• Iconic fell of great character
  • Views over Derwentwater and Keswick
  • Beautifully shaped with sleek lines

1,481 ft. I am sure the Tourist Board will tell me otherwise but my guess is that there are more visitors to the summit of Catbells than any other fell in the Lakes. It is easy, accessible and commands excellent views over Derwentwater and Keswick. I have been up many times, both my children have been up and there is no doubt it is a great family fell (Lion & the Lamb, Gowbarrow and Hallin Fell likewise). The neat well formed summit area usually packed with folk of all ages. I am loath to decry Catbells except that the parking at the foot of the fell had become a nightmare and correctly, in my opinion, the National Park have restricted the normal start point to a few cars probably arriving pre 7am!

The walk I have described goes from Little Town and has the advantage of a different descent to ascent and a walk along the flanks of Catbells with commanding views over the lovely valley of Newlands. The climb itself though should be done from the front (the north) along the perfectly formed ridge; split neatly in to 2 stages and peaking out on the lovely summit. Then carry on over the summit to the col and take one of the myriad of paths that zig zag down the fell side to join the original path. Catbells is enjoyable at any time of life.

Recommend: With the car parking problems at the foot of Catbells the singular best way of climbing the fell is by ferry from Keswick to the Hawse End landing stage.

Download GPX file

Catbells map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2018

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 232193. Little Town. There is parking just the far side of Little Town with the track to Catbells signposted from the village on the right.
Height to Climb: 301 ms (987 feet)
Terrain: Well used paths which are loose and eroded. However it is more slippy than ankle turning. The route is easy to follow.
Eating & Drinking: During the summer months enjoy the tea shop at Littletown Farm whilst the Swinside Inn is a good Lakeland pub with food, beer and stunning views.
Similar Walks Nearby: Barrow from Braithwaite
The Flanks of Newlands
Walla Crag and Surprise View
Places to Stay:


Mary Mount, DerwentwaterLittletown Guest House


Croft House Cottages, nr Keswick


  1. Mountain Mike says:

    Hi everyone today I’m going for three Wainwrights Catbells Maiden Moor and High Spy,its 9am on the 4/4/17 its a bright day but a little windy.Looks like I’m the only walker heading up Catbells from Portinscale side,the sign says one hour to Catbells so the race is on lol,I head up and straight away I’m taking photographs as the light is good,soon I’m just below The Cat and there is a couple coming down telling me its very windy up on top at this I’m off with a spring in my step………… find the hard way up for a bit of a scramble.Well tiny climb later I’m on top 50 mins whoopee and more photos taken.Quick drink and I’m off towards Maiden Moor this is new to me as Ive never been passed Catbells on this route.Steady walk and 30 mins later I’m at what must be the highest point on this Waiwright,its getting nippy so on goes my new Jack Wolfskin coat ah that’s better,next stop High Spy.Again a steady walk to this top,a lot more rock about than Maiden Moor some good drops on the far side,I can see the Cairn but no folk about still funny that as the weather is ideal for walking,well Ive arrived and its rucks sack off and a drink,and then I’m joined by two lady fell runners who tell me that they have come from Robinson and are doing a loop at this they are off towards Catbells I think its time to drop back down to the valley below.I make my way back to the drop down from Catbells Lake side there are loads of people about some with the right clothing and some not good job Alan Hinks is not about as lectures would be a plenty lol,Im back at the car and three Wainwrghts richer see you all later MM

  2. mountainmike says:

    Hi everyone here I am again in The Lake District and todays target is Catbells,Maiden Moor and High Spy,I have never been passed Catbells so this is a new adventure as I have my Go Pro type camera with me…should be fun.Its 9am and I’m leaving my car near the start of the trek to Catbells.Conditions are great here sun is shining and I know it is not going to rain,I start out and I’m taking photographs straight away,the light is great,good path a couple are just coming off The Cat telling me its windy at the top,I make for the lake side of Catbells to get a few little scrambles to get to the top,nice with this done Im on the top taking more pics lovely lol.At this Im off towards Maiden Moor,all new ground to me I love it.As I get to the top of Maiden Moor its getting chilly so Im putting my coat on and switching on my Go Pro I will have to watch my PEAS and QUES lol.Im well on my way to High Spy its cool and very windy,there are some superb views towards Grisedale where Gav and I were three weeks ago in the snow and also Causey Pike which I believe we are going to add to our list off Wainwrights to bag at the end of April.I am getting nearer to High Spy and this wind is getting stronger,great views also towards Robinson I arrive at the Cairn on High Spy and place a stone on the top of the Cairn,as I take my rucksack off two lady fell runners arrive and after them telling where they have come from I feel like a wimp.Joking aside they are off and so am I walking back the way I came,Wainwrights in the bag and some great pics and footage.On the way back I meet up with loads of folks on their way to High Spy a few quick chats and Im back at the base of The Cat but Im now dropping down to the Grange footpath my work is done Im back at the car a great day on the fells a good day for bagging three Wainwrights and some great pics and footage see you all soon MM.

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