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Cat Bells & High Spy from Grange

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District North Western Fells

Wainwrights - Catbells, High Spy, Maiden Moor

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km    Ascent - 2600 feet / 788 metres

Time - 6 hours 40 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Cat Bells & High Spy from Grange
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

This Lake District walk combines some of the best scenery in Lakeland with views of many of the highest fells including Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. As a bonus the beautiful valleys of Newlands and Borrowdale are also seen.

The walk starts from the village of Grange just off the B5289 from Keswick to Seatoller. Limited parking (Grid ref. NY253174) is available in the village or off the main valley road a short distance away. Head west through the village towards Manesty and Swinside. Passing the Borrowdale Gates Hotel on your right stay on the lane until just after Manesty.

Turn left and begin the climb, ignoring the path that forks off to the right. This path leads you quickly up to Hause Gate (Grid ref. 244192) and a path 'cross-roads'. Turn right and make your way to the summit of Cat Bells from where a grand view can be enjoyed.

Return to Hause Gate and continue south on a clear path to climb onto Maiden Moor. Nearing the top of the first ascent look out for the viewpoint on your left that offers an excellent view of Derwentwater. Reaching flatter ground the main path heads in a beeline across the moor. A better option is to bear right and follow a less distinct path that stays on the western edge of the moor offering views into Newlands and across to the fells of the Grasmoor massif.

The edge path eventually joins the main path again and continues across rougher ground to reach the large beehive cairn that marks the summit of High Spy. From here descend towards Dalehead Tarn picking up a path on your left (Grid ref. 232155) that leads down towards Rigghead Quarries.

Descending quickly through the remains of the quarries and mines you will notice many entrances to the mine workings. These should only be explored by those with suitable experience. The path descends to cross Tongue Gill on stepping stones. Keeping left you join the path from Seatoller and continue past Castle Crag to descend to the banks of the River Derwent. Turn north alongside the river joining a broader track to reach a lane. Turn right along the lane and within a couple of minutes you will be back at the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1444 Great Gable (Borrowdale route)hard12.0 miles
Walk 1108 Ashness Bridge & Grange Fellmoderate9.0 miles
Walk 2525 Standing Crag & Dock Tarn from Watendlathmoderate7.0 miles
Walk 2526 Standing Crag, Ullscarf & Borrowdalemod/hard10.0 miles
Walk 1693 Grange & Watendlath from Rosthwaiteeasy/mod7.6 miles
Walk 1187 Robinson & Hindscarth from Newlandsmod/hard6.5 miles
Walk 2036 Cat Bells from Gutherscaleeasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 3525 Cat Bells (Route 2)easy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 3119 The Newlands Horseshoe - Catbells, Dale Head & Hindscarth mod/hard12.0 miles
Walk 1245 Castle Crag & Grangeeasy/mod6.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Outdoor Adventures with Children - Lake District

Outdoor Adventures with Children - Lake DistrictGuidebook to 40 outdoor adventures in the Lake District with children under 12, including walking, cycling, orienteering, paddling, boating, hostelling and more. Graded activities for varying age ranges or for families with children of different ages.
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Walking the Lake District Fells - Patterdale

Walking the Lake District Fells - PatterdalePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 35 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from Ambleside, Grasmere and Patterdale and the Thirlmere and Ullswater valleys, with highlights including Helvellyn and Fairfield. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
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