Borrowdale is the gateway to the highest mountains in England, the Scafell range and scenically is claimed to be the best valley in the Lake District extending south from Derwent Water to Seathwaite, a small farming community and the last outpost in Borrowdale. Seathwaite is the wettest inhabited place in the country in terms of rainfall averaging 130 inches a year. Borrowdale is surrounded by steep fells and it's river, the Derwent can become a raging torrent when in spate. The impact of this force can be clearly seen with the distribution of boulders and debris along its course.
Borrowdale is accessed by taking the B5289 from Keswick and this road runs through most of it's length, the road continuing in a circular manner leading to the B5292 heading left taking you to Cockermouth and right back to Keswick. On the B5289, and heading south, the first stop is Lodore Falls. Here, Watendlath Beck drops 120 ft into the Lake. In the Victorian heyday, this was a must on the itinerary. Nearby is Shepherd's Crag, a famous rock climbing area. Continuing south of Grange, there is a short track that leads to Bowder Stone, a very large rock perched precariously on a narrow base.
On the west side is Castle Crag where there are remains of a Roman-British Fort. Carry on to the village of Rosthwaite the location of the Scafell Hotel. (www.scafell.co.uk.) Further along there is a road to the left leading to Seathwaite. Continuing on the B5289 you will go through Honister Pass an area famous for quarrying now reopened. Turn right on the B5292 to complete the circuit to Keswick or left to Cockermouth.