Cat Bells walk from Littletown

Last weekend I spent two nights in The Lake District. There were four of us and we stayed at Little Town Farm near Keswick, a Bed & Breakfast guest house with amazing views of the Newlands Valley.

We headed off from Leeds on the A65 towards Kendall and Windermere and then north towards Keswick. It’s a few years since I have been to Keswick and it’s now pedestrianised which is great. We checked in at Littletown Farm with a welcome from the owners Rob and Sarah and fresh coffee and homemade cake. The rooms are small, but with comfortable beds and amazing views to the fells from the bedroom windows.

On the Friday night we caught a taxi into Keswick costing £10 and went for a drink at Bar26, a trendy cafe-bar on Lake Road, before heading off to Morrels. Morrels is a restaurant I can highly recommend. For £19.95 we had a superb 3 course meal. Maybe it was the fresh air but the food at Morrels together with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and  nice bottle of Rioja went down very well.My Braised Daube of Beef on Mash with Red Wine & Root Vegetable Gravy was excellent.

The next morning after a very good Cumbrian breakfast at our Bed & Breakfast we put on our walking boots and set off from Little Town to Cat Bells. It’s a fairly steep climb from Little Town but when you reach the top at Hause Gate you get brilliant views of Derwent Water and beyond. At Hause Gate we turned left and headed towards the summit of Cat Bells which is only another 20 minutes walk. As we reached the summit of Cat Bells we were asked if we wanted a cup of tea ! On Cat Bells there was a tent and a group of men were raising money for a trip to Pakistan to climb K7. That tea went down really well and we then headed off down the other side of Cat Bells. During the walk down there are a couple of tricky rocky sections that you have to negotiate. If it’s wet you have to be careful but otherwise you will encounter a steady stream of people including families. It’s no surprise because Cat Bells is one of the most popular walks in Lakeland.

We soon reached the road and we then walked to Hawse End where you can catch the ferry-boat that runs around the lake at regular intervals. Two stops later we arrived in Keswick. It was a Saturday and a busy market day.One of our party had to find a pharmacy as he had been stung. I had an ice cream !

Later, we headed back to the ferry as we were catching the ferry to Brandelhow Bay landing point which is at the south end of Derwent Water. We were heading back to Hawse Gate which involved a steep climb. This is where I discovered that I was not as fit as I should be !

From Hawse Gate we descended down the other side to Little town Farm and I slipped on a loose rock and ended up going down heavily on my knee. There was no lasting damage though and we reached our B&B where we sat outside drinking tea and eating cake in the glorious sunshine.

The next morning after yet another fantastic cooked Cumbrian breakfast we paid our bill and headed off towards Buttermere. It’s a 20 minute drive over a high pass called Newlands Hause and you also see Moss Force waterfall which is a spectacular sight. There is a small parking area where you can stop at this point to take photos and walk over to the falls.

We parked behind the Fish Hotel in Buttermere and our plan was to walk around Buttermere. Buttermere is a beautiful stretch of water surrounded by high fells, one of which is Hay Stacks. It’s about 5 miles around the lake. Our intention was to climb Hay Stacks but the exertions of the previous day had taken its toll on unfit walkers so we decided to leave that for another time. The walk around Buttermere is easy and it’s a popular walk.

Arriving back in Buttermere an hour and a half later we found a nice coffee shop before heading back to the car park to set off on our journey back to Leeds.

I would highly recommend Littletown Farm guest house. The owners are very friendly and they also do evening meals from time to time. We ate there on the Saturday night and we were impressed with the food.

Overall we had a great weekend in The Lake District.

 

 

 

 

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