One of my favourite hikes in the UK is Catbells in the Lake District. A short, and relatively easy hike when it comes to Wainwrights. There’s just something about the Catbells that is special.
Whether it’s the views from the top, or the towering heights above Derwent Water. Something always draws me back and I love bagging the Catbells whenever I am in the Lake District.
Quick Facts about Catbells Lake District
- Distance: Roughly 6km circular
- Time: 2-4 hours
- Best travel time: Anytime, but maybe avoid weekends if you want it to be quiet!
- Difficulty: Max elevation isn’t too high, but there is some scrambling to be done.
- Parking: CA12 5UE. Or anywhere along the Derwent Water, you’d just start the route at a different point.
High Points of Catbells Lake District
- Incredible panoramic views above Derwent Water
- Small but fun scramble
- Fun, and short little circular
- Free parking!
Low Points of Chrome Hill Peak District
Slippery in the wet, be careful.
How to get to Catbells Lake District
Situated above Derwent Water, and close to Keswick which makes it an accessible fell and one you must definitely do if you’re in the Lake District.
Head for Derwent Water and you’ll see the Catbells rising up right behind the lake view.
There’s free parking at CA12 5UE, but you can park anywhere on the road (safely) above the Derwent Water.
There are many hikes you can do from here, and you can add more to the Catbells, but for the purpose of this guide, it’ll just be the circular walk of the Catbells only.
Once you’ve reached the start there’s a gentle pull-up and a small scramble. Then it eases up and flattens out for a short portion.
Then it’ll gently pull uphill again and parts turning into a scramble which can be quite fun. The route is fairly self-explanatory, so you shouldn’t have a hard time navigating.
If you want a full route, then here’s the link to AllTrials which is what I used for the hike.
My Experience of Catbells in the Lake District
Only a small climb and a fairly easy fell in comparison to others in the Lake District. I actually really enjoyed Catbells. The few times I’ve been I have had excellent conditions and been spoiled with amazing views from the summit.
That could make my opinion more biased.
But that being said, it’s a perfectly located hike that has a lot to offer around it if you didn’t want to spend the full day in your boots.
Swim or paddle in Derwent water.
Head to Keswick for some lunch or dinner.
Catch a sunrise or Sunset on Catbells.
Definitely worth a visit if you’ve got some spare time on your next Lake District trip!