Catbells, Dale Head and Hindscarth - The Newlands Horseshoe

A rewarding Lake District walk of the highest calibre. The Horseshoe route takes in all the peaks on either side of the Newlands Valley and offers some wonderful walking and superb views throughout.

Technical sheet
No. 293296
A Above Derwent walk posted on 04/07/16 by Walking Britain. Update : 22/07/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h40[?]
Distance Distance : 15.93km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 892m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 893m
Highest point Highest point : 737m
Lowest point Lowest point : 130m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Above Derwent
Starting point Starting point : N 54.580069° / W 3.166997°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) The start is the car park at the northern foot of Catbells at Gutherscale (grid ref. NY246211). On fine days this can be very busy and parking can be at a premium so an early start is recommended. After parking start the climb onto Catbells. There are two paths initially and these soon merge to form a clear path to the summit. The reward for this initial ascent of 1200 feet is the fine views across Derwentwater and the many surrounding fells.

(1) Many of your fellow walkers will have fallen by the wayside as you continue on an ascending path roughly south to the summit of Maiden Moor. In my mind this is the most tedious section although the views remain as you head towards the cairn on the top of Blea Crag (630 metres). This is worth a short diversion as there is a fine view along the length of Derwentwater. After enjoying the view return to the main path and continue the gentle ascent to the summit cairn on High Spy.

(2) You have a short section of respite as you descend to Dalehead tarn at the southern end of the Newlands Valley. From here it's a matter of gritting your teeth and steadily plodding uphill until you reach the summit cairn from where the view down Newlands and across to Eel Crags makes the effort worthwhile. You now head westwards along Hindscarth Edge with a different set of fells now included in the panorama to your left. It is important that you don't get too carried away with the views and miss the turn north towards the summit of Hindscarth with its well built cairn.

(3) The hard work is now complete and you can enjoy a mainly downhill walk back to the start. The route from Hindscarth heads almost due north and descends to High Crags and then along the pleasant ridge to Scope End. From here the path descends more steeply down the eastern flank of the ridge to reach Low Snab. Here head north on the track towards the road at Chapel Bridge. Turn right along the road passing through the collection of dwellings at Little Town. Just after the last cottage take the path signed to Skelgill and follow this through pastures to reach the road at Skelgill. Bear right along the road and you are soon back at the start (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0 - Car park
1 : km 1.71 - alt. km 1.71 - Cat Bells
2 : km 5.79 - alt. km 5.79 - Cairn on High Spy
3 : km 9.67 - alt. km 9.67 - Hindscarth
D/A : km 15.93 - alt. km 15.93

Useful Information

This is one of the great walks of the Lake District National Park and will keep you entertained for the best part of day, A day with good visibility is a must as the views throughout are engaging and you will see many of the Lakeland peaks during the circuit. Navigation is generally easy as you are following well trodden paths but do remember to save some energy for the steep 900 foot ascent from Dalehead tarn to the summit of Dale Head.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.