Cat Bells is one of the most popular walks in all of the Lake District. No matter what the weather conditions there is a good chance that someone will be making an ascent. It is suitable for all age ranges and ability levels so you are bound to see a variety of people when you climb it.
Cat Bells rises over the Derwentwater in Keswick. It has a very distinctive shape which is easily recognizable from many of the other fells in the area. It is not by any means the tallest mountain in the Lakes but the summit offers spectacular views of Borrowdale and the Derwentwater.
The Standard Route
Walk north east along the road from the car park (in Gutherscale) in the direction of Kewswick. Just before the road forks take a right onto a path. In a very short distance you will come to a fork in the path. Turn left at the fork. You are now at the foot of the mountain and the path will take you directly to the summit in approximately 1 1/2 miles.
On a sunny day you will have outstanding views of the Derwentwater with Skiddaw and Blencathra rising in the distance to the north. Borrowdale, to the south, will look especially scenic.
You can return via the ascent route or for a more scenic descent continue along the path leading south from the summit. Take a left when you hit the crossroads a Hause Gate, approximately 1/3 mile from the summit. From here follow the bridleway that leads south east towards the Derwentwater. Once the bridleway reaches the valley floor turn right through a gate and and head towards the road. Turn right and follow the road for until reaching signs to Lodore. Turn left and follow the track through the farm land. At the end of the pastures turn left towards the Derwentwater. The path enters a wooded area and then follows the Derwentwater for approximately 1 1/2 miles. Proceed from here to Hawes End and walk southwest down the road towards the car park.
Park in the roadside car park in Gutherscale. Gutherscale is located just north east of Skelgill and can be accessed via Braithwaite or Portinscale.
Google Map for Gutherscale
None. Be courteous though and follow paths wherever possible. Also keep dogs on the lead as there are often sheep on Cat Bells.
Mountain Conditions and Weather
This is the type of mountain that will receive visitors any day of the year and in any type of weather. Keswick is located in one of the wetter parts of England so ensure that you bring appropriate clothing as a sunny day can easily turn into a downpour. As long as you stick to the very obvious path there should be no objective dangers even in foul weather.
You can find a weather report for Keswick on the BBC Weather Centre
Where to Stay
Keswick, Braithwaite and Borrowdale all provide ready access to Cat Bells.
Lodging in the greater Keswick/Borrowdale area