logo Walking Britain

Lake District Walk
Cat Bells & High Spy from Grange

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

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL4Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL4Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 90Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 90Digital Map1:50kBUY

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 from Borrowdale Youth Hostelhard12.0 miles
Walk 1108 Ashness Bridge & Grange Fell from Borrowdalemoderate9.0 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 Rosthwaite easy/mod7.6 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Hadrian's Wall Path

Hadrian's Wall PathHadrians Wall Path guidebook to walk the 84 mile National Trail. Described in both directions, the main description is west to east between Bowness-on-Solway and Wallsend, Newcastle, with extensions to Maryport and South Shields. With extensive historical information related to this World Heritage site and separate 1:25,000 OS map booklet included.
More information

Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far East

Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far EastPart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 36 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Ullswater, Haweswater, Troutbeck, Kentmere and Longsleddale valleys, with highlights including High Street, Place Fell and the Kentmere fells. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

The National Trails

The National TrailsThis inspirational guidebook looks at each of the UK's 19 National Trails, with information that allows ease of comparison and contrast, inspiring you to find out more and to take up a long-distance challenge. Some Trails are short and easy, others much longer, many have strong themes - they may follow a coastline, or traverse ranges of hills.
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

Lake District Walking

The Lake District National Park is seen by many as one of the scenic gems of the British Isles. The natural beauty has attracted many artists and writers through the centuries and today the same scenery provides the perfect backdrop to a wide variety of walks. The National Park is located wholly within Cumbria with Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick the main tourist towns. For many this is the finest area in England for walking with a wide variety of scenery. Even on the busiest weekends it is possible to get away from the crowds by carefully selecting one of the less-visited fells. More Information

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Manesty Holiday Cottages
0.9 miles / 1.5 km away
* Featured Supplier
Peat Howe Barn
1.9 miles / 3.1 km away
Bawd Hall
Newlands, Keswick
2.2 miles / 3.6 km away
Stoneygill & Stoneyacre
Newlands, Keswick
2.7 miles / 4.4 km away
Sally's Lake District Cottages
Lake District
3.8 miles / 6.1 km away

Self Catering & Cottage Holidays - Properties throughout the UK & Europe

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news. Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.