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This is one of the Lake District's great horseshoes, taking in a whole host of familiar names - Catbells, High Spy, Robinson, to name but a few. There are buses to the foot of Catbells during some months, but if not then it is an easy walk from Keswick.
Loop or linear? Linear
Map: OS Explorer: OL4 - The English Lakes: NW area
Total distance: 17.9km (11 miles)
Total height gain: 1,249m (4,097ft)
Start: Catbells bus stop
Unsuitable for: families with children, prams and pushchairs, wheelchairs
Public transport: regular bus services
1. Catbells bus stop, OS Grid NY247213
In the summer months, buses stop right at the foot of Catbells. Some would say the perfect service for walkers, but it means you are straight into the hard work for the day, with no warm up! Either way, Catbells is a classic, with the Derwent Water panorama revealing itself as you ascend.
2. Catbells, OS Grid NY244196
About 1.7km (1 mile) from 1
The first summit is soon reached - and that's a fair chunk of the morning's uphill done! Enjoy the views, then continue along the obvious summit path on to Maiden Moor.
3. Maiden Moor, OS Grid NY237183
About 1.5km (0.9 miles) from 2
The day's route is visible from here, on a clear day at least. The horseshoe can look imposing, the crags on High Spy and Dale Head in particular
4. High Spy, OS Grid NY234162
About 2.1km (1.3 miles) from 3
Right in the heart of the horseshoe, and probably time for a breather - there's the deep saddle between High Spy and Dale Head to come.
5. Dale Head, OS Grid NY224154
About 1.3km (0.8 miles) from 4
The highest peak of the walk, and surely one of the Lake's greatest viewpoints. Derwent Water to the east, Buttermere to the west, the Gable twins south and the Newlands Valley to the north. Worth savouring.
6. Robinson, OS Grid NY203170
About 2.6km (1.6 miles) from 5
Carry on across Hindscarth Edge to Robinson, one of the friendliest sounding peaks in the park. There is a get-out at this point if necessary; follow the ridge down to Scope Beck. Otherwise, it's on to Knott Rigg.
7. Knott Rigg, OS Grid NY197187
About 1.8km (1.1 miles) from 6
Another up and over; midway across Buttermere Moss, leave the path and take a bearing for Moss Beck. It's a steep drop, followed by an equally steep ascent on to Knott Rigg.
8. Aikin Knott, OS Grid NY215199
About 2.1 km (1.3 miles) from 7
From Knott Rigg, there is a direct line to Braithwaite, but involves an awful lot more climbing over the ridges. A better option is to follow the line of Knott Rigg into the Newlands Valley. Pass the outcrops of Aikin Knott and continue on to the valley.
9. Uzzicar, OS Grid NY232216
About 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from 8
The path to Braithwaite hugs the foot of the fells, making navigation easy. Time to start thinking about that post-walk drink...
10. Braithwaite, OS Grid NY232235
About 1.8 km (1.1 miles) from 9
The final leg will seem long, but the welcome in the Royal Oak will seem even warmer. Buses leave Braithwaite fairly frequently, and there are places to stay in the village as well.
6 March 2018 by George Fisher
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Podiatrist Andrew Stanley will be in the George Fisher store offering 1:1 help and advice for your feet.