25th April 2011

Springtime in Newlands Valley


Walk Overview
Time 10.30 to 13.40
Duration 3 hr 10 min
Distance 8.6 mile
Ascent 700 ft
Walking with On my own
Portinscale - Nicol End - Gutherscale - Skelgill - Little Town - Newlands Church - Rigg Beck - Newlands road - Stair - Swinside - Little Braithwaite Bridge - Ullock - 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

It's funny where you end up isn't it? When I left home today I expected to be walking somewhere around Loadpot Hill, but couldn't resist having a walk through Newlands Valley instead.

Portinscale suspension bridge.

Standing on the bridge and looking down the River Derwent.

After leaving Nichol End the route follows a lovely woodland route through Fawe Park.

Once out of the woods Cat Bells comes into view. The furthest of the two tops is the summit, not the bit that looks highest from here.
I wasn't intending to walk up Cat Bells today, but if I had, one look at the line of people walking up there and I'd have changed my mind anyway.

No way !!!

A view across to the opposite side of the valley shows the distinctive shape of Causey Pike with Outerside and Barrow to the right.
The track in the picture isn't a public right of way, it just leads from the road to Gutherscale. I took this picture leaning on the gate.

Looking towards the head of Newlands Valley. The two bigger fells in the centre are Hindscarth and Robinson.

Now looking backwards to see the Skiddaw fells and just a little part of Bassenthwaite Lake.

A close up of Birkrigg.

And not so close up.

Looking over the wall to get a view down Newlands Valley.

Little Town seen below Causey Pike.

Turn down here to get to Newlands Church.

Talk about peace and quiet. I had the bright idea to sit outside the church 'for a minute', , , and without realising it I must have dozed off. It was only when two ladies opened the gate that I woke up. They were very apologetic for disturbing me and I thought it quite funny until I realised I'd been there for 15 minutes.
I wonder how many other people walked past thinking "that bloke looks like he's fast asleep".



I had intended to continue along the main road for a while yet. That was until I stopped to take this picture of my favourite little bit of Lakeland countryside. As it was still nice and sunny, I thought it a better idea to walk down to Stair, up to Swinside and then around to Ullock.




Just as forecast, high level cloud was moving across the area. It was still nice and warm, but the brightness had gone.


When we were kids we used to tell each other that you'd wet the bed if you picked Dandelions. Anyone going on a picking spree in this field would certainly get a few nights of disturbed sleep.

I took a slight de-tour to see the new bridge over Newlands Beck and to have something to eat. Along with the riverside footpath, the bridge was washed away in the 2009 floods. A sign on the gate says the path hasn't been replaced yet and would people not trespass along the side of the river.

Walking across the fields towards Portinscale.

Someone once had the idea that a persons success and wealth were measured by their earnings and possessions. Obviously they'd never walked through Newlands Valley on a day like this. When I got back to the car today I felt like the richest man in the country.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks