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Catbells and Derwentwater

Wanderung · Großbritannien und Nordirland
Verantwortlich für diesen Inhalt
Macs Adventure Verifizierter Partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Views from the top of Catbells
    Views from the top of Catbells
    Foto: Laura Paterson, Macs Adventure
m 500 400 300 200 100 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 km Summit of Catbells The Keswick Launch Brandelhow Park
A varied walk to the summit of Catbells, returning via woodland and the shores of Derwent Water on the Cumbria Way.
Strecke 8,2 km
2:40 h
339 hm
354 hm
419 hm
78 hm
This short, sharp climb up a "little mountain" or "lair of the wildcat" is a firm Lake District favourite. As Alfred Wainwright said, "It is a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved". For a relaxing start to the day, take the Keswick Launch to Hawse End before starting to follow well-defined paths through the bracken. As you climb, views open up over lovely Derwent Water and the beautiful Newlands Valley. A short section towards the summit involves a little bit of scrambling and a head for heights, but if this isn't for you, you can still enjoy amazing views from very close to the top and you could simply turn round and go back the way you came. However, it is worth the effort on that very short section to stand on the top and take in the amazing views over the Lake District including the mighty Skiddaw to the North. After leaving the summit, the path heads downhill and then you can enjoy a relaxing stroll back via the shores of Derwent Water to Hawse End where the boat will take you back to Keswick in 10 minutes for your final night in the Lake District.


The start and end of this walk is from Hawse End on the shores of Derwent Water just outside Keswick. To get to this point, you should take the Keswick Launch boat from Keswick. View timetables here - 

We highly recommend taking the first boat which departs from Keswick at 9:45am (please check the timetables to be sure!) to give you plenty of time to do the walk. The last boat to Keswick from Hawse End departs at 4:40pm. 



Profilbild von Laura Paterson
Laura Paterson
Aktualisierung: 22.04.2021
Höchster Punkt
419 m
Tiefster Punkt
78 m


Naturweg 3,41%Pfad 89,61%Unbekannt 6,97%
0,3 km
7,4 km
0,6 km
Höhenprofil anzeigen



Check the weather forecast before setting out and listen to advice locals may offer you. When the route follows a road with no footpath remember to walk on the right hand side so you are facing any oncoming traffic.


If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the OS Explorer Map OL4 - The English Lakes Northwestern Area. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app. 

Weitere Infos und Links

Food & Drink

Cafes and food stores for supplies in Keswick.


Points of interest

Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest along the walk, including recommended pubs/restaurants and tearoom stops.  Simply click the icons on the map for more information as you walk. 

Summit of Catbells

The short scramble to the summit of Catbells is more than worth it. It is only 450m high but from the summit you have panoramic views. To the north is Skiddaw and Blencathra and then behind the summit is Maiden Moor and High Spy fells. 

Brandelhow Park

You will walk through Brandelhow Park on the return route on the Cumbria Way. This area was the first piece of land bought in the Lake District by the National Trust, back in 1904 to prevent a large housing development!. Today it is a lovely mixture of woodland and fields where lots of local wildlife thrives.

Keswick Launch

As well as offering a shuttle between Keswick and Hawse End, the Keswick Launch also operates circular trips around Derwent Water. After finishing your walk in Keswick, you may like to take a round boat trip to enjoy looking at the lovely surroundings from the water. 




Hawse End (82 m)
OS Grid
NY 25092 21281
54.581165, -3.160476
54°34'52.2"N 3°09'37.7"W
30U 489627 6048197
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Hawse End


*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided a general overview below of the walking route to Catbells.  This walk is navigationally straightforward, however, please ensure that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day.  The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

Stage 1 (Hawse End to the Summit of Catbells) - 0.0 - 2.2km: From the launch at Hawse End, follow the path up to the road away from the lake shore. At the start of the small parking area near Hawse End follow the signpost to "Cat Bells 1 mile".  This narrow path climbs across the hillside round to the north ridge. Bear right onto a steep zig-zag path, heading straight up the nose of the ridge. The first scrambly bit comes as you reach the Thomas Arthur Leonard memorial stone. Here the easiest way up is a path to the left of this face.  Continue over Skellgill Bank, where some scrambly sections begin. Use both hands and there is nothing too technical! Then enjoy the views at the top! 

Stage 2 (Summit of Catbells to Manesty) - 2.2 - 4.0km: Carry on over the summit and down to the saddle at Hawse Gate where four paths meet. Turn left and drop down the steep engineered steps zigzagging down the hillside. The path bears right over a knoll. On reaching the bottom and the bridleway, turn right and follow the path until you reach the road at Manesty. 

Stage 3 (Manesty to Hawse End) - 4.0 - 8.2km: Continue through Manesty on the road, until you reach a bridleway on the left signposted as the Cumbria Way. Turn left and follow the Cumbria Way along the shores of Derwent Water, walking through Manesty Park woodland and Brandelhow. At round 7.8km, bear right to return on the path to the Keswick Launch at Hawse End, where you can return on the boat to Keswick.


alle Hinweise zu Schutzgebieten


OS Grid
NY 25092 21281
54.581165, -3.160476
54°34'52.2"N 3°09'37.7"W
30U 489627 6048197
Anreise mit der Bahn, dem Auto, zu Fuß oder mit dem Rad


Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes, and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly in the Lake District so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

Please  ensure you have plenty of water and emergency food (energy bars/trail mix) with you at all times. Please also ensure you check in advance of  Pubs/cafes and shops opening hours on the day you are due to walk, in the Lake District opening hours are varied and they can be closed on certain days of the week (walking post-Covid19 lockdown restrictions means their opening hours could be even more erratic, so please check to avoid disappointment).

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8,2 km
2:40 h
339 hm
354 hm
Höchster Punkt
419 hm
Tiefster Punkt
78 hm


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