Of all the mountains in the Lake District, Catbells has the reputation as being the most family friendly. Poised above Derwentwater, it looks like a proper mountain, has two rocky sections to negotiate and beautiful views all around, but is only a mile to the top! Lake District writer and walker Alfred Wainwright acknowledged the popularity of Catbells 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 topknot attracts the eye offering a steep but obviously simple scramble”.
My kids Julia, Daisy and Bruno all love going on a mountain adventure and this is one of their favourite mountain walks in the Lake District. It really is the perfect walk for children and I find that singing songs, stopping for all-important chocolate breaks and teaching the concept of effort and reward is the ideal way to keep the little ones motivated on the way up!
Catbells has strong links with Beatrix Potter and The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. The story is about a small girl called Lucie who live at Little Town in Newlands. One day she meets washerwoman Mrs Tiggy Winkle, who works in a kitchen behind a little door on the side of Catbells. We always search the hillside to see if we can find Mrs Tiggywinkle’s door and maybe some tiny footprints too!
To get to Catbells, head to Derwentwater in Keswick and hop on one of the launches – it immediately turns the day into an adventure. There is no parking around the base of Catbells due to its popularity and the launch gives you a chance to sit back and gaze up at your intended route. If your children are a little older and can walk further, consider descending into Newlands Valley to visit Little Town where you can see the farm in the Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, the church and most importantly, the tea room serving gorgeous homemade cake!
If you are planning a trip to the Lakes for October half term, make sure you include Catbells on your itinerary. Quite a few of our cottages have been snapped up already for half term, so if you were thinking of booking a family break for October half term, now is the time to do it!