This alternative route up Cat Bells avoids most of the crowds on the very popular route up the northern route, and also makes use of some roadside parking on the road that runs along the eastern flank of the fell, again avoiding the normally full car park at the northern tip of the fell..
We start from the roadside parking on the road that runs between Cat Bells and Derwent Water. There are several places one can park along this road, including a small quarry (at point 1 on our map) and a larger area at the northern side of Manesty Park.
1: NY 249 197
The first part of our walk depends on our parking place. Our aim is to reach the terraced footpath that runs from north to south along the east flank of Cat Bells. If you have parked at the quarry at point 1, then this is easy - here the path drops down to the road, so head south along the path (with the fell to the right and the lake to the left).
If you have parked further south, then it is possible to avoid the walk back to the quarry. Whatever you do, don't take the badly eroded path that heads straight up the side of the fell - this has been blocked off to allow the fell side vegetation to recover. Instead look for a path that climbs diagonally up the fell side, running alongside the boundary fence. This path also brings us onto the terrace path.
2: NY 248 189
We follow the terrace path south until it reaches the tip of the woodland around Manesty Park (where the second route onto the terrace comes up from the left). At this point a side path branches off to the right, climbing diagonally south across the fell side. Take this path and follow it until it reaches the main path up to Hause Gate. Turn right onto this path and follow it as it climbs diagonally north up the fell side and into the pass at Hause Gate.
3: NY 244 191
4: NY 244 198
After enjoying the view from the summit, we have two choices: to retrace our steps back down the same route; or to continue on along the path as it runs down the northern ridge. Close to the very northern tip the path branches - turn right onto the terrace path and follow it back to your starting point.