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Derwentwater from Catbells

Derwentwater from Catbells

The sequentially stepped peaks of Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy on the western side of Borrowdale form the backbone of the second day's walk. Although of only moderate height their position high above the glistening waters of Derwentwater and the deep sheltered Newlands Valley give them a disproportionately elevated feel. Walking along their crest is a true delight and at every step you should have either binoculars or camera to hand. The high section of this walk over Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy can be short-cut by taking the Allerdale Ramble or the Cumbria Way from Hawes End to rejoin the route at Manesty.

Before setting off please make sure you plot the suggested route on OS maps and pack a compass. They are essential for a safe, enjoyable day in the hills!

Route Information

Time/Effort 3 out of 5
Navigation 2 out of 5
Technicality 2 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 850
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL 4 & 5

Route Essentials

Walk Route: Portinscale - Borrowdale

Duration: 5 - 6 hours

Miles: 10

Route Details

1. Refreshed after a nights rest and some Cumberland Ale its time to leave Portinscale. Take the road out of the village to Fawe Park. Join the Allerdale Ramble/Cumbria Way and follow the path through Lingholm Gardens and Silver Hill to join the road at Hawes End. The grand house at Lingholm was built in the 1870s, and it's most famous feature, its gardens, were developed in the 1890s. Beatrix Potter spent many summer holidays here working on sketches for her books The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

2. Join the road and follow it up around the bend to the car park. At the car park climb the steep path up Skelgill Bank to the summit of Cat Bells. The first bit of path is the steepest and it soon eases to give pleasant ridge top walking.

3. Make the short descent from Cat Bells and head straight across the dip at Hause Gate. Another ascent leads to Maiden Moor. Most of the hard work is done now so you can settle into a nice pace and enjoy the elevated ridge that works its way pleasantly to High Spy, the highest point of the day.

4. Continue south after High Spy and drop down to the broad col at Wilson's Bield. Turn left here and leave the ridge, descending steeply down Tongue Gill. Near the bottom of the gill join a bridleway. This is an old pack horse route from Honister Pass. Turn left onto it and follow it past the rock ramparts of Castle Crag to the attractive little hamlet of Grange.

5. Turn left out of Grange and follow the lane to join the Allerdale Ramble / Cumbria Way. Follow this around the bottom end of Derwentwater to cross the River Derwent by a footbridge. A short path on the other side leads up to the B5289. Turn left onto it and follow it to the Lodore Falls Hotel, built in traditional Lakeland slate and part of the Borrowdale Valley for more than 200 years.

6. Head into the lounge bar and rest weary legs while absorbing the stunning views of Derwentwater and the surrounding mountains. Take in some pure Lakeland water yourself with a pint of golden Jennings Cumberland Ale; brewed with water from the breweries own well in Cockermouth!

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