Start :Keswick Launch
Distance and Terrain : Four Miles on good fell paths, a steep short walk.
Catbells, possibly the most walked fell around Derwentwater made famous by Beatrix Potter in Tales of Mrs Tigglewinkle. A super introduction into Lakeland walking, with stunning 360 degree views, this short but steep hill can be walked in a couple of hours without sketchbook and inspirational stops.
For aspiring artists the only way to start the Catbells ascent is by Launch from Keswick. Glide across the lake, view the mountain above picking out the path to the top and witness the reflected beauty of Derwentwater Lake. Make sure you have your camera at the ready for added wildlife of an Otter or Kingfisher. You may feel the need for a quick sketch, let the walkers go ahead and then you will have the peace of the mountain path to yourself.
The way ahead is upward in a steady ascent, through the wood and reach the cattle grid on the hairpin bends. You should see the small path heading up the mountain side, if the bracken is high you may need to look a little closer.
Keep to the path and take plenty of stops to take in the views below and behind. Skiddaw, the main bulk of mountain at the head of Derwentwater, it's partner in crime sitting proudly on the right is Blencathra, with Keswick nestling below.
The higher you climb and the views will reward. Newlands valley can be gazed on your right, as you walk along the ridge. Causey Pike the mountain with a nobbled top, along to Sail and the Coledale Horseshoe keep you company Below in Newlands valley a tiny hamlet can be seen ' Little Town' made famous in Tales of Mrs Tigglewinkle. I wonder did Beatrix Potter walked along this same path.
Take a well earned rest before the final ascent, the path becomes a small rocky scramble but not for long and the summit will appear. A walk along Catbells any time of year will always inspire. You may have to share the top with other walkers, Sheep and even the odd Rook scavenging for left over sandwiches. A perfect place to get out the sketchbook.
When it's time to descend, take the path heading down towards the Lakeland head back along the lower Catbells terrace, with views at every step. The path can be seen before a stone wall that heads down to the lakeshore. Plenty of sketchbook stops next to the waters edge, silhouette scenes or Autumn colours even an odd boat or two gently moored in a secret cove.
Cakes and Coffee will entice at the new Lingholm Kitchen and wall garden and afterwards you can catch the ferry back to Keswick.
painted in Oils