Cat Bells

Details
Grid Ref NY 244 198
Height 1,481 ft

I once read a description of Cat Bells which said that this was a fell that you could take your Granny up, and while I'm not trying to generalise the fitness of Grannies, the northern ridge is somewhere that she might want to avoid. I'm sure the various approaches from a southerly direction would be much more agreeable as they steer clear of a couple of short rocky scrambles.

I sometimes think this fell is viewed as an easy option, and at under 1500ft (less than half the height of Skiddaw), an experienced fell walker might be right to say this. I have however seen more then a few people turning back once they each the rocky section on the ridge. Perhaps not somewhere to bring your Granny after all.

You should note that Cat Bells has been popularised more than most fells, and as a result, is often extremely busy. From a distance you can often pick out the line of matchstick figures stretching up the skyline. All steadily making their way to the summit where I'm sure they'll find the place crowded with people all trying to find enough ground to sit and enjoy the view and to have a bite to eat. What a shame that most of those people leave the place with the impression that this represents fell walking in its entirety.

 
Location maps
 
 

Route suggestions

Route suggestion: Chapel Bridge - Yewthwaite Gill - Cat Bells
1.4 mile / approx 1000 ft ascent
++++++++++++++++++++
This is a nice little route with some great views through Newlands Valley and a not too strenuous walk to the summit. Although there isn't a huge amount to see, I'm sure anyone interested in old mine workings will still enjoy a de-tour to look around the Yewthwaite mines area.

The only slightly awkward bit on this route is the short section between crossing Yewthwaite Gill and passing the sheepfold. This section is very stony and somewhat loose under foot.


 

Route suggestion: Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells
1 mile / approx 1000 ft ascent
++++++++++++++++++++
Without any doubt, this has to be the most popular route to the summit of Cat Bells; straight up the front. The good news for those with no other aim than to walk up one of the fells while they're on holiday, is that once you're on the path at the bottom of the ridge there would have to be something seriously wrong for anyone to loose this path.

Personally, I enjoy this route up Cat Bells the most as a short evening walk in the middle of summer. On those balmy evenings without a breath of wind, and when the air is as clear as you could ever get, this makes for a magical walk. The views down to Newlands Valley on one side, and Borrowdale on the other are just superb. And if this isn't enough for you, the view behind, looking towards the northern fells is just about as good as it gets anywhere.
Given that this is a summer evening, you will of course need to descend the Newlands Valley side of the fell if you're hoping to stay in the sunshine for as long as possible.


 

Route suggestion: Grange - Manesty - Hause Gate - Cat Bells
1.8 mile / approx 1200 ft ascent
++++++++++++++++++++
I couldn't decide where to begin this route. There are a few sneaky parking spots along the road below Cat Bells which would have done well enough, but the chances of finding a space might be pretty slim. In the end, Grange seemed like a good choice. And while there might be almost a mile of road walking before you get onto the fell, this is compensated somewhat by the opportunity for something to eat and drink from one of the places in the village.

There are what looks like two stone gate posts just after you pass Manesty and I can only assume there used to be a gate across this road at sometime. This is where you turn left off the road.

I can remember the first time we walked on the path below Hause Gate. On that occasion we were descending and being quite inexperienced at the time, we couldn't believe how awkward the path was. Thankfully this section of path has been 'fixed' and now presents no problems other then its steepness which I'm afraid will be there for good.


Photo gallery

Seen from Newlands Valley
 
Looking across to Cat bells from Barrow
 

A snowy walk to the summit
 
Cat bells reflected in Derwent Water
 

Cat Bells from Hause Gate
 

 
 

 
 

A close up of Cat Bells summit from Barrow
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Cat Bells summit, looking down to Borrowdale
 

Choose a walk that includes this fell
The number of walks to choose from is 24

19th February 2017
  Cat Bells and part of Derwent Water 4.3 mile about 1400 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate -path above Fellside & Brackenburn - Derwent Water Shore path - Haws End Outdoor Centre - Gutherscale
 

14th January 2017
  Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and Newlands Valley from Portinscale 9.8 mile about 2200 ft
Portinscale - Nichol End - Allerdae Ramble - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Maiden Moor - Hause Gate - Skelgill - Stair - Newlands Beck - Ullock - Portinscale
 

15th March 2016
  Cat Bells from Portinscale 7 mile about 1500 ft
Portinscale suspension bridge - Portinscale - Nichol End - woodland path to the bottom of Cat Bells - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - path above Newlands Valley - Skelgill - Gutherscale - and back to Portinscale
 

5th March 2016
  A Newlands horseshoe - Cat Bell to Ard Crags 14 mile 5200 ft or there abouts
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Bull Crag - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Dale Head Tarn - Dale Head - Hindscarth Edge - Hindscarth - Littledale Edge - Robinson - Buttermere Moss - above Moss Force - Newlands Hause - Knott Rigg - Ard Crags - Aikin Knott - Birk Rigg - Birkrigg - road to Stair - Skelgill - Gutherscale
 

26th March 2014
  Cat Bells from Portinscale 7.7 mile 1500 ft
Portinscale - Nichol End - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Side of Cat Bells - Skelgill Farm - Stair - Newlands Beck - Ullock - Portinscale
 

8th September 2013
  Cat Bells from Portinscale 7.7 mile 1500 ft
Portinscale - Nichol End - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Side of Cat Bells - Skelgill Farm - Stair - Newlands Beck - Ullock - Portinscale
 

2nd March 2013
  Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy 9.5 mile 2800 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgil Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Rigghead Quarries - Tongue Gill - Broadslack Gill - Grange - Derwent Water - path on side of Cat Bells - Gutherscale
 

27th October 2012
  A Newlands Round - Cat Bells to Robinson 12.3 mile 4100 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Dalehead Tarn - Dale Head - Hindscarth Edge - Hindscarth - Littledale Edge - Robinson - Little Dale - Scope Beck Tarn - Low High Snab - Newlands Church - Little Town - Skelgill - Gutherscale
 

24th December 2011
  A thousand miles of wanderings, but not quite the top of Cat Bells 6.7 mile 1200 ft
Grange - Manesty - Hause Gate - NOT QUITE Cat Bells SUMMIT - Yewthwaite Gill - Skelgill - Gutherscale - Cat Bells terrace path - Brackenburn - Manesty - Grange
 

7th May 2011
  10 years in the making ---- an OFC celebration walk 4.1 mile 1200 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - road from Manesty back to the car
 

7th May 2011
  10 years in the making ---- an OFC celebration walk 4.1 mile 1200 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - road from Manesty back to the car
 

5th February 2010
  I just fancied a walk up Cat Bells 3.6 mile 1360 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Allerdale Ramble route back to Gutherscale
 

2nd July 2009
  An evening with Cat Bells to myself 3.1 mile 1100 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Yewthwaite Gill - Skelgill - Gutherscale
 

10th December 2008
  If you change your plan, you never know what you'll include in a walk - Cat Bells and Walla Crag 13.7 mile 2900 ft
Portinscale - Ullock - Newlands Beck - Stair - Skelgill - Cat Bells - Borrowdale - Grange - High Lodore - Watendlath Beck - Ashness Bridge - Walla Crag - Springs wood - Keswick - Portinscale
 

3rd June 2008
  An evening on Cat Bells 2.7 mile 1100 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Mart Bield - track above Newlands Valley - Skelgill - Gutherscale
 

26th December 2007
  Boxing day on Cat Bells 3.6 mile 1513 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Allerdale Ramble - Gutherscale
 

1st July 2007
  Coat on, coat off, coat on - showers on Cat Bells and Maiden Moor 5.1 mile 2180 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Yewthwaite Comb - Maiden Moor - Hause Gate - Allerdale Ramble - Gutherscale
 

11th February 2007
  Cat Bells and Derwent Water 9.8 mile 2100 ft
Portinscale - Nichol End - Cat Bells - Manesty - Derwent Water - Great Bay - Borrowdale - Friar's Crag - Keswick - Portinscale
 

29th October 2006
  A very long walk - Cat Bells to Ard Crags 14.5 mile 5200 ft
Little Town - Skelgill - Cat Bells - Maiden Moor - Blea Crag - High Spy - Dalehead Tarn - Dale Head - Hindscarth - Robinson - Buttermere Moss - Newlands Hause - Knott Rigg - Ard Crags - Rigg Beck - Little Town
 

27th June 2006
  An evening walk up Cat Bells 3.4 mile 1224 ft
Gutherscale - Skelgill Bank - Cat Bells - Hause Gate - Yewthwaite Gill - Skelgill - Gutherscale
 

7th February 2006
  Rain and strong winds on the High Spy ridge. 9 mile 2740 ft
Gutherscale - Cat Bells - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Dalehead Tarn - Newlands Beck - Little Town - Gutherscale
 

13th December 2005
  Cat Bells and Newlands Valley 4.2 mile 1335 ft
Gutherscale - Cat Bells - Newlands Church - Little Town - Ghyll Bank - Gutherscale
 

7th May 2005
  Cat Bells to High Spy - and a long walk back. 9.6 mile 2149 ft
Gutherscale - Cat Bells - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Dale Head Tarn - Rigghead Quarries - Grange - Road back to Gutherscale
 

17th April 2004
  Cat Bells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, some tarns and a waterfall. 9.1 mile 2756 ft
Gutherscale - Cat Bells - Maiden Moor - High Spy - Launchy Tarn - Dale Head Tarn - Waterfalls - Castle Nook Mine (disused) - Goldscope Lead Mines (disused) - Little Town - Skelgill - Gutherscale
 



David Hall -
Lake District Walks