Login or Register for Walkopedia

Walkopedia Magazine

See our latest online magazine:

  • Crossing the Pyrenees
Walkopedia rating84
Beauty
31
Natural interest
15
Human interest
8
Charisma
30
Negative points
(0)
Total rating
84

 Vital statistics

Length:
Day or less
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Key information: Catbells

  • A demanding but fulfilling walk up Catbells in the exquisite Lake District. 
  • See this shortlisted Walkopedia Travel Writing Competition 2011 entry. 
  • ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!


Walk summary

THIS PAGE IS AT AN EARLY STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT. PLEASE HELP US BY MAKING SUGGESTIONS AND SENDING PHOTOS! THANK YOU!

The following is Silja Swaby's piece on walking here, which was on our shortlist for our 2011 Travel Writing Competition. Thank you, Silja, for bringing this walk to our attention!

Hell's Bells

"Julia! Julia Bradbury! Wait!" I dashed across the refreshment marquee dodging chairs and the wax jackets obstructing me. Julia, natty in country chic, her brown leather jacket and casual jeans, her hair salon smooth, her skin flawless and tanned. A horse trials official in earrings and tweed, was offering her drinks from the coffee machine. The woman, who'd seen me, whispered something to her.

"It's OK," said Julia raising her hand. "Can I help?"

"Yes," I gasped. "My boyfriend has booked a weekend in The Lakes. And we've watched you on telly, the series you did, on Wainwright and walking, the crags and the peaks. I'm not sporty, outdoorsy or anything like and we've not been together long and?" I lowered my voice. "He is younger than me."

Her easy smile broadened.

"Is there a walk we could easily do? Not remote or too steep," I continued.

She pressed my arm. "Catbells."

"What bells?" I said.

"Catbells. But go on a day when the weather is fine. The view will be worth it."

Catbells sounded friendly, and suitably sized, not like brutish Helvellyn, Scafell or Skiddaw.

"Thank you," I said, as the woman stepped in with whispers for Julia - important no doubt. She lifted the flap and guided her out. I took the flap, held it as Julia disappeared amongst Barbours and Mustos.

The day of the walk was luminous, clear. The parking space waiting for us to pull in, I took as a sign that my luck would hold.

With my hiking boots fastened, I stood on the path and scanned the gradient cautiously. Julia's definition of easy didn't match mine, but coming from Somerset, a hill is a climb. The top was in view: something to aim for. How hard could it be?

I slammed the car door as a couple passed by, some five, maybe ten, years older than me. He, wavy-haired, a lean Burt Lancaster; she with a Gloria Hunniford look, but her ample proportions in pink t-shirt, beige pedal pushers and a bold panty line. But for the walking poles, I'd have put them down for trolley pushing round a supermarket.

"Ready?" he asked me.

"You bet," I replied. "Let's make a start."

I struck out, light of step, confidence high. The gradient rose and then steepened some more. We passed Burt and Gloria, I nodded hello keeping my smug opinions to myself.

It wasn't long before my thighs complained. Calm breathing was helpful, as was placing my feet. It sustained me - for a further 100 metres. It was hard to ignore the pain messages firing in my brain. Mind over matter, I thought. I mind and this matters.

"You want a drink?" he asked.

I paused for a moment and glanced down the slope. Gloria followed, Burt marching behind. She'd got in her stride and was gaining ground.

"No," I said firmly stomping up the path. "I'm fine really." I wasn't.

Every cell in my body insisted on ceasing. My lungs were stretched beyond reason. Nor did red blotches enhance my complexion, and my underarm sweat rings were unmissable - even from space.

I kept glancing back. Gloria pounded. I must stay ahead. The top wasn't far. I would not give up.

My heart pounded harder and my leg muscles stung.

A little further; keep going.

You... are... almost... THERE!

When the ground levelled out, I veered right and then left. I crumpled as graciously as I could, comforted by my private success.

"We'll rest here for a while," he said handing me things: a bottle of water and a Snickers.

I sucked on soft chocolate. Gloria rose over the brow, Burt right behind her. I admired her pluck as she lowered her frame, but I'd never concede when so much was at stake.

Basking in victory, I took in the view. Julia's judgement was spot on. Yes it was tough, but so worth it.

"You ready?" he asked startling me.

"For what?" I replied, thinking pub lunch, a boat trip, a tour of the town.

"For the summit." He pointed up at another ascent, like the one I'd just hauled myself up.

