A Newlands Horseshoe.
Hindscarth, Dale Head, High Spy, Maiden Moor and Cat Bells
3D outline of route
Small car park adjacent to Chapel Bridge, just past the hamlet of Little Town. Busy and popular and it now has an honesty box -I got here early (08:45) so there was plenty of spaces but it does fill up.
Back up the road towards the farm and then a sharp right turn and into the valley. There are other routes, but I prefer this way into the Newlands Valley.
After a slight height gain, I stopped and looked northwards towards the Coledale Fells, Causey Pike is prominent in the centre.
You can also still see the car park below from where I started todays walk.
Although cool in the shade, you could tell it was going to be a lovely day - Heading into Newlands and my first climb of the day is on the right - Scope End followed by Hindscarth and at the head of the dale - 'Dale Head'.
Not very often do you get signposts in the lakes directing you to particular fells. I'm sure many will find this helpful at the start of a walk.
The first time I climbed Hindscarth was with my friend Paul - I remember we incorrectly followed this path to the mine working area that you can just see and realising our error, we decided just to head straight up the flank of Scope End rather than re-tracing our steps back and going round the nose.
I remember it being very steep and I was pleased to reach the ridge path after a clamber which included fistfuls of grass and heather. No such worries today as I followed the conventional route.
A lovely climb in the sun as the path meanders its way upwards continuing from Scope End to Hindscarth. It's a continuous climb with little respite, but I must say, an extremely enjoyable one especially as the sun forced the factor 30 to be topped up.
Still a way to go - as the top of Hinscarth finally comes into view
A brief stop and look back down over the distance travelled. Skiddaw.
Having reached the top after a long ascent - I was a pleasant stroll around to Dale Head with views of Buttermere and the High Stile ridge soon becoming clear.
There we are - Fleetwith Pike on the left and the High Stile ridge behind Buttermere.
I always think that Fleetwith Pike is a mighty impressive lump, from this position you can also see the road descent into Buttermere village from Honister Pass.
The impressive Dale Head summit cairn - Thanks to those who did the re-build many years ago, it's one of the best.
Before leaving the summit, I viewed the Newlands Valley from the head.
There is a clear and obvious path from the top of Dale Head down to Dalehead Tarn below. However, noting (from my O/S map) that the appeared to be another path which appeared to go straight down to the tarn rather than initially veering to the left as the main one does. So, out of interest, I decided to go 'off-path' and pick up this other marked path and follow it down.
Unfortunately, no such path exists ! I ended up following a few scree lines down and eventually headed back across to the main path as the terrain was just not worth the effort. As I reached Dale Head tarn, I looked back up only to see two poor souls doing exactly the same thing as I'd done. I wonder how many people make that same mistake - Unless they had followed me of course ?
Picking up the main path down to the tarn - Why did I even consider bypassing this 'fix the fells' masterpiece.
Serene Dalehead Tarn
Dale Head and Hindscarth as I start the ascent of High Spy
High Spy summit
Time for lunch, so I found a spot with somewhere to dangle my long legs.
A sunny lunch break with views all around - Here the view back to High Spy summit can be enjoyed.
As I head towards Maiden Moor, Derwent Water comes into view.
The summit of Maiden Moor is probably the most frequently missed in the lakes as you need to detour from the main path to reach it's highest point. There's very little difference to be fair though, so I don't think it can matter much.
Views of the Coledale Fells can be seen from the top (Including: Eel Crag, Sail, Scar Crags, Causey Pike & Barrow)
Next stop - the ever popular Cat Bells
Looking back towards Hause Gate and Maiden Moor
Yep - certainly won't have this one to myself.
A most beautifully shaped fell, but visited by the masses and has suffered significant erosion over the years. Many features are now in place to try to protect the fell from further damage, but the number of visitors are bound to continually increase year on year.
A look over Hause Gate and down into Borrowdale
A window of opportunity - 1 second to take a quick snap. Don't let this fool you, I was actually surrounded, but by chance I was given this brief opening.
Despite it's countless visitors and worn terrain, Cat Bells possesses a fine viewpoint with stunning lakeland vistas all round.
Heading down with Derwent Water to the right and views of Skiddaw straight ahead.
Polished rock, courtesy of a billion visitors
There's a temptation to veer of to the left back into the Newlands valley as my walk nears an end. But I heeded the signs and stuck to the main path heading down to Hause End and did my bit to preserve this beautiful fell.
A few late afternoon clouds gave a bit of respite from the sun as I stroll back to the car.
A lovely day out - had I been with someone, it would have been perfect to finish the day to have a pint in a beer garden before leaving the lakes, but I was on my own so decided to press on home and enjoy the time with my wife and recount the day with her (She calls it the 'Graveyard Shift' - I certainly don't understand why ???)