Scott and I are back from a short break in the Lake District. We hadn’t had time off since February (when we visited Stockholm) so we were pretty desperate for some time out. Saturday morning I jumped on a train and 5 hours later I arrived in Keswick. We spent the first part of our trip in Keswick and we booked ourselves into a lovely B&B called The Cartwheel. When we opened the curtains on Sunday morning we were greeted by blue skies so we quickly got our gear together, ready for a day of hiking.
Catbells was the first walk on our list. The fell is 451 metres tall and overlooks the lake (Derwent Water). You can walk to the start of the trail from Keswick but we fancied going out on the lake, so we took the boat to Hawse End.
The squiggle on the right (below) is the path up Catbells. It doesn’t look like it but the route up is steep, even at the start. There were people of all ages on the trail; from small children to the elderly. And the best thing is that even people who looked like pro hikers were just as puffed out as the rest of us!
Half way up we had fantastic views over the lake and surrounding mountains.
This photo gives you an idea of steepness and terrain. I really enjoy walking rugged, rocky trails like this; working out where to put your feet is good fun.
Reaching the summit, we were rewarded with fantastic views over Newlands Valley. The purple you can see on the top of the mountains is heather. I think it’ll look impressive in the Autumn when it all changes from purple to burnt orange.
The combination of a hot day and no shade/having my head in the sun made me overheat (happens easily). For some reason, too much heat in my body makes the back of my head throb and my eyes go squiffy! It worked out okay though because we sat at the top and looked down over the valley for a while.
Once I’d cooled down and Scott was covered in goosebumps we headed on to the next fell, Maiden Moor. At 576m high it’s only a little taller than Catbells. Catbells is 451 metres high, so we’d done most of the hard work by that point.
We walked along the rocky ridge to Maiden Moor breathing in big lungfuls of fresh air. Normally when you conquer something like this you walk up to a peak – but the highest point here was along a grassy ridge. The summit is a very modest pile of rocks and could easily go unnoticed against the vastness of everything else around it. I’m sure it’ll grow over time, with each visitor that places a rock on the pile. Although it just occurred to me that this could be an unofficial summit!
There is a third fell called High Spy (653m) but we decided to head to the lake instead. The route down, towards Manesty, was just as steep in places and the sides of the fell were covered in thick ferns and purple heather.
Once off the fell we walked along a country road and joined a boggy path at the very bottom of the lake. It took us all the way around one side and back to the centre of Keswick (about 4 miles).
We walked for about 7 hours that day; two fells and half way around the lake. The B&B had baked a delicious chocolate cake for their guests and after all that walking we felt we’d earned a nice fat slice upon our return. Well done feet!