Derwentwater: A Circuit Walk In The Winter Sun
Twas a perfect day for a fresh air wintry stroll. The sun arose in the sky and was time to take in a different view of The Lake District than getting high on the mountains. I realised that it had been a while since I took the time to walk around one of the lakes themselves. Off I headed to Keswick, the start point of an old favourite, Derwentwater. A perfect length, about 10 miles around, for a days casual walk and with variety all the way.
Clockwise this time I thought and off I trundled down to the waters side and beginning at the touristy bit. Hope park to the right with frozen pitch and put and cray golf courses and then the water reveals itself. Calm and quiet, so far removed from a busy Summer’s day when the masses come to this corner of the lake. Quiet, still, mountain tops reflected in the lake.. Today was going to be a good day.
A mile or so after starting off the tourist track turns to a pleasant nature path for those that want to take in some miles along the shores. Grassy inlets, wooded tracks, pebble beaches. Crags rising high to the left signalling you are into Borrowdale as over the Lake and refected within the line of peaks known as ‘catbells’ rise up.
Today I had views all down the valley to see Castle Crag rising proud and dramatically before Scafell range. This walk is one of those must do in each season ones. The Summer for instance has the beauty and green of Borrowdale in bloom. The bottom end of the lake is signalled by Lodore Falls Hotel, this is where you keep an eye of for the gate on the right, a turn into more extreme beauty, away from the road completely. The new bridge over the River Derwent and sturdy walkway over the swampy surrounds are true signs that this walk and side of the lake has been made truly accessible for wheelchairs and prams. This area in the South West corner, underneath Catbells, a marvel on the eye and underfoot. Woodlands, marshes, sandy shores and birds of all kinds everywhere, even deer apparently but I have not yet seen one. The area is called Brandlehow, the first piece of land ever bought by the National Trust (1904). All made possible by donations at the time to stop it being turned into a housing development. The way things could have swung eh?
In fact this whole side of Derwentwater, heading North with the lake on the right hand side, is a blissful walk. Skiddaw and Blancathra rising high above Keswick ahead. Today with a snowfall on their peaks pointing into the blue sky. I took my time on the way back round to Keswick, I was in escapism mode, and not high up for a change, and I darn well loved it.