Located on the northern slopes of Arnison Crag, Oxford Crag is referred to as a grade 2 scramble in the Cicerone book ‘Scrambles in the Lake District - North: Volume 2: Northern Lakes’. I had a morning free during my most recent visit to the Lake District, so I called into Patterdale to check it out.
Access to Arnison Crag is fairly straight forward if you start from the pay and display car park across the road from the Patterdale Hotel. It costs a fairly reasonable £4.50 for the day.
Crossing the road you head off around the right hand side of the Patterdale Hotel and you will se a sign there for the footpath.
If you go through the gate and follow the path in front of you it will lead to a wall after a couple of hundred meters or so. Don’t go through the gate, but instead follow the path that parallels the wall up the hill. If you look to the top left corner of the photograph below you will be able to make out Oxford Crag.
A few minutes steep walk and you come to Oxford Crag. At its highest point the crag is around 30 feet from bottom to top.
I did a 20 foot section of the crag. I think I could have done the main route up through the highest section, but stuck to what I was comfortable with. What I did find was that the wet grass at the top of the crag felt more dangerous than the climb. It just shows, you need to be careful even once at the top. I’d like to come back at a later date and try the full climb, but under safer circumstances. In that photographs below you can see my route, my rucksack for scale and the slight slope in the crag that makes the climbing fairly straight forward.
Once at the top of the crag I decided to head up onto the summit of Arnison Crag. There is a clear view across Ullswater wit ha great view from the summit.
On the way back down I think someone thought I might need rescuing.
As I've said in other posts, what I can do and what you can do are two different things. Some people will find the climb easy, some won't. But whatever you chose to do, it's your choice and responsibility to make sure you have the capability to have a go. If in doubt, join a club or do some courses.