27th October 2012

A Newlands Round - Cat Bells to Robinson


Walk Overview
Time 08.40 to 15 35
Duration 6 hr 55 min
Distance 12.3 mile
Ascent 4100 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Dalehead Tarn - Dale Head - Hindscarth Edge - Hindscarth - Littledale Edge - Robinson - Little Dale - Scope Beck Tarn - Low High Snab - Newlands Church - Little Town - Skelgill - Gutherscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, Gutherscale (below Cat Bells)

A convenient car park for an ascent of Cat Bells, and access into both Newlands Valley and Borrowdale, but be warned, if you try to park here in the middle of the day it's doubtful that you'll get a space.

On a positive note, parking is free.


Route Map

After a frosty night I had to scrape the car windscreen this morning. A minor inconvenience perhaps; but at least it generally means there's a nice day in store, and this was certainly the case today. Apart from a brief build up of cloud around the middle of the walk we enjoyed sunshine almost all the way.

I'm well on the way up Cat Bells now and the view behind is superb.

A close up of Birkrigg.


Sunlit north western fells seen from Cat Bells summit.

Leaving Cat Bells and heading for Maiden Moor. Over on the right are Hindscarth and Robinson; both were included on today's walk.

Looking back to Maiden Moor.
Those in a hurry, those who don't want to walk over the highest point or those with nothing specific in mind could use the path you see running straight across the 'moor'. We followed the path around the left hand side of the fell. Actually, it was on the right hand side while we were walking towards the point I'm standing at now, , , , I'm sure you'd already worked that out.

High Spy summit blocking out Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man. Over on the right is Blencathra.

Still at High Spy summit and now looking across to Dale Head. We're heading there next. Obviously you can't walk straight across from here.

Up there on the right is High Spy. Now you see why you can't walk straight across.

No one told me it was national pom pom hat day

And not so close up.
The eastern fells can be seen in the distance and Dalehead Tarn on the right of the picture.

This is Dale Head summit, the second big cairn of the day.

Not timed very well at all. When we got to Dale Head summit the blue skies had gone for a while and one of the best views in the Lake District was seen slightly less than its best.

Just past Dale Head summit we stopped for a bite to eat while we enjoyed this view down to Buttermere, Honister Pass and the High Stile ridge.

A broadside view of Robinson. Our route from Robinson down to Little Dale followed an off path line down the right hand side of the gill you can see on the side of the fell. It was steep, but not as impossible as it looks from here.

An eastwards view from Hindscarth. The dark looking fells running across the middle of the picture are Maiden Moor and High Spy.

A view back along Littledale Edge.

A close up of Loweswater, the Cumbrian coastal plane and the Solway Firth.

And this time not so close up showing Crummock Water and a host of fells from Great Borne on the left to Grasmoor on the right.

Earlier in the walk we decided to head into Little Dale after leaving Robinson instead of following the normal route down the ridge. I took this close up of Littledale Crags, Derwent Water and Blencathra not long after leaving Robinson summit.

This is the aptly named Little Dale. A lovely secluded spot with no people, no properties and no paths.

If ever a Lake District valley / dale has a definitive entry (or exit) point this is it. After walking through the broader grassy dale itself (re the previous picture) the ground suddenly drops away between a narrow gap flanked by crags on both sides. There's also a path from this point.

Heading down to Newlands Valley.

Passing by Low High Snab.

Looking over towards Little Town and Cat Bells. It was gorgeous walking through here this afternoon. Not a breath of wind, warm sunshine and the autumn colours were just about at their best.


Newlands church.

We had a couple of choices to get back to the cars from here. We could have followed the path through the fields, stayed on the road or as we ended up doing, took the slightly higher path along the base of Cat Bells.

Looking back through Newlands Valley to Knott Rigg, Ard Crags, Sail, Scar Crags and Causey Pike.

To finish today's outing here's a photo looking out of Newlands Valley towards the Skiddaw fells.

And after such a perfect day, the forecast is for it to rain all day tomorrow.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks