Derwentwater is a breathtaking gem nestled in the heart of the Lake District. With its stunning landscape and tranquil atmosphere, it has become a beloved haven for walking and nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Surrounded by picturesque mountains, this circuit walk around Derwentwater promises a memorable experience.
It was a perfect day for a fresh air wintry stroll. The sun arose in the sky and it 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.
The walk around Derwentwater starts at Keswick and is approximately 10 miles in total distance. Along the route, you can enjoy scenic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Notable landmarks and attractions include Friar’s Crag, a detour to Ashness Bridge, and the picturesque Catbells fell.
Clockwise this time I thought and off I wandered down to the waters side and beginning at the touristy bit. Hope park to the right with pitch and put and crazy golf courses and then the lake reveals itself.
Waling along the shore’s edge you come upon the perfect lookout point called Friars Crag. With a bench that looks out all down the lake.
The path then 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.
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.
Another day and Derwentwater at sunrise. Something that should be on the list of things to do if ever visiting the Lake District.
Especially if the weather says a clear, calm morning is ahead. I am often in the area for hikes and climbs so always good to check the weather forecast, as I did this particular day. If I am up early anyway I may as well set off a little earlier and enjoy some natural beauty to help get the day started.
You don’t have to hike for miles either to catch the morning light come from behind you, lighting up the fells across Derwentwater. From the main lakeside car park at Keswick you can walk the few hundred metres to Friars Crag for a great lookout.
Or wander the side of the lake beyond or before. Just enjoy it, no crowds, no noise, just the lapping water with the morning bird calls.
Derwentwater is certainly one of my favourite lakes in Cumbria. I have many memories of running around it as a teenager whilst my parents sunbathed on the shores.
With easy access and walking paths it is one of the waters here that many others have experienced and definitely one that you should see. Even more at sunrise and sunset, when the crowds are long gone.
No matter whether you walk all the way around the 10 miles or take in a few hundred yards. Derwentwater is so easily accessible from Keswick and will leave you spellbounded.
Take a walk along its shores, no matter how far and create some memories for yourself.