11th February 2007

Cat Bells and Derwent Water


Walk Overview
Time 10.25 to 14.10
Duration 3 hr 45 min
Distance 9.8 mile
Ascent 2100 ft
Walking with On my own
Portinscale - Nichol End - Cat Bells - Manesty - Derwent Water - Great Bay - Borrowdale - Friar's Crag - Keswick - Portinscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking near Portinscale suspension bridge

This is somewhere I tend to start walking from qutie a lot. It's nice and handy for Keswick, Borrowdale, Newlands Valley, Skiddaw, Latrigg and even the Castlerigg Stone Circle area.

The parking is free and no matter at what time of year or time of day I've always managed to get a space here.

From here you're only about 10 minutes walk from Keswick with everything the town has to offer, and in the opposite direction you're less than 5 minutes walk from Portinscale.


Route Map

A deserted Portinscale. I left the house with no plans at all today, almost all the high fells were under cloud and they didn't look at all inviting. As I was driving past Bassenthwaite I decided that if Cat Bells was clear then I'd ascend the fell and continue with a circuit of Derwent Water.

Peace and calm at Nichol End.

And from the end of the jetty.

Walking through the woodland between Lingholm and the bottom of Cat Bells.

Causey Pike on the left with a touch of cloud on its summit, Outerside in the middle of the picture and Barrow on the right.

Looking across to Swinside from the zig-zag path at the bottom of Cat Bells.

And from a little further up the path, looking down to Derwent Water and Keswick.

Looking back down to Skelgill Bank from the beginning of the steep section below Cat Bells summit.

Derwent Water and a little sunshine on Keswick and Latrigg.

And even more sunshine on the Grange area of Borrowdale.

A close up of Little Town.

The view into Borrowdale from the path down from Hause Gate.

Manesty. The path I followed from Cat Bells brings you out on the road just to the right of the buildings. Within a couple of minutes walk along the road you can pick up the path which leads across to the Borrowdale road near Lodore.

It was a little brighter and quite warm by the time I reached Great Bay. A real pleasure to be out, even along a lower level walk like this one.

Another picture taken at Great Bay, this one showing Cat Bells on the right.

The narrow bridge across the River Derwent, found along the route between Manesty to the Borrowdale road. Two or three weeks ago this whole area was well under water. The debris on the trees and bushes show that if I'd been standing at this spot I'd have been at least waist deep in water.

From the side of the bridge looking along the River Derwent towards Derwent Water and the Skiddaw fells under cloud.

A Sunday afternoon in Keswick.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks