A Circuit of Derwent Water including Walla Crag.

Start. Keswick.

Route. Brundholme Road - Upper Fitz Park - St Johns Street - Ambleside Road - Springs Road - Springs Wood - Rake Foot - Walla Crag - Falcon Crag - Ashness Bridge - Ashness Gate - Barrow Bay - Lowcrag Wood - Lodore - Chinese Bridge - Great Bay - Manesty Park - Brundhow Bay - Withesike Bay - Victoria Bay - Otterbield Bay - Hawes End - The Park - Silver Hill - Lingholm - Fawe Park - Portinscale - Cumbria Way - Keswick - Crosthwaