Thursday, 30 May 2013

Cat Bells 2013

Making the most of the ‘Spring’ Bank Holiday the family stayed in Grange Fell cottage for a few days with some friends.

I took the opportunity one warm evening to head out for my first fell run in a while. Absence due to London Marathon training definitely made the heart grow fonder!

Glorious conditions included clear sunny skies and very little wind. A bit apprehensive about how my legs would react to a fell run I decided to play it safe and take in the relatively ‘easy’ but beautiful ascent of Cat Bells.


  • Distance: 8km
  • Ascent: 500m
  • Summits: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Comments: There are many variations on this route including a ridge run along Maiden Moor and High Spy or descending from Cat Bells via its Northern flank to circle around by Derwent Water.


Based in the village of Grange-in-Borrowdale I chose the same route as we had taken the kids up in snowy conditions a few months previous.

  • Starting out from Grange head along the road to Manesty.
  • Once at Manesty there is a very obvious path to the left of the road (NY250185) that zig-zags up the fell side to the col (NY244191).
  • Follow the ridge up to the right (due North) and put up with a couple of false Summits before you reach the well trodden plateaux Summit of Cat Bells (NY244198).

Time for a few photos from the Summit and then head back down the same route.

  • Just before reaching the road you can take a narrow path along a fence towards Hollows Farm.
  • Follow this path around the foot of Maiden Moor and turn right once you hit the farm track (NY248175).
  • Through Hollows Farm you join a road which ends up back in Grange to provide a bit of variation.

Despite mainly running on the fens of Cambridgeshire for the past 6 months or more I found the ascent wasn’t too taxing. I was very pleased to reach the Summit from Manesty in less than 20 minutes with the whole run taking around 80 minutes. It was a pleasant reminder that my general state of fitness and strength had not deteriorated too much in the quiet period after the London Marathon.

More posts to come on the rest of the holiday activities including Honister Slate Mine, Loughrigg, a scramble up Nitting Haws and a morning canoeing on Derwent Water from Kettlewell.

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