7th May 2017

Newlands Valley and Derwent Water to avoid the cloud

Time 9:30 am to 1:30 pm
Duration 4 hr
Distance 8.5 mile
Ascent about 600 ft - but doesn't feel like that much
Walking with Jennifer
Portinscale - Ullock - Little Braithwaite Bridge - Newlands Beck - Stair - Skelgill - Cat Bells terrace path - Derwent Water - Brandelhow Park - Old Brandelhow - Hawse End Outdoor Centre - Nichol End Marina - 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


There were two things we ended up avoiding today, one we knew about which was the 2000 cyclists taking part in the Fred Whitton challenge. I've nothing against cyclists, I just didn't want to find myself trying to drive on the same road as them. So, we decided to have a walk from Longlands onto some of the fells in that area. On the drive through it was blue sky and sunshine all the way - - - then, when we were only a few miles from the start of the walk and we were faced with a scene that made my heart sink. I should have taken a picture but didn't. It was dark, grey, the clould was right down and it didn't look inviting at all. So, after stopping the car and having a "what should we do" conversation, the second thing we ended up avoided today was the cloud over the Uldale fells.
Looking at these pictures you might think I'm stretching the facts but sadly I'm not. There was no point in walking in that, when we could easily go somewhere else and walk in this.

Just outside Portinscale we cross the fields to reach Ullock.

Looking behind us we can't help but admire the cloud coming over the Skiddaw fells. Not great for anyone walking up there this morning but as we said at the time, Carl Side would be a good place to be right now.


2017 seems to be a bumper year for dandelions around here.


Little Braithwaite Bridge.

The smell from the gorse was lovely walking along here. If you happen to come here and fancy getting in close for a proper sniff, slow down and be careful - - Ouch!!


Barrow, seen from the road between Stair and Skelgill.

A Skelgill view of Rowling End, Causey Pike, Outerside, Grisedale Pike and Barrow.


That cloud is still covering the top of Skiddaw but more to the point for us, it was still behind there and no doubt just as dark on the Uldale Fells as it was when we changed our minds this morning.

On the Cat Bells terrace path with a fantastic view across Derwent Water to the Skiddaw Fells and Blencathra.


The footpath through Brandelhow Park.


When you reach Old Brandelhow the view opens up again.


Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell.

Standing on the jetty at Nichol End Marina with Latrigg, Blencathra (just), Clough Head adn Great Dodd in view. There was no one on the jetty (obviously) but, it was packed with people behind be. The tea rooms were doing great trade this afternoon.

And to finish, we stand on the suspension bridge, comment on how low the river is, wonder how busy it is on Latrigg and walk back to the car feeling pleased about changing our minds so we could spend day walking in sunshine.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks