A low level walk through Newlands from Portinscale

28th September 2019

As mentioned in last weeks walk report today I'm transferring my website onto a new laptop with the help of David but that doesn't mean there won't be time for a short walk before hand and todays route came courtesy of Rod.

Yes that's right the trio are back together, the first time since May...permission to whoop whoop!

N'ah we hadn't fell out or owt it's just holidays and work coincided with each other meaning if one or two of us was free usually the third would be working or on holiday, it happens although I admit it's never usually this far apart between us getting out for walks.

Anyway we gave Rod the task of coming up with a route around three and a half hours long which originally would have seen us visit the Lord's Seat fells but the wet forecast meant it was best we stuck to the valleys so Rod came up with this corker of a walk taking in the Newlands valley from low level.

Wainwright Guide Book Six
The North Western Fells

Ascent: 1,048 Feet - 320 Metres
Wainwrights: N/A
Weather: Overcast With Intermitant Sunshine. Highs of 15°C Lows of 10°C
Parking: Roadside Parking, Portinscale Suspension Bridge
Area: North Western
Miles: 8
Walking With: David Hall & Rod Hepplewhite
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Portinscale - Ullock - Little Braithwaite Bridge - Newlands Beck - Stair - Rowling End Farm - Rigg Beck - Chapel Bridge - Little Town - Yewthwaite Comb - Skelgill - Cumbria Way - Fawe Park - Nichol End - Portinscale

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA12 5RA
Grid Reference: NY 254 623
Notes: There is ample roadside parking at Portinscale Suspension Bridge with room for up to twenty plus cars but please be aware that this road is very popular with Motorhomes who are allowed to park up for the night. Despite how many spaces there are it is advised that should you want to secure a parking place to arrive early. Parking here gives excellent access into Keswick town centre and its surrounding fells such as Cat Bells and Walla Crag. Parking is free.


Map and Photo Gallery


Portinscale Suspension Bridge, Portinscale 08:00am 10°C

We had arranged to meet at the usual time of 8:00am but what that actually means is try to get there for 7:45am no later. Rod was first to arrive followed by myself and David soon after, parking wasn't a problem each parking behind one another although come another hours time parking here can be difficult. It's cloudy but mild and more importantly it isn't raining as forecasted but we kit up in full waterproofs anyway, except David...David knows something.

With the cars locked we headed out towards Portinscale and crossed the River Derwent via the suspension bridge taking note how high the River Derwent was and rather shockingly, how fast it was flowing, this of course was down to recent heavy rains which are set to continue from tomorrow and into next week.

Cloud and LIght, Bleaberry Fell.
From the suspension bridge we walked into Portinscale and turned right up the high street towards the A66 before turning left onto a public right of way from which we followed a narrow track, and then another track leaving Portinscale behind and out onto open farmland.

Tame donkey, Ullock.
Is it just me or can anyone not look at a donkey anymore without expecting it to talk...and fly...If you have young children you'l know exactly what I mean!

Seat How and Barf from Ullock.
My apologies over the low light in todays images the camera really was struggling today.

Barrow with Causey Pike summit behind.
Well, we've been out for the best part of half an hour now and there's no sign of rain at all, in fact the sun keeps creeping out seen here high lighting the brackened slopes of Barrow.

Caught between a rock and hard place, Little Braithwaite/Newlands Beck.

We left Ullock and arrived at a crossroads where we turned right sign posted Braithwaite but before Braithwaite is reached the road passes over Little Braithwaite Bridge which is where we picked up the footpath alongside Newlands Beck and ran into a large herd of cows and calves who had escaped from a nearby field. The herd parted for Rod and David before they realised in the centre were calves and that's when they stopped and turned back, never come between a mother and her calve no matter how tame they appear.

Now we needed to find an alternative way around.

Catbells, Maiden Moor, Dale Head and Rowling End (Causey Pike) from Newlands Beck, Little Braithwaite.
We managed to find another way around the herd and re-joined the path along side Newlands Beck, the views from which even on a dull day like today were second to none.

Newlands Beck.
Is also in spate flowing by at a rate of knotts.

Catbells and Maiden Moor taken just outside Stair.
It was plain to see in more places than one where the herd of cows had escaped their field where we found trampled wire fences along side the path, here we stopped to observe a section of the path which had been washed away (possibly during Storm Desmond) back in 2015.

Stone arched bridge leading to Uzzicar.
We're not going that way today.

Newlands Beck.
Taken from another Stone Arched Bridge at Stair.

Newlands Pass.
We leave Newlands Beck behind before passing through the hamlet of Stair undetected, there's a slight pull from Stair onto Newlands Pass, perhaps the highest ascent of the walk which shouldn't have seen us huffing and puffing but for some reason, it did. This photo was taken as we head towards Rigg Beck along the Newlands Pass, already the drains are starting to clog with falling leaves, a sure sign that Autumn is upon us.

The view towards the head of the Newlands Valley dominated by Dale Crags.

With High Crags (above Little Town) and the Castle Nook ridge seen centre.

"More people have been to the moon than climbed the Castle Nook ridge" laughed David knowing full well Rod once climbed Castle Nook "once was enough!" was Rod's reply.

Crossing Rigg Beck with Rigg Beck Cottage beyond.
I'm told (you can google it) there once was a purple house here before this rather spectacular new build was built around ten years ago which I actually remember being constructed, prior to this was the purple house which was occupied by a delightful yet eccentric old lady.

Scope End and High Crags (Hindscarth) seen as we approach Chapel Bridge.

Chapel Bridge over Newlands Beck.

For the last time today we cross Newlands Beck via the Pack Horse Bridge noting that the car park just beyond was totally empty, we found this rather annoying caused by the fact most people would have looked at todays forecast and thought n'ah it's too wet for a walk and who could blame them yet here we are bone dry since we left our cars two hours earlier.

It just goes to show how often the forecasters can get it wrong...but not entirely.

Dashes of sunlight over Ard Crags and Knott Rigg.

Scope End, Hindscarth and Robinson as we leave Chapel Bridge behind.
Before heading towards Little Town.

Scar Crags, Causey Pike, Rowling End and Barrow from Yewthwaite Gill.
Rod had originally planned to walk along the bridle way between Little Town and Skelgill but after recent rains we decided against and headed into Yewthwaite Comb where we crossed Yewthwaite Beck by the old mine, by now the clouds where starting to thicken which could only mean one thing.

Rain was on its way.
But we were lucky as the shower passed without so much as a rain drop heading our way.

Skelgill was soon reached and we joined the tarmac path passing the parking places where David and I had left our cars after last weekends glorious weather, it's hard to believe that it was just one week ago.

From Gutherscale we joined the Cumbrian Way passing through a very busy Fawe Park then Lingholme where the largest walking group I'd ever seen was passed. Lingholme was soon reached which offers family days out including feeding and taking Alpacas for walks, a great day out for the kids all year around.

Fawe Park.
A rare photo taken when no one was walking towards us.

A cloud topped Skiddaw from Nichol End, Derwent Water.

With the crowds of Fawe Park left behind we soon reached Nichol End where we spent a few moments standing on the jetty taking in the views over Derwent Water towards a cloud topped Skiddaw. Despite the near miss shower back at Newlands we were meant to have taken a right soaking but instead after a misleading forecast which probably kept many off the fells. myself and Rod were made to look 'over dressed' walking top to toe in waterproofs while David returned to the cars wearing a T-shirt while complaining about how muggy it was.

Either David is secretly working for the Met Office or he 'just knows' how the weather is going to pan out, I reckon it's the latter.


Back to top