Walking the Derwentwater Round

by Emma Cooper

After starting the day with a lovely cup of Earl Grey tea at the Little Chamonix Café on Lake Road, we set off for our walk around Derwentwater.

Following the Derwentwater Round

Heading down towards the lake on a bright summer’s day is always a pleasure and today was no exception. The ducks were gathered to entertain the visitors by the jetties and many people were out to enjoy the scenery. The launch set off on one of its many journeys, full of excited children with adults and dogs in tow.

Keswick Launch

Image courtesy of Keswick Launch Co.

We walked down the path towards Friars Crag, and once there, stopped to enjoy the unrivalled view down the lake towards the jaws of Borrowdale. Writer and artist John Ruskin once rightly described it as ‘one of the finest views in Europe’.

A relaxing, approachable amble

Walking on towards Calfclose Bay, with an ever-changing view of the lake and its number of little islands, it is easy to forget all life’s difficulties and simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings. With the lake like a mill pond just disturbed by the passing launch it is hard to think of a more relaxing day.

We stopped again at Calfclose Bay to watch a wild swimmer heading out towards Rampsholme Island, with views out over the lake and up towards the Catbells fells behind.

Views over the Lake District fells

On now past the two contrasting buildings of the Lodore Falls Hotel, the Alpine chalet-style extension nestled next to the traditional Cumbria hotel.

With the majestic Castle Rock towering above, we headed on towards the south end of the lake and the wetlands. We stopped again to admire the views north towards Skiddaw.

Skiddaw across Derwentwater

Grange was a welcome sight with its pretty little bridge and tea shops, the perfect place to rest weary legs and simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

Ascending above the waters

The next part of the walk took us away from the lake and a little higher up onto the side of the Catbells fells. This time the views stretched across to the east of the lake and up towards Walla Crag. A bench to admire the view proved a great place to stop for lunch before continuing on with our day.

Bench toward Walla Crag on the Derwentwater Round

High path around DerwentwaterOn previous walks, we dropped down to the lake shore path and took the launch from High Brandlehow, but today we stayed up on the fellside path. It took us along to re-join the lower path further up the lake near the Hawse End outdoor centre.

Concluding our hike

Here, we dropped down and headed through the trees to Lingholm, which provided a much needed afternoon drink stop beside the walled garden that Beatrix Potter credited as the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in the Tale of Peter Rabbit. It is definitely worth visiting!

We neared the end of our walk in the village of Portinscale, having thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.

Only a short walk remained, bringing us back into Keswick town centre with its many shops and cafes.

Interested in walking the Derwentwater Round?

Contours Holidays offer walks along this lovely route, with a dog-friendly option available so you can bring your four-legged friend. Find your holiday here:

Originally published 31/12/19

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