A Circuit of Derwent Water.

Start. Keswick (Recreation Ground car park).

Route. Keswick - Crosthwaite Road - High Hill - Cumbria Way - Portinscale - Nicholend - Fawepark - Silver Hill - Overside Wood - The Park - Hawes End - Otterbield Bay - Abbot's Bay - Lodore Hotel - Scree Copice - Kettlewell - Barrow Bay - Ashness Gate - Stable Hill - Strandshag Bay - Frier's Crag - Keswick.

Notes. I would never have guessed in a hundred years just how popular this circuit is, I was not alone today, I guess walking in the company of a large cross-section of ramblers is normal on weekends in these parts. Toddlers with grandparents coxing them along at toddler pace, dog walkers and day ramblers, maybe because it was windy, a large slice of seasoned mountain men and women clad in heavy boots and well worn gortex also graced this lake side route, maps at the ready as if there was any chance of getting lost, and me following my nose enjoying fine Autumn colours on a beautiful Lakeland day.

After parking on the Recreation Ground car park I headed down Crosthwaite Road to join High Hill, turning left I wandered to Greta Bridge to be welcomed by a finger-post inviting me to Portinscale. One of many well trod paths walked today it guided me through sheep pastures into staggering mountain scenery. An elegant suspension bridge ushered me over the River Derwent to access Portinscale village, discreet arrows then steered me south through the village, just over half a mile of road walking followed before a finger-post invited me to Hawes End. A rough track ushered me to the marina at Nicholend before swinging right to pass through woodland dressed in Autumn garb, this good trod guided me passed Fawepark, Silver Hill and Stub Hill before reaching a path signed Hawes End, ignoring said path I ventured on down the lane to access the lake shore at Otterbield Bay.

With the well trod lake side path under foot I wandered on, passed Victoria Bay and Withesike Bay, passed the landing stage at Brandelhow Bay crowded with day trippers waiting to catch the ferry back to Keswick. Through Manesty Park passed Myrtle Bay and Great Bay before reaching the Borrowdale Road south of the Lodore Hotel. Unfortunately the path to Lodore Falls was closed due to flood damage forcing me to follow the road passed the majestic Lodore Hotel to access a discreet path running behind a dry stone wall bordering the busy road, this well hidden path deposited me at the Kettlewell car park where I was able to gain access to the lake shore path once more.

On I wandered with stunning views over Derwent Water to Cat Bells for company, along the edge of Barrow Bay passed the landing stage at Ashness Gate before chancing wet feet picking my way along the lake shore. If the water level had been higher it would have been a road walk, but carefully placed steps saw me reach Calfclose Bay with dry feet. Passed Stable Hills I walked before rounding Strandshag Bay to access Friar's Crag. From said crag with stunning views over Derwent Water it was a short walk passed the Theatre by the Lake into Lake Road, then Station Road via Derwent Street to gain access to Fitz Park, with the waters of the River Greta to guide me I wandered through Fitz Park back to the patiently waiting car.

view route map.


Looking to Skiddaw kissed by cloud with Carl Side in sunlight and shade.

Seen from sheep pastures en route to Portinscale, mighty Grisedale Pike.

Striding out through Overside Wood.

In The Park with lots of people and views to Cat Bells.

On view from Otterbield Bay, St Herbert's Island backed by sylvan Walla Crag.

A stunning view over Derwent Water, Lonscale Fell and Blencathra dominate the skyline.

Bleaberry Fell over Derwent Water.

A wonderful view to Skiddaw seen from Brandelhow Bay.

Soaking up the views from Brandelhow Bay, capturing the sun Brandlehow Point.

The Black Crag face of Maiden Moor seen from Manesty Park.

Lit by the afternoon sun Blencathra, with the woodland and scree of Walla Crag in shadow.

High and lofty, head in cloud the Skiddaw massif.

Racing moody shadows paint the Borrowdale face of Maiden Moor.

Shadowed Cat Bells with Skelgill Bank capturing the afternoon sun.

Dark against an azure sky Walla Crag.

Heading along the lake shore, hoping for a dry passage.

One of Lakeland's lesser heights, Castle Crag a blockage in the throat of Borrowdale.

Dramatic views over Derwent Water from Strandshag Bay.

Sunlight catches the lake's sylvan shore revealing the first signs of Autumn's golden gown.

Towards Castle Crag and the Jaws of Borrowdale with the Sca Fell massif dominating the horizon.

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