Causey Pike is a Wainwright fell in the beautiful Newlands Valley. Just over the hills from Derwentwater and Buttermere, it’s often overlooked for these more popular Lake District locations, with visitors passing through rather than stopping to enjoy the delights on offer.
The valley is a great location for outdoor adventure activities such as ghyll scrambling, as well as lots of brilliant walking. Causey Pike is one such route, which takes in a bit of scrambling, easy paths along a pretty stream, and truly breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Read our guide to this circular walk up Causey Pike.
Cottages in the Newlands Valley
Note: Although this is a relatively easy mountain walk, you should still make appropriate preparations and take care. Ensure you have a map, compass and other vital equipment, and wear a sturdy pair of walking boots, plus suitable clothing. There is some scrambling and steep drops at the top of Causey Pike, as well as some boggy patches on the way down.
Approximate distance: 3.9 miles / 6.3km
How to get to Causey Pike
There is a small car park on the Newlands Hause road from Braithwaite, just above Uzzicar Farm.The road between Braithwaite and Buttermere is narrow and very steep in parts, so please take your time and be aware of other road users, which includes tractors, cyclists and walkers.
The parking area has only a few spaces, so arrive early in order to get a space.
If you’re happy to add more distance to your route, you can walk all the way from Keswick (add 6 miles / 10 km), Portinscale (4 miles / 7km) or Braithwaite (2.5 miles / 4 km). Depending on the starting point you choose, these are pretty routes alongside rivers, beside lakeshores, and through meadows.
Buses stop at Keswick, Braithwaite and Portinscale, as well as along the main A66 road, which skirts the edge of the valley, and at the bottom of Cat Bells. You can walk to the start of the Causey Pike route from any of these locations.
Boats run between Keswick, Portinscale (Nichol End Marina) and Hawes End. From each of these locations you can walk to the start of the route up Causey Pike.
Causey Pike walking route
Whichever way you travel, this route starts at the car park above Uzzicar Farm. You’ll start with a short amount of road walking, so take care. Ignore the fairly obvious gravel path that starts just by the car park, and instead walk along the road to the south (left as you face the mountain of Barrow).
Continue along the road over a bridge (take a look into the water below - you may spot some ghyll scramblers splashing about down there!). Just beyond the bridge, on your right, you’ll see some stone steps tucked away in the bracken, plus a signpost pointing up the fell. Turn up here.
Lots of little paths criss-cross their way along the mountainside here, so keep heading uphill to your right. You want the path that heads in a west-south-westerly direction for a more gradual ascent. Another, steeper, path heading south takes you up and over Rowling End, but will also get you to Causey Pike.
This first section is steeper than it looks, so feel free to take plenty of breaks to look around you and admire the view! You’ll see why the Newlands Valley is well worth a stop-off during your Lake District stay. Admire Derwentwater in the distance, as well as the large hulk of Skiddaw.
Continue onwards and upwards until you meet something of a crossroads. Turn right (or continue straight on if you’ve taken the Rowling End route). The path now gets steeper and zig zags back and forth, though the path itself remains easy to follow. Note the widespread damage to the plants on your left, which was badly burnt by a fire on 2020.
As you get closer to the peak of Causey Pike, there’s a fun bit of fairly easy scrambling, though do be careful when you’re on the rocks! Continue along the path until you reach the cairn at the top, where you can enjoy a good rest. The remainder of the route is all downhill!
From the top of the fell, you can see Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater, Cat Bells, Skiddaw, Blencathra, Grisedale Pike, and many more.
Once you’ve had your fill, and maybe enjoyed a tasty packed lunch, it’s down we go. There’s a bit of scramble down from the crag, though the path after that is very clear.
At the first fork, take either route - they’ll meet again very soon and there’s not much difference in terms of length. At the second fork, go right, where you may have to do a bit of puddle jumping: it’s a bit boggy around here!
The path circles round and over Stoneycroft Ghyll, and you follow the large path downhill for the rest of the way, up above the river. It’s a long descent, but very gradual and a great way to ease those muscles after the steep climb up!
This path continues on until you’re once again back at the car park.
Self-catering in the Newlands Valley
For the easiest access to this relatively easy mountain walk, stay at one of our Newlands Valley holiday cottages. You’ll benefit from the quiet aspect, beautiful views, and convenience of this pretty area.
Cottages in the Newlands Valley
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.