"The summit? You mean it?" I choked on the words.

"You OK?"

The walk, my new boyfriend and all self esteem faded away. Then Burt handed Gloria her poles. Fuelled into action, I pulled my weak form off the ground. Catbells? Hell's bells more like. If I ever saw that Julia Bradbury again, I'd dash across the refreshment marquee and punch her up the bracket.

We set off, my heart pounding fit to bust, my legs demanding to be hacked off at the pelvis with a blunt axe. My glances back were no comfort. Gloria was never far behind. I knew I had to dig deeper to beat her.

With tunnel vision I fixated on the summit, and plodded up and up, telling myself, mantra-like, it isn't receding.

My inner dialogue cast time aside until that glorious moment when the summit actually seemed achievable.

A little further; keep going. You... are... almost... THERE!

I staggered over the open terrain looking for somewhere to consign my remains. I collapsed and lay like a salmon in shallows, lactic, limp, spent. I stared up at the sky, uncaring of my disarray, what anyone thought of me and eternally grateful I didn't have to move.

A comforting hand on my arm brought me back. He leaned over me and smiled. "Well done! What do you think of the view?"

I propped myself on his broad back, scanned the long slopes, the languid lake before me, the sun tinted pikes. Elation and a sparkle of achievement glowed within me. I stretched out, contented.

I shouldn't have been surprised when Gloria came into view, followed closely by Burt, but truth was I'd forgotten all about her. She and Burt strode past me and like seasoned explorers, struck out over the lengthened plateau onto the next peak.

But my triumph was tinged with guilt: Julia. Of course I wouldn't dash across the refreshment marquee and punch her up the bracket. Quite the opposite. I'd press her arm and say, "Hey, remember me? The boyfriend? Catbells? You were spot on. Where next?"

And her easy smile would broaden.

abortion pill online

order abortion pill online buy abortion pills online ordering abortion pills to be shipped to house

where can i get the abortion pill online

abortion pills abortion pills online abortion pill buy online

ordering abortion pills to be shipped to house

buy cytotec for 24 week abortion abortion pill where to buy abortion pill

buy viagra online from canada

generic viagra online http://www.cengage.co.in/content/privacy-statement generic viagra online

buy levitra online kamagra

natural kamagra cheapest uk supplier kamagra kamagra alternative

problems with kamagra jelly

buy cheap kamagra jelly http://www.cengage.co.in/content/copyright-notice cheapest uk supplier kamagra jelly

amoxil online uk

fedex generic amoxicillin http://www.cengage.co.in/content/academic-professional buy amoxil

generic thyroxine sale

get thyroxine avoid prescription generic thyroxine online get thyroxine

cheap bisacodyl tablets

free bisacodyl sample laxative how to use bisacodyl

ampicillin online shop in uk

principen online ampicillin principen for sale

medical abortion pill online

cytotec abortion abortion pill where can i get the abortion pill online

biaxin buy

buy biaxin canada http://www3.umu.se/kultmed/kurswebb/default.aspx?id=29 ordering clarithromycin

female herbal ciprofloxacin

ciprofloxacin without prescription natural cipro alternatives ciprofloxacin dosage

photos clindamycin

cheap cleocin tablets order clindamycin generic cleocin

dexamethasone online shop in uk

get discount dexamethasone online dexamethasone dexone samples

get Cefadroxil online

natural Cefadroxil cefadroxil generic duricef sale

buy vantin on the internet

purchase vantin online cefpodoxime generic cefpodoxime

buy cefuroxime online

purchase cefuroxime online cefuroxime cefuroxime for sale

abortion pill prescription

buy the abortion pill online abortion pill i need to buy the abortion pill

get discount cephalexin online

order keflex cephalexin generic keflex

generic chloromycetin

chloramphenicol online chloromycetin samples buy chloromycetin online

where to buy abortion pills online

abortion pill prescription http://www.fareastjournals.com/journal_detail.aspx?jid=18 where to buy abortion pill

buy augmentin online

buy clavulanate online augmentin where to buy augmentin online

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more

Research essentials

Here are some essential tools for your travel research:

Information and review

Finding flights, organising travel

Car hire

Accommodation

Equipment & Clothing

Books and Maps

Holidays and Activities

If you enjoy and value our site, please help us (at no cost to yourself) by using these links.

And by telling friends about Walkopedia.

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Other great walks in UK

Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more