Catbells is well regarded as a family friendly Fell in the Northern Lake District. Popular with families based in Keswick, this moderately sized fell offers a great half day walk for everyone. Great views over Derwent Water and Keswick to the East and the Newlands Valley with Causey Pike and Crag Hill to the West. Bassenthwaite Lake is to the North just below the Western slopes of Skiddaw.
To test the family friendly nature of this walk I was joined by my son Thomas (5) and his cousin Lennon (4). We approached from Keswick and parked up on the road that runs down the Western side of Derwentwater from Grange to Swinside. Parking close to Hawes End we join the path leading up the first of a couple of ascents of Catbells towards Skelgill Bank.
The views of Derwent Water come into view pretty quickly and you can see why this is such a popular walk.
You’re never too young to appreciate a good view, or is this a get your breath back moment after setting off too fast, a bit of both I think.
A Grade 3 scramble 5 year old style, possible the most challenging part of the walk, you can maybe go around this section of exposed rock but try telling that to two boys.
Causey Pike over the Newlands Valley.
On a clear day you’d get a fine view of Skiddaw from here. Looked like we were in the right part of the Lakes today, it was raining all the way here from Kendal via Penrith.
Thomas and the Newlands Valley. On the plateau before the final ascent.
Robinson and Hindscarth sit at the Southern end of the Newlands valley, behind them is Buttermere Village and the High Stile Ridge.
The final ascent is in sight, it looks worse than it is.
Conserving energy before the last climb.
One of the good things about walking with kids of this age are the regular rest stops, giving us time to take in the views and take some photos. These two photos above and below show the Newlands Valley as seen from the final ascent of Catbells. Interactive versions to follow.
Two walkers enjoying the view over Derwent Water towards Keswick and Skiddaw. The main path we followed clearly in view to the left with another family coming up.
A 360 degree panoramic photo from Catbells summit. An interactive version will follow.
Thomas at the Summit, his third Wainwright ticked off. First one in the North Lakes.
Derwent Water and Walla Crag above from the descent via Hause Gate to Manesty
We picked up the Allerdale Ramble route and met the road back to the car. A great half day walk.
You can use this link to see more of my Lake District Photography