Catbells Hike

RS Home Page Cumbria Home Page

Where: Catbells hike from Keswick in the Lake District of England
When: June 2014 / April 2016
Weather: Sunny
Height: 1,471ft to 2,470ft

The Catbells hike is one of the most popular hiking routes in the Lake District of England. Catbells itself is 1,471ft, and the mountains to the south, on the same range, are the 1,890ft Maiden Moor, 2,080ft High Spy, and 2,470ft Dale Head, so a number of options to suit most hikers, and they have great views over Derwent Water to Keswick.

The main car park for Catbells only holds about 12 cars, and a couple of roadside parking places only hold about 6 more, so many hikers are advised to take the boats from Keswick Launch, as seen below.

These boats run regular throughout the year, straight across to Nichol End at the village of Portinscale, then down to Hawes End for the Catbells hike.

There is also a hiking bus that runs round to Catbells from Keswick, from spring to autumn.

There is also a walking route round from Keswick that takes about one hour, see the Large OS Map for that route. Keswick Page.

Large Image . Keswick to Catbells Road Map . Keswick Launch Website .

Large OS Map .

Catbells Hike image

The image below is of the Hawes End road down to the left, close to Catbells. That is the road you come up if you travel by boat. Catbells is about 300 yards up the main road here, to the right.

I you drive round from Keswick, go through Portinscale village, departing from the south of the village, following the main road and veering to the left at a junction just south of Portinscale, that brings you to this point at Hawes End.

There are about 4 parking spaces on the left there, you are not supposed to park on the right, as there is a sign warning against parking there. Buses and deliver trucks have to use this narrow road and need places to pass.

Catbells Road image

The image below is just up from the Hawes End road, looking at the north side of Catbells mountain. There is space for another two or three cars to park under the trees there, as long as you do not block the entrance to the house.

The main car park is next to the road up behind the house. That car park holds about 12 cars, not nearly enough for such a popular hike.

Catbells Car Park image

The image below is from just up behind the house as seen above, at the Catbells bus stop, and start of the main trail onto the mountains.

The road round to the left is the one the bus uses. It runs down the east side of the mountains by the Lake. The road to the right leads to the main car park.

Catbells Trail image

The image below is of Catbells Car Park. This is all the cars it holds. This road ends at the car park, is private from the park on to a farm.

That is the trail at the car park leading up to the north side path. The images from here were taken in April 2016.

Catbells Car Park image

The image below is of the north side trail up Catbells, the most popular route. The car park and bus stop trails merge about here.

Catbells North Side Trail image

The image below is of the first summit of Catbells, with the higher peak in the distance.

Catbells first summit image

The image below is from the first peak looking south to the main summit of Catbells fell / mountain or hill.

There is a little bit of scrambling up through the rocks on this section.

Catbells Fell / hill / mountain image

The image below is towards Catbells summit. At 1,471ft, Catbells is more adventurous than many mountains over 3,000ft.

Catbells Mountain image

The image below is from Catbells Summit looking northeast across Derwent Water to Keswick, one of the top viewing areas in England.

Catbells Summit image

The image below is from Catbells looking south to the 1,890ft Maiden Moor, with the 2,080ft High Spy, and 2,470ft Dale Head further on.

This was as far as I went, will return some day to hike the whole range, will probably be a fairly long day.

Maiden Moor fell image

The image below is from Catbells summit looking north at the route back down. That is the 3,054ft Skiddaw in the distance, and the 2,848ft Blencathra over to the right.

Catbells view north image

The image below is looking down the steepest section. You can see a few faint trails leading down both sides, the one to the left leads to the car park, and one to the right down to the lakeside road.

I noticed a number of cars parked alongside the road down on the right. If parking there, need to be careful to leave passing places for cars and buses.

Catbells scrambling image

The image below is looking down the lowest section with the car park down on the bottom left. This image shows just how steep this section is as well.

Catbells lower section image

Make sure and take an Ordnance Survey Map and Compass on these hikes, and know how to use them, as in cloud, these mountains can be deadly. In Winter, make sure you have Crampons and an Ice Axe, and know how to use them.

RS Home Page Cumbria Home Page