The bridleway I took up there runs up the Newlands valley and hugs the foot of Cat Bells along it’s length. It’s a beautiful trail to explore as it gives you steadily changing views over Newlands and towards all the mountains that come off of Dale Head. I didn’t go all the way to Dale head myself, I turned onto the bridleway that goes steeply up to the col that lies between Cat Bells and Maiden Moor. The plan was to head up to the col and then scope out the bridleway that drops off the other side and down to the shores of Derwentwater, called Hause Gate.
I got over Brunt Crag and sat by a big pile of rocks, a good shelter from the wind. I busted out the oreos and coffee and looked out over the distant hills of Causey Pike and Grizedale Pike. It was by far the nicest day we’ve had in a long time, the clouds were high, it was bright out , and it was relatively warm for the start of February. I only saw one couple out walking today too – pretty quiet out there at the minute.
So I sat at the col for a good long time, taking in the views and watching the sheep. When I did finally decide to head back, I started down towards Hause Gate and quickly remember why no one cycles down this bridleway! It’s a series of steep, narrow, rocky steps built into the side of the hill … eep. I wasn’t into it at all, and decided to descend back down into Newlands valley. I rode the singletrack path that runs parallel to the bridleway I rode in on, but much higher up on the flanks of Cat Bells. Rad little descent that has rocky technical bits, semi-exposed singletrack bits, and then a big grassy/doubletrack bit that you can go very fast indeed on!
Next time I head over this way I might hike-a-bike over Hause Gate from the Derwentwater side, and descend down the Newlands valley side – that way it would be more of a loop and less of a there-and-back. Either way it’s a fun little ride for a winters day.