The Newlands Round

FIVE Wainwright circular walk: Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Hindscarth.

Walk Rating:⭐⭐⭐⭐

Time: 5 - 6 hours 

Parking: at Little Town. Free parking is available for early arrivals at the spaces by Chapel Bridge (Grid Reference: NY 233 195) or there is paid parking in the village during the tourist season.

The Catbells ridge from across Derwent Water

The Newlands round is one of the classic Lake District walks, starting with the much-visited Catbells, then heading south alongside Derwent Water towards Maiden Moor and High Spy. From there, the route turns west to climb over the summit of Dale Head with its spectacular view down the Newlands valley.

A longer round continues all the way west to Robinson, but my suggestion is to return to Little Town along the ridge of Hindscarth. The whole round makes for a memorable walk, offering fine views on generally easy paths all the way.

Strava estimates an overall walking distance of 15km

1) Coming up the road from Chapel Bridge into tiny 'Little Town', turn up the track on your right after you have walked past the first cottage in the hamlet. Go through the gate and onto the grassy track heading up the fellside. Turn left onto the obvious track that skirts around the bottom of 'Knott End', the bracken-covered slope in front of you. 

Causey Pike in the distance as you start the Newlands Round

2) However, don't follow the track all the way eastwards to the former Yewthwaite Mine workings beneath Catbells. Instead, bear right up a grassy path that crosses the Yewthwaite Gill on its way up to 'Hause Gate', the col on the ridge between Catbells and Maiden Moor.

Looking across to 'Scope End', which you will descend later

3) From Hause Gate, turn left and climb the grassy ridge up to the top of Catbells, hopefully with fantastic views out over Derwent Water, just below the fell.

Walking up to Catbells from Hause Gate

4) The top of Catbells (1481') is rocky earth, made bare by the thousands of feet that regularly walk upon it. It now also supports a small circular column with a copy of Wainwright's summit view diagram upon it, to help visitors pick out the names of the surrounding fells. 

The copy of Wainwright's summit view diagram on Catbells

Looking westwards to Causey Pike and Eel Crag

5) Now head back down the slope towards the col of Hause Gate. You will see the more rugged outline of your next fell, Maiden Moor, ahead of you.

Maiden Moor ahead as you descend to Hause Gate

6) Follow the clear path up the ridge towards Maiden Moor. 

Walking along the ridge towards Maiden Moor

7) The best viewpoint from Maiden Moor is at a small cairn reached before you reach the top of the fell. The top itself (1887')  is flat grass, without any sign of a real 'summit' at all. 

Looking down over Catbells from the cairn beneath Maiden Moor

8) Before you reach the top of Maiden Moor, it's also worth a slight detour to the right to look out from Bull Crag, down into the Newlands valley below.

The view from Bull Crag 

9) The next section of the walk takes you along the heathery ridge of 'Narrow Moor', with good views to both left and right.

Walking along 'Narrow Moor'

10) Look out to your left for a cairn marking the viewpoint of Blea Crag. It's definitely worth taking this short detour to see the view down over Derwent Water and Grange. 

The green fields of Grange, below Blea Crag

Maiden Moor and Derwent Water from Blea Crag

11) Returning to the main path, continue along the undulating ridge towards the top of High Spy, with the best views out to your right, over Eel Crags.

Hindscarth from Eel Crags

12) The official summit of High Spy (2143') is easily identifiable by its large summit cairn.

The large summit cairn on High Spy

13) Continuing south from High Spy, the path starts to lose height. The stocky summit of Dale Head becomes prominent in the views over the head of the valley to your right, with its impressive Gable Crag in front of it.

Gable Crag on Dale Head will be to your right

14) After slowly gaining height along the ridge from Hause Gate, the next section of the Newlands Round requires you to descend about 500 feet below High Spy to the depression of Rigg Head, from which the Newlands Beck plunges down northwards into its valley.

Crossing the Newlands Beck

The beck heading north towards the valley

15) A well-made path climbs back out of Rigg Head from Dalehead Tarn. As it climbs above the crags on the northern flank of Dale Head, the spectacular vista along the Newlands valley first comes into view.

Looking down the Newlands valley above Dalehead Crags

16) Turning left and continuing upwards, the path brings you to the top of Dale Head, and another fine summit cairn (2473'). 

The summit cairn on Dale Head

The view along the Newlands valley from the top of Dale Head

17) The route now continues westwards, heading down from the summit of Dale Head. To your left, the Honister Pass and Fleetwith Pike come more clearly into view. Ahead, you can see Buttermere, with the High Stile ridge beyond it. 

The High Stile ridge will be ahead of you

18) A good path now continues across the ridge of 'Hindscarth Edge', heading towards Hindscarth and, beyond that, Robinson.

Take the clear path across Hindscarth Edge

19) After the main path has crossed the Newlands valley, take the path heading right, climbing gently along the gravel and grass of the ridge of Hindscarth.

Another view down Newlands from the Hindscarth Ridge

20) As Hindscarth's highest point is at the southern end of the long ridge that forms the top of the fell, you will soon reach the rocks at its summit (2385').

On the summit of Hindscarth

21) It is still about two miles further to walk along the ridge before you reach the farmland in the valleys below. The path is a little loose at first but improves along the grassy ridge below.

Walking down the ridge from the top of Hindscarth

22) The lower section of this descent takes you across a heathery crest, making for a very pleasant walk along, and then down, 'Scope End', the end of the ridge.  

Walking amongst the heather of Scope End

23) As you descend Scope End, you will see the old spoil heaps of the former Goldscope mine below you on your right, beneath Maiden Moor. This is one of the oldest mines in the area, first opened by German miners invited to prospect for copper by Queen Elizabeth the First. Over the centuries it also produced lead, and even some silver and gold, as well.

The spoil heaps of the former Goldscope Mine in the valley below

24) At the bottom of the ridge, bear right to come out on the lane running alongside Low Snab Farm. Head northwards along the lane, passing Low House Farm, and then take the signposted path across the fields that comes out on a lane that runs above the Keskadale Beck.
Low House Farm under Maiden Moor

25) Turn right and walk down the lane, passing the whitewashed Newlands Church, before crossing Chapel Bridge and then walking up the road back to Little Town.

Keep a look out for the llamas and alpacas who live in Little Town!

Worth knowing: The name of "Newlands" was given to this district from the thirteenth century after land drainage to the north of the valley, between Portinscale and Braithwaite, created new farmland for cultivation.

The well-tended graveyard at Newlands Church

Newlands Church probably dates from the sixteenth century. This was a poor parish and, by the nineteenth century, the church had fallen into disrepair. However, in the 1840s it was given a new roof and a school was also built next to it. This continued in use until 1967.
The school was the building to the west of the church

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