Catbells to High Spy and the Newlands Valley

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Catbells is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District to climb and for good reason, as the view all the way up and from its summit is breathtaking. This route not only includes this memorable fell but also two others along half of the Newlands Horseshoe. From Hawse End at the very bottom of Catbells this route follows a zigzag path up the front of Skelgill Bank. The views down to Derwent Water, Keswick and over to Skiddaw are fantastic and only get better as height is gained. After an easy scramble the route arrives at a minor summit called Skelgill Bank and is the first opportunity to see the rest of the route up to the summit of Catbells. The route is very easy going until you reach the final steep section to the summit, but once at the top the reward makes it all worth it.

After enjoying the spectacular views from Catbells the route continues along the ridge to the south to pick up a path leading to the next Wainwright summit; Maiden Moor. This fell has a very different feel from Catbells and you are more than likely to have this peak to yourself. The views offer a bird's-eye perspective of this end of the Newlands Valley. The route continues south along the ridge (generally easy going) to the third Wainwright, High Spy.

High Spy stands at 658m (2,159ft) above sea level and offers views to some of the highest peaks in the area ,including the mighty Great Gable and the north face of Dale Head close by. From this lofty height the route starts its descent. It follows a path south, almost as far as Dalehead Tarn before turning north-west and following a steep route down to the valley floor between Hindscarth and High Spy. The crags up to the right are dramatic and give a truly secluded feel to the area. The path passes several old mines, of which huge spoil heaps and open levels can be seen along the way. The route then simply follows the valley floor to Little Town and narrow backroads back to the car park below Catbells.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - North West

Features

Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Mountains, River, Waterfall, Wildlife

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