill at the head of Borrowdale. Photograph by Ann Bowker
Looking down into Borrowdale. Castle Crag can be seen on the right. Rosthwaite Fell can be seen centre through the Jaws of Borrowdale. Photograph by Ann Bowker.
Click link above to view the Borrowdale Hotel Guide.
The village of Grange, in Borrowdale. Photograph by Ann Bowker
The Bowder Stone in Borrowdale. Thought to have been transported from Scotland by a glacia during the Ice Age. Photograph by Ann Bowker
View of Borrowdale looking north from Rosthwaite Fell. Derwent Water can be seen beyond the Jaws of Borrowdale. Photograph by Ann Bowker
Rosthwaite in the heart of Borrowdale. Photograph by Ann Bowker
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