Thursday, 11 August 2011

Catbells to Keswick

Following on from my recent post about my Catbells walk had me thinking about all the great lower level walks that I have done in the Lakes. There's no denying the sensational views and feeling of achievement when you reach the top of a fell especially a new one, but I have also done some fabulous low level walks in the Lakes and here's one of them.

Keswick seen across Derwentwater from Catbells

Staying at the Camping Barn at Skelgill is a great place to get away from it all, even if you are without private transport. One time I didn't enjoy this walk though was when the bus driver chose to ignore me and crag rat Rainer not to mention our excessive luggage that we had to drag back with us on the four miles to Keswick in the baking sun.

the view from Catbells camping barn

But on normal occasion this is a delight in either direction - well worth getting a Keswick launch across Derwentwater, then walking back or vice versa. The walk starts off through fields and woodland with the slopes of Catbells in your back as you head towards the little hill of Swinside.


This is of course home to the pub where we have spent several evenings enjoying ales - the Swinside Inn. Along the walk you have glimpses of some of the North Western Fells - Barrow and Causey Pike both loom nearby. The woodland walk through Swinside is very pleasant with a good path that takes you towards Portinscale. After a while you emerge from the woods and walk along the road a short while, passing the Nichol End Marine.

messing about on the lake

We have rented kayaks there on a number of occasions, always fun messing about on the water, especially when your feet are begging you to have a day off the fellwalking.If only we were any good at kayaking it would have been even more fun, as it was we were all excellent at going round in circles and Rainer even got to go for a swim in the Lake!

You continue through the pretty village of Portinscale, passing in front of the Derwentwater hotel, then over the swing bridge. The path goes through some more meadows as Keswick appears before you, with the Skiddaw fells providing the impressive background. You come out of the field and onto the road opposite the Pencil Museum which brings you into the heart of Keswick.

the Skiddaw range as seen on the way to Keswick

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