Lots of rain this morning meant that plans to attack Yewbarrow were altered to the much milder ascent and descent of Catbells. Now on most days, particularly a Saturday, there would be crowds on Catbells. Wainwright summed up its popularity with families by saying,
"It is one of the great favourites, a family fell where grandmothers and infants can climb the heights together, a place beloved. Its popularity is well deserved, its shapely topknott attracts the eye offering a steep but obviously simple scramble."
Today, thankfully, the weather was on our side, deterring the masses and making for some beautiful views:
Catbells is a great fell. If you manage to get it to yourself you can quickly get up the steps to the modest summit. Views from the top are over Derwent Water and towards Skiddaw (cloud permitting) and then West over the Newlands Valley.
There is an easy but fun scramble up to the summit. Once up there, we saw somebody camping, there was no movement so they may have been still sleeping. Interesting location for a wild camp.
quick mugshots on the summit
It's a nice, fairly easily sloping run from the summit down to the point where the path splits, turning off left before the path climbs up onto Maiden Moor to do the horseshoe route. The path down begins with a steeply pitched section with multiple switchbacks but then turns into a gentle(ish) dirt track which is forgiving on the feet and knees.
At the bottom of the dirt track I decided to have another go at running photography. You can just see a red speck on the right hand side. This is Jonathan making his way down the path.
After about 500m from the turn off point, you have a choice of going right which will take you to Manesty and you can run back along the shore through Brandelhow woods, or turn left and join the Allerdale Ramble path along the Eastern side of Catbells.
We chose to go left as we thought that the midges might be having a party in the woods. The track along here is a really good run, great dirt surface and gently undulating.
Near the start of this section of the track is a bench and a plaque commemorating Sir Hugh Walpole. I wikipediaed him when I got home, seems like an interesting character.
Breakfast at The Lakeland Pedlar did not dissapoint. The bike shop has moved to much larger premises down the road (in the old Labour Club) so we went for a look around there too.
I will leave the last words to Sir Hugh:
I believe the root of all happiness on this earth to lie in the realization of a spiritual life with a consciousness of something wider than materialism; in the capacity to live in a world that makes you unselfish because you are not overanxious about your own comic fallibilities; that gives you tranquility without complacency because you believe in something so much larger than yourself.