19th July 2013

A hot summer's day in Newlands Valley


Walk Overview
Time 2:00 to 4:20pm
Duration 2 hr 20 min
Distance 6.1 mile
Ascent not much
Walking with On my own
Portinscale - Ullock - Little Braithwaite Bridge - Newlands Beck - Stair - Skelgill - Nichol End - Portinscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking near Portinscale suspension bridge

This is somewhere I tend to start walking from qutie a lot. It's nice and handy for Keswick, Borrowdale, Newlands Valley, Skiddaw, Latrigg and even the Castlerigg Stone Circle area.

The parking is free and no matter at what time of year or time of day I've always managed to get a space here.

From here you're only about 10 minutes walk from Keswick with everything the town has to offer, and in the opposite direction you're less than 5 minutes walk from Portinscale.


Route Map

Well, the sleepless nights have finally caught up with me and today I feel really tired. So, given that I have a hard walk planned for tomorrow I thought it sensible to do something less strenuous this afternoon. Yes, I know I could have stayed in the house but I'd have just sat there wishing I'd gone for a walk. As it turned out, I think the walk did the trick and completely tired me out. I was fast asleep on the sofa by 7 o'clock and ended up having the best nights sleep for weeks.
I suppose we all have out crosses to bear and despite really liking the hot weather, i seen to seem to be burdened with the cross of restless nights.

Grisedale Pike seen from the fields outside Portinscale.

A view back along the track between Portinscale and Ullock.


Walking past Ullock Farm.

It was baking hot walking along here and after yesterdays events I was more than pleased there insects were elsewhere. Last night I counted 43 horsefly bites, all received in a 15 minute period, all of which had swollen up and most of which were giving off enough heat to melt an ice cube in a couple of minutes. I know because that's what I was using to cool them down. Insect repellent it now carried with me on walks!!

Cloud above Skiddaw.

I think someone must have pulled the plug out further up stream.

This is the new bridge over Newlands Beck. It's hard to believe a few years a go there was enough water running through here to wash the previous bridge away and for the river to wash much of the river banks away.

Further through the valley is Cat Bells. Although this path gives the impression you could follow it straight to the bottom of the fell, that isn't the case. You can get to Cat Bells this way but not on this path.

The second bridge over Newlands Beck, or the first if you walking in the opposite direction.

Looking across to Swinside.

This is today's up hill bit; the short section of road between Stair and Skelgill.


A nice summery scene looking across to Causey Pike and Barrow from Skelgill.

Swinside in front of the Skiddaw fells.

You've got to be joking, , , , in this heat.
I could be wrong, but I assume this group were doing their DoE. Roughing it in the Lake District for a few days and nights whilst finding their way from A to B. You've got to admire youngsters that opt to do this type of thing these days, particularly when there are so many other things they have access to at that age. It can only be a good thing that they're learning respect for the countryside and how to look after themselves and their friends. But, in addition to all the technical stuff, why on earth don't the people in charge teach them the common sense side of things like how to assess the conditions and then to take only the appropriate kit with them. The bottom line is, it's the middle of July, the whole of the country is experiencing the hottest weather for years so you don't need to take everything with you. This lot has fleeces, waterproof jackets and waterproof trousers hanging out of their bags and God knows what else on the inside.


Shady woods on the way to Nichol End.

Once again I was surprised at how few people there were walking about. Even the parking places I happened to pass had plenty of empty spaces.

Derwent Water and the Skiddaw fells seen fro Nichol End.







David Hall -
Lake District Walks