Catbells from Keswick using the Keswick Launch (Catbells and boat Trip)
Catbells is a family fell; the Wainwright that everyone tackles.
If you’re bagging Wainwrights then it has to be done as part of the Newlands Round—This would take in Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth, and Robinson. This one of our favourite rounds and we have done it via many routes and directions. If you want more information about the round, ask Louise or Susan. However, for this walk we will concentrate on a family or easy day out on the fells combining it with a trip on a boat around Derwent.
Options are to drive and park in Keswick or catch the Bus from the A591 to Keswick. To drive and park, simply drive to the village, go through it to the main road which is the A591. On the A591 turn left and drive on this road until you meet the A66 at the roundabout. Go straight over. Parking options are as follows—you can park at the football club, which is the cheapest at £3.00 for the day, you’ll see the car park on the way down into Keswick. Or can drive all the way to the Theatre by the Lake, which is the closest car park, but quite expensive.
To get to this car park after the roundabout drive down the road passed the hospital to a t junction. At the T junction turn left, drive to a mini roundabout just after the co-op. At the mini roundabout turn right and follow this road around to the next mini roundabout at which you turn right to Keswick Launch and the car park.
From wherever you’re parked, head to the Theatre by the and down to the lake front, where you can hire boats and buy tickets for the launch. If you get a hop-on-hop-off walker’s ticket, then you can get the launch to your start point at Hawes End. This is the most walked route up Catbells, and then head down to re-join the boat at High Brandelhow and enjoy the boat trip around Derwent water and back to Keswick.
Board the launch and leave at Hawes End. Follow the footpath up to the road, turn left over the cattle grill to the footpath sign. Follow the well-worn and obvious path straight up the spine of the mountain. The path, though good, at times is a scramble with some slippery sections in wet conditions.
Once at the final summit dome, simply climb to the flat craggy top and enjoy the views over Drewent, to Keswick and beyond to Bassenthwaite. I think you can even see Kestrel lodge from here on a clear day. In the opposite direction, it’s down to Borrrowdale and the high Lakeland peaks.
Keep going straight and you’ll see the path down. Follow it to a crossroads in the path; straight takes you to Maiden Moor and the Newlands Round, right takes you down into the Newlands Valley, where you can follow the path around the base and back to your start point.
However, for this particular walk you need take the left hand path; a good, well defined path though there is a steep stepped section near the top, before the path get easier. Follow this path diagonally down the hillside until, at an acute bend, it splits and you need to take the right fork to a gate. Once through the gate the path drops off to the left to skirt the wood. Once at the surfaced road bear left to a cattle grid which leads into Manestry Woods. Follow the surfaced track until you see the lake, go right and keep low to get to the footpath. Keep to the path that leads to Brandelhow Bay and a Launch stop to get back on the launch to Keswick.
If you want to keep walking then you can follow the lakeside footpath back to Hawes End – get the Launch here or even keep going to Nicol End Marina and Portinscale beyond.