4th October 2015
"The Bell Baggers"
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
The first rule of a determined fellwalker is to avoid paying to park. It is not always possible, but with new arrangements in force at Hawes End for Catbells, I decided to find somewhere in Portinscale to start the walk. This is the stub of the old road that appears as though it used to progress to Keswick, but for whatever reason has been cut short and a footbridge now offers a pedestrian crossing of the River Derwent.
Leisurely strolling across The Park with Catbells looming large ahead. Shame on the lazy loons who have filled the farmer's sheep-feed buckets with rubbish and then left even more at the side. It's quite warm but sunshine is not on offer.
The Proper Start
A short stretch through the bracken and then the road junction where walkers make the start of the Catbells climb or walk on into Newlands for other routes. The grit bin says "No Rubbish" - I didn't bother to look....
Looking behind and there's Causey Pike (with the knobbly bit on top) flanked by Rowling End in the foreground. This is the "tourist route" up Catbells, you can avoid the worst of the crowd issues with ascents from different angles - see maps and guidebooks.
View South-East to Central Fells
North to Northern Fells
Today, there is no great incentive for the lens. But, the air quality is good and the open spaces are precious.
Not a seasoned fellwalker, Karen enjoys these forays onto higher ground. 1,250ft of ascent on this one.
Molly on Catbells 1,481ft asl
Me on top of Catbells
To Hause Gate
Descent to Grange
The plan is to reach Grange and then look at the time. We intend to catch a bus back to Keswick, but if time allows, we'll have a brew at one of the cafes.
Footpath to Ellers and Swanesty How
Easy walking above private grounds along Borrowdale.
The Bridge at Grange
The bus was due in 10 minutes, so we skipped refreshments and took the bus to Keswick for the short walk back to Portinscale.
Thwaite Hill Cottage, Thornthwaite
Our home for four nights. Booked via Cumbrian Cottages, warm, comfortable and well-appointed. Two criteria were ticked: dogs allowed and wi-fi. Sadly (or maybe not) the wi-fi failed after two days and left me watching tv instead of unsociably interacting with the wider world. The small print says it's not their fault and indeed it probably isn't. The ugly behemoth known as Open Space will come along a fix it as and when it suits them, or maybe not.
Walkers: Karen, Molly The Dog and Me.
Weather: Mid-level stratus denying us sunshine, but dry will do.
Time Taken: 3 hours and 30 minutes over a distance of about 5 miles.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2015 ©