15th March 2016

Cat Bells from Portinscale

Time 1:30 to 4:30pm
Duration 3 hr
Distance 7 mile
Ascent 1500 ft - more or less
Walking with Jennifer
Portinscale suspension bridge - Portinscale - Nichol End - woodland path to the bottom of Cat Bells - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - path above Newlands Valley - Skelgill - Gutherscale - and back to 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


Todays walk was a real last minute decision. It as it had been nice and sunny all morning it seemed a shame to miss out altogether so I made a "do you want to go for a walk" phone call. And, after nipping home to get changed and get something to eat, here we are standing on the suspension bridge just outside Portinscale.

Latrigg seen from the jetty at Nichol End.

Not long after taking this Jennifer started with a sore ankle / heel so I was told to carry on without her. But, rather than stick to the original plan of walking around Derwent Water I said a walk up Cat Bells would get me back to the car a bit quicker. So off I went while Jennifer headed back to Portinscale for tea & carrot cake in the cafe.

With a little height gain Derwent Water and Keswick start to come into view.

Looking across Derwent water to Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell and High Seat.

Newlands Valley and Swinside.


Apart from one person who was quite a way ahead of me I had the place to myself this afternoon. On such a perfect day is was magical up here.

Cat Bells summit with no people, clear views all round and a nice cooling breeze.

A close up of Grange

and further through Borrowdale you see Rosthwaite and Stonethwaite.

On't opposite side of Newlands Valley are Ard Crags, Causey Pike, Scar Crags and Sail.

Off the fell now and enjoying the walk along the side of Cat Bells. The question is, where is everyone on such a lovely spring afternoon.



Well, the afternoon didn't turn out quite the way we'd planned but a good time was still had and it was sooooooo nice to feel this level of warmth in the sunshine.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks