Where is this walk?

Climbing Catbells

October 14, 2018

Climbing Catbells is a right of passage for any youngster visiting the Lake District for the first time. With parking a problem this route is from nearby Little Town. Taking the short ferry from Keswick is another option.

The Walk

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 is usually packed with folk of all ages. I am loath to decry Catbells. It is true 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. It has the advantage of a different up and down. The section along the flanks of Catbells has commanding and impressive views over the lovely valley of Newlands. The climb itself though should be done from the north along the perfectly formed ridge. It is split neatly in to two stages before peaking out on the lovely summit. 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.


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.

Navigation Tips for Climbing Catbells

There is no difficulty finding your way on this route, However it is an excellent time to introduce a map to children out for the first time. It can never be too early.

  • 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…………..to 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

  • 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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