As Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons is the highest mountain in South Wales, and being within easy reach...
One of those classic walks that almost everyone who walks in the Lakes has walked at some point or other.
Distance: 6.3 Kms
Ascent: 400 metres
Time: 2 hours
Start and Finish: Hawes End
Hazards: Some steep sections
Launch from Keswick is the recommended approach.
Parking: Limited and problematic owing to the popularity. Get the Ferry.
Parking Post Code for Sat Nav: CA12 5UE
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Walk up Catbells from Hawes End and Derwentwater
The ascent of Catbells is probably one of the most popular easy fell walks in the Lake District. The walk from Hawes End on Derwentwater is the most popular route up Catbells, but it can alternatively be ascended from Little Town or for a longer approach, from Portinscale just outide Keswick. The Portinscale walk follows the Allerdale Ramble (part of the Cumbrian Way) and then joins this walk. While limited parking is available at the start of the walk up Catbells (Catbells Parking Postcode = CA12 5UE), we recommend that owing to the popularity of this walk that you either walk in from Portinscale or catch the launch from Keswick to the start of this walk.
Its with thanks to the National Trust who ensure that this busy little hill does not become eroded by the hordes of walkers
1 – The bet bet is to catch the Keswick Launch which has numerous pickup and drop off points on Derwentwater, including Hawes End. More information is available on their website – Keswick Launch Hawes End.
2 – The climb up Catbells is an excellent introduction to fell walking, as it has some steep sections to get the legs going as well as a short scramble section near the summit of Catbells. Remember that this is an easy fell walk – which is still a reasonably tough walk compared to walking in the park. Thankfully, you’ll be able to take a breather at Skelgill bank and survey the views across Derwentwater and up to the summit ahead. Even better are the views from the summit, which is still a good yomp despite being only 451m in height and goes to show that it’s often the lower summits that make the best viewpoints.
3 – The descent from the summit down to Hause Gate is gentle, but then steepens as the path descends to the valley floor.
4 Turn left at road and enter the forest after a 100m or so. The walk continues through the forest and follows the shores of Derwentwater to the start.
Follow the link for a downloadable and printable catbells walk pdf from Keswick Tourism