16th May 2014

Newlands Valley and the side of Derwent Water


Walk Overview
Time 2 to 4:45pm
Duration 2 hr 45 min
Distance 7.9 mile
Ascent Not much really
Walking with On my own
Portinscale - Ullock - Newlands Beck - Stair - Skelgill Farm - side of Cat Bells - Derwent Water - Hawes End Outdoor Centre - 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


With one thing and another I'd had week that you could describe as being far too busy, and now that the weekend had arrived, I needed to escape reality in the hope of regaining what little sanity I normally manage to call my own. As far as people that walk in the Lake District go, I realise I must be in that minority group that manage to get just as much enjoyment from low level walks than we do from spending a full day on the higher fells. I'm sure most folk would have headed straight onto one of the fells today. As for myself, today I wanted to visit somewhere I have a particular fondness for, so I saw no need to go any further than Newlands Valley.

The River Derwent taken from the suspension bridge. The more pointed of the fells over there is Barf.

A very leafy and green lonning takes you from Portinscale to the fields next to Ullock.

Looking back towards Portinscale.


"I think you need to so something about those whiskers"

"Which part of don't play with matches do you not understand?"

Little Braithwaite Bridge

Now I head along the riverside path towards Stair.

A view back shows the Skiddaw fells .





On t'other side of the valley Swinside can be seen in front of the trees and in the far distance is Bleaberry Fell.

A short walk up hill from Stair and you're at Skelgill, from here, you look straight across to Causey Pike, Outerside, Grisedale Pike and Barrow.

As I walked up to Skelgill, a couple asked if I knew the quickest way to the bottom of Cat Bells "actually, it's the bus stop we want to get to in time for the 3:30 bus" I told them it was just along the road we were on and "it'll only take five minutes to get there so you've plenty of time". In among the conversation we had they said they were doing all their walks using buses instead of driving everywhere. They also said they thought Newlands had to be just about the loveliest valley in all of the Lake District; I couldn't agree more !!


The northern fells including Blencathra on the right.

I think this is the new way of telling people the path might be muddy.

I'm now around the bottom of Cat Bells and walking above Derwent Water. From here you get fine views across to Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell and High Seat.

Looking to the right from the previous picture you see the Grange Fell area of Borrowdale.

Lonscale Fell, Latrigg and Blencathra on the left and Walla Crag on the right.

A slight close up of Ashness Farm.
The red bit next to the water is Kettlewell car park, the one with the very rude ice cream man. You may, or may not be interested in this, but before houses were fitted out with proper running water people had to go to the local well to fetch water (okay, you probably got told that at school), however, you may not know that there used to be a well on the site of the car park. I've no idea why they'd dig a well so close to a lake but I suppose there must have been a good reason, , , , anyway: one of the local women had apparently dropped her kettle down the well and her husband was so angry about it that he threw her down after the kettle. Obviously she drowned and, ever since that day, this area has been called Kettlewell. The "car park" bit was added after cars were invented (you probably guessed that).
Actually, when I think about it, it may have been the man that dropped the kettle and not a woman. Regardless of this uncertainty it's still nice to share a bit of knowledge with everyone.

After crossing the road I make my way down to the side of the lake to begin the return journey.

Waiting for the launch.


Despite it being a warm and mostly sunny day, I was surprised at how few people there were along the lake shore route.

The hands.

Through the woods I go on route to Nichol End.


"a think he's ganna tek oor picture"
"ya need'nt wisper, I still hear ya"

Nichol End Marina.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks