The Derwentwater Way

As part of a new series of blogs, my Dad and I are heading out on a variety of walks in the Lake District, finding spectacular, interesting, or quirky things along the way. The first of our walks took us around the Derwentwater Way, a ten mile route encircling the lake. I’ve added a rudimentary map of the route we took to the end of this post, but the Keswick visitor website has another downloadable, easy-to-follow map, which can be found here. The walk is a very popular, fairly easy and flat walk in the Lake District, and is generally well sign-posted.

We began our walk in Portinscale, a small village just down the road from Keswick, where it’s far easier to find a parking space. We quickly reached the Lingholm Estate, which has strong ties to a very well-known Lake District resident, Beatrix Potter. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stay and look around properly, but I am very much looking forward to going back for a spot of afternoon tea! The Walled Garden at Lingholm was apparently Beatrix Potter’s inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in her Peter Rabbit book…

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Moving on though. The next part of our walk took us down past Hawes End and towards Brandelhow. On this chunk of pathway, you’ll find a wooden sculpture, named ‘Entrust’ which commemorates 100 years of National Trust care at Brandelhow.

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It’s worth noting too that the Derwentwater Steamers operate on the lake and are a great way of hopping from one spot to another if you don’t want to walk the whole way. They are run by the Keswick Launch Company, and are pretty reasonable for price. If you’re over 16, it’ll cost you £10.50 for a day pass. The pass can be used to hop-on and hop-off throughout the day too. I’ve added a link to their website here.

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One of my favourite parts of this walk was when we entered the ominously-named ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’, which was described by Wainwright as ‘the loveliest square mile in Lakeland’ and I have to agree.

The ‘Jaws’ are a two crags which create a narrowing at the entrance to Borrowdale, named Castle Crag and Kings How. They were carved thousands upon thousands of years ago by the ice, giving the whole area an eerie dominance in the years since and those still to come. It’s got a very ‘Jurassic Park’ vibe.

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Once you come away from the Jaws and into Lodore, you’re essentially half way. Lodore is known more for its waterfalls and hotel than anything else. The waterfalls sit just behind the hotel and were a huge attraction for Victorian tourists to the Lake District. The poem ‘The Cataract of Lodore’ was written about the falls, but I shan’t recite the whole thing here, it’s far far far too long!

As we carried on from Lodore, it was essentially a case of following the lake all the way back to Keswick, coming in from Friar’s Crag, a well-known Derwentwater viewpoint, and then the Theatre by the Lake. There’s a lot that goes on along the Derwentwater shores in Keswick, including rowing boat hire if you fancy it! It is a lot of fun, just try not to get pecked by the geese!

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The last part of our walk took us through Keswick Town Centre, where, as Holme family tradition dictates, we had to stop to buy something from the chocolate shop ‘Ye Olde Friars‘. Afterwards, it was only a short walk back to Portinscale and back to our car, and then off home! It was a great day out, and safe to say I slept well that night!

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As promised, here is the very rudimentary map of our walk:

Derwent Water Route

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