The side of Cat Bells fell with Derwent Water below.

Miles Without Stiles 33: Cat Bells

Update Oct 2022: We regret that this route does not currently meet our accessible path standards due to steep slopes (up to 1:5), narrow sections, rough surfaces and no passing places.  We advise that it is dangerous for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.  Please only use with extreme caution.

Miles Without Stiles

A route with exceptional views of Derwentwater and the surrounding hills - OS Explorer Map OL4.

Route for some. 4km distance.


Please note this route is not suitable for wheelchairs/mobility scooters and we regret that it does not currently meet our MWS standards.

The route starts from Gutherscale Car Park, which is 150 metres along the lane signposted to Skelgill. From the car park, turn right and proceed back down the lane for 150 metres to the road junction and then turn right. Follow the road south (take care of traffic) and take the second path on the right, marked with a public bridleway 'Grange Terrace Path' sign (the first path goes to the top of Catbells). This first section is uphill and a bit challenging.

The track then runs along the flank of Cat Bells, about 50 metres above the road. It gives stunning views across the lake to Keswick, framed by the mountains of Skiddaw and Blencathra. The nearest island is St Herbert's Isle, named after a 7th century monk who lived there. Friar's Crag on the other side of the lake is named after the monks who used to row out with supplies for him. The best views are just past some old quarry workings.

After 1.5 km, the route drops steeply (1:5) to a small lay-by (grid reference NY 198247) which can be used as a pick-up point or you could retrace your steps from here.

From the lay-by, the route rises again and undulates for about 0.5 km to reach the Hugh Walpole memorial. Sir Hugh wrote the famous Herries Chronicles, a four volume saga of Cumberland family life.


Start point:

Gutherscale car park. Catbells is very popular and parking spaces may be limited.

Postcode: CA12 5UE
Grid reference: NY 24558 21113
W3W: ///acute.appoints.owes

Turning point:

Grid reference: NY 248192
W3W: ///acting.compress.arrived


None nearby but there are refreshments at Portinscale, 2.5 km north and at the Swinside Inn.

Getting there:

Bus: Buttermere Rambler 77 / 77A runs from Keswick and passes Catbells four times a day, from April to November. Boat: Keswick Launch calls at Hawse End eight times a day. Car: by minor roads from Keswick to Hawse End. Parking in this area is very limited. Public transport options are recommended