Start: Keswick, Cumbria
End: Keswick, Cumbria
Distance: 3.5 miles
Ascent: Around 1,400 feet
Time: 2 – 3 hours
Getting there: 77A bus from Keswick to Seatoller – very infrequent, check the timetables as the times change throughout the year. Get off at the “Cattle Grid” stop.
Food and loos: Nothing until you get back to Keswick.
Terrain: Easy paths, with a couple of small sections where you need to put your hands on the rock.
Difficulty: 1 – a short walk and that most people could complete.
Catbells is one of the “must climb” Lakeland fells. The views are incredible, and it’s a reasonably short walk with enough challenge to keep things interesting.
I got the bus from Keswick to the start of the walk. I’m not sure what the name of the nearby village is, but the bus stop is called “Cattle Grid”!
The walk was a lot of fun. There a couple of small scrambly sections where you have to put your hands on the rock. These aren’t particularly taxing or lengthy, but it gives the walk up some nice variety.
Catbells is the busiest fell I’ve been too. It was a Saturday morning, and I suppose that is “peak time”. But there were hundreds of people on the fell, and on some of the rockier parts there were orderly queues waiting to clamber up.
Getting to the summit is short work. It took me just over one hour, and I am by no means the fastest. The views were stunning in all directions – from Derwent Water to Skiddaw with its head in the clouds. As you would expect, the summit was very busy, but the gentle slopes meant that there was space for everyone to munch their snacks and sandwiches in peace.
The descent down to Hause Gate is easy. I was mulling with the idea of heading up to Maiden Moor. The main reason I decided against it was because I had no intention of continuing on the ridge to High Spy. That seemed like doing almost all the work for only half the reward. A proposition that doesn’t make a lot of sense at all!
I continued down the obvious path to the bridleway. This descent is steep, but the stone pitched paths are fairly easy going. Once on the bridleway, it was easy going with occasional wonderful views of Derwent Water when there were gaps in the trees. I made it back to the bus stop with plenty of time to tuck away my lunch, before heading off to my afternoon walk.