A Journey from Buttermere to Keswick

This is a journey, or linear walk, from the lovely village of Buttermere, over the Wainwright fells of Robinson, Hindscarth, Dale Head, High Spy, Maiden Moor and, last but not least, Cat Bells. To walk these in a day is usually accomplished as the Newlands Horseshoe, but here we've taken a slightly different look at them.

Buttermere village sits between the lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water, and hemmed in by the High Stile range to the south and the Dale Head range to the north. It's the sort of place you go to be amongst the fells even you don't climb them. The way up to Robinson from the village is steep and airy with the view behind to the village, and out westwards to the coast opening out with each step. Once reaching the first summit, with views constantly changing, you stay high until the descent of Catbells somewhat later in the day. Then it's just a short wander to Portinscale and across the fields to Keswick.

If the day doesn't go according to plan there are a number of escape routes from the ridge. From Robinson it is better to drop into Littledale than take the ridge north to High Snab Bank as that way is steep and has awkward rocky steps. From Hindscarth you can take the ridge north to Scope End as it's quite a pleasant walk (see our walk Robinson and Hindscarth from Little Town). Escaping at Dale Head, head south to Honister Pass to get a bus back. Alternatively drop down to Dale Head Tarn where you can head northwards into the Newlands Valley, although obviously it's still quite a trek to get to Keswick it would get you lower and possibly more sheltered from southerly gales. Once on the High Spy to Catbells ridge the only escape is at Hause Gate to either the west, or east.

Park in Keswick and take the first bus of the day over Honister Pass, which is an experience in itself, to the stop around the back of the Bridge Hotel. Prefer a day with a good forecast, and expect the walk to take the full day. Outside of the long days of June take a head torch to avoid being benighted.