- Castle Crag and Millican's Cave -

Date & Time: Sunday 9th December 2007. 11.45 am start.

Location of Start : Rosthwaite village car park, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 257 149 )

Places visited : Rosthwaite, Cumbrian Way, High Hows Wood, Milligan Dalton's Cave, Castle Crag and back via New Bridge to Rosthwaite.

Walk details : 3 mls, 950 ft of ascent, 3 hrs 10 mins.

Highest point : Castle Crag 951 ft ( 291m )

Walked with : Jo, Jill, Ann and the dogs, Megan, Jodie, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Better weather today but still cool and rather damp. Some rain showers later.


Haystacks from outside Buttermere Youth Hostel


After yesterday's poor weather, today dawned with just a hint of sunshine about half passed eight.

After a leisurely breakfast we drove up the Buttermere Valley and over to Borrowdale to climb Castle Crag from Rosthwaite.

Everything today is rather damp and just that little bit colder.

Buttermere Youth Hostel amidst the Scots Pines.
Buttermere's Sour Milk Gill across the valley.

The snow that arrived yesterday has more or less disappeared overnight to leave just small patches on the highest tops.

The cloud is just touching the top of Haystacks, as seen over the far end of Buttermere.

Jo braved the mountain pass and crossed the snow line at the summit :o)

Castle Crag from the village road in Rosthwaite.

The wisps of cloud hanging below the high ground of High Spy and Maiden Moor highlights Castle Crag's lowly summit.

The Flock Inn - closed I'm afraid - no chance of tea on our return.
Hot relish for warmth on cold and even colder days !

Looking back as we walk the lane, this was Eagle Crag, also highlighted by the valley mist.

The old "New Bridge" where the Rosthwaite track crosses over the River Derwent towards Castle Crag.

Jill, Ann, Jo and Jodie on the riverside path.
High Hows Wood has many hidden slate quarries amongst its trees.

Our route went left at this point and climbs uphill to the top-most quarry of the group.

There's a large flat slate tip in front of the open quarry.

Millican Dalton's cave is in fact an old open quarry cave formed by the early slate workers of the valley.

It has a wide open arch and the cave extends back about fifty feet or so into the cliff.

The view of Kings How on the opposite side of the valley from the cave entrance.

This cave was the occasional summer retreat of Mr Millican Dalton, Professor of Adventure, who made a quiet living as an early Lake District tourist guide. He spent several summers living here in the cave. I hope it was a little less damp in his day.

One of his lasting legacies is an inscription on the rock in the upper cave . . .

" Don't waste words, jump to conclusions." MD

His quality handiwork and signature can be seen in the second photo.

From the cave we continued on under the northern face of Castle Crag and dropped down to the bridle way, the old miners track up the valley.

Early sunshine on Blencathra and Skiddaw had gone by now, and in a few minutes a rain squall across Derwent Water would obliterate this view.

We continued up the valley, turning left to climb the main crag at a point just before the tree covered crag in thedistance.

Through the gap in the wall and up to the slate spoil heap.
From the ladder stile, a well established path zig zags upward.
One of the most dramatic pair of Scots Pines in the Lakes
The final pull up the slate - Harry leads the way.

There's a memorial to those lost in service to their nation, and like Great Gable, there is a Remembrance Service held here in November too.

We tidied a few poppies back into place and stopped to read the plaque on the summit rock.

Ann, Jill and the Webmaster with his trusty hound.

Here Eagle Crag stands out above the summit trees . . .

. . . and Jodie provides a foreground to the view up the valley of High Doat and the slightly snow covered Glaramara beyond.

"Julia Bradbury was here" and commented on the surreal rock sculptures people had left behind.

I have a feeling the weather or too many tourists have collapsed a many of them and I had to re-build the seat before I could use it as an armchair.

On the way down now, I diverted across to an old mine addit.
The entrance was very wet where the stream drained the old mine.

The cleft in the rock led to a reasonable tunnel extending into the hillside, but without a torch, helmet or local knowledge I progressed no further.

Very seasonal - red holly berries on the tree and the Christmas lights of Rosthwaite just starting to show below.

Very colourful too were the sheep of Rosthwaite Farm
One of the young cow in the classic old farm yard


The Yew Tree Farm

has an inverted tree stump with a delightful Fairy Garden

alongside their side gate.


The Rosthwaite Post Office with it's Christmas lights at the window . . .

. . . . and finally the illuminated Village Hall that we saw from the flanks of Castle Crag as we made our way down earlier.


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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . good friends for the weekend.

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© RmH.2007 # Email me here

Previous walk - 8th December 2007 A Damp Scale Hill Walk

A previous time up here - 31st August 2004 Castle crag and a Buttermere sunset

Oh yes . . . and a final parting video of our distant neighbour making his way home after a hard day at the mine.

Next walk - 10th December 2007 Dale Head and the first real snow