In which area of outstanding natural beauty? The Lake District
How tall is it? 1,481 feet (approx
Catbells is one of those hills that if you’ve been to the lake district more than once, chances are, you’ve heard of it. It stands proudly on the opposite side of Derwent Water to the main Launch amongst many much loftier fells such as Robinson, Hindscarth and High Spy.
Catbells has long been a favourite for fell walkers, maybe because to get to it from Keswick is so easy although this author is of the opinion that £8.80 for a ten minute ferry to Hawse End is a hefty price – heck it’s nearly as steep as Catbells itself!
Talking of the steepness of Catbells, in book six of his rather hard to follow pictorial guides Wainwright infamously suggests that this is a fell for toddlers and grannies to ascend. Cobblers! I would strongly dispute this as there are a number of places when you are left with no option but to scramble over mudstone, siltstone and sandstone rocks. This is not a problem for me, the more fells that I do then the more I am warming to the idea of the scramble, but could a grannie or a toddler say the same?
Anyway, it’s not the fell’s fault that Wainwright mis-directed grannies and toddlers up it so we’ll move on. There are some utterly gorgeous views from the summit, moreover, there are really good views whilst ascending and throughout the walk. In fact, as far as hills, fells and mountains go I think that Catbells is quite striking. There seems to be two basic routes up it – one from the Hawse End aspect and the other from the col at Hause Gate which is the side where you can go to Maiden Moor instead, in fact there exists a very popular route from Hawse End, over Skelgill Bank and the Catbells summit itself then onto Maiden Moor and up and over High Spy – the adventurous and seriously fit extend this to include: Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson.