24th December 2011

A thousand miles of wanderings, but not quite the top of Cat Bells


Walk Overview
Time 11.05 to 13.30
Duration 2 hr 25 min
Distance 6.7 mile
Ascent 1200 ft
Walking with On my own
Grange - Manesty - Hause Gate - NOT QUITE Cat Bells SUMMIT - Yewthwaite Gill - Skelgill - Gutherscale - Cat Bells terrace path - Brackenburn - Manesty - Grange
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, Grange village, Borrowdale

There are a few off road spaces next to the bridge, but the only real option is to park on the roadside near the church. Please be considerate though, people do live here and the last thing they need is people parking in front of their driveways.

I believe there is now double yellow lines along this road.


Route Map

There were three things today that were worth a specific mention. The first was the double yellow lines in front of the church in Grange which meant I had to park here instead.
The second was deciding that the wind was far too strong and turning back just short of Cat Bells summit.
The third was that during this walk my total distance walked in the Lake District topped 1000 miles for the second year in a row. It wasn't planned or aimed for at all, it was just the way it worked out again.

Grange village.
I'll bet the people in the house on the left are sick of the puddle. The car you can see in the picture had just drove past and sprayed the bottom half of the house. Thankfully I was at a safe distance.

Across Borrowdale.

Off the road now and beginning the walk up to Hause Gate.

A view back down to Borrowdale. The highest point on the skyline is Bleaberry Fell.


Gaining height, and also the realisation that it was going to be stormy up there.

On the way up I passed two of Santa's little helpers. Working conditions must be more relaxed at the North Pole these days. On what must be the busiest day of the year at their place of work they still found time to walk up here.


Well, this was high enough for me. I'd just passed a couple who said the had to crawl over the summit. And because I was getting blown all over the place by this point, common sense prevailed and I turned back.

If I could only offer one piece of fell walking advice I would have to say "never be afraid to turn back". No one wants to be scrapped of the side of a fell by the mountain rescue, and that includes me.

Heading down towards Yewthwaite Gill and Newlands Valley.

A view through Newlands Valley.

Causey Pike just topped by cloud.
I followed this path as far as the wall and turned right.

Yewthwaite Gill, slowly but surely carving out a deep channel through the spoil heaps.

Looking over to the Little Town end of the valley.

Following the track to Skelgill.
A couple of small areas of snow can be seen on Skiddaw, although if this warm weather and rain persists for much longer it'll soon disappear.

Rowling End, Causey Pike, Outerside and Barrow, taken from the road at the north end of Cat Bells.


Here comes the rain, and even though it rained for most of the walk back, I can't complain really. I had expected it to be much wetter than this so the dry half of the walk was a bit of a bonus.

Another view over Derwent Water and again, the high point is Bleaberry Fell.


Back at Grange and thankfully I had a couple of minutes between the rain so I could get out of the waterproofs and into the car.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks