Barrow is a small fell in the Northern Lake District that height wise reaches just 1,494 feet (455 metres). But, the short walk up its ridge from the village of Braithwaite gives some spectacular views over the vales of Keswick and Newlands.
This photo above shows the view looking back from just half way up, just half an hour steady easy climbing. Already here it commands views back down over Braithwaite to Bassenthwaite Lake behind, with Skiddaw towering in the background. You will see this is a gem of a climb for many standards. A fantastic first climb for the whole family even, even the little ones! Much easier to park too here in Braithwaite rather than trying to gain one of the very few spots at Catbells across the valley. Very similar types of terrain.
As you climb up the well defined ridge you can start looking in wonder in all directions to be honest and not be disappointed. The northern half of Derwentwater comes into view behind the Catbells Ridge, with the Helvellyn Range lined up at the far horizon. On this day I climbed the higher peaks were beautifully tipped with snow.
Nestled in between that view above and Skiddaw you get the side on view of Blencathra, over the top of Keswick…. Yes it was a crisp fresh day. Invigorating.
Of course looking onwards and upwards you can see the ridge ahead plus the peaks beyond Outerside and Coledale. It was a shame I only had a couple of hours this day as I had the want to walk and walk further up and beyond.. That being said it gives me the opportunity to look ahead. been a while since I was on those fells in that direction, be good to get back, camera in hand.
Braithwaite, the start point is situated just west of Keswick off the A66. There are various little car parks and even laybys on side roads possibly available. You cannot miss the Royal Oak Pub in middle of the village. Follow the little road that cuts down to the right of the pub, over the little hump back bridge, past the little shop and turn upwards in the entrance to Braithwaite Lodge. Pass the lodge and you cannot miss the wide grassy path up onto the ridge.
Take your time, enjoy the views, even take the time to sit and ponder. Escapism with great views from a small but surprising fell. A fell for all the family.
Looking back down the ridge to Braithwaite, Keswick and across to Skiddaw. A memorable spot indeed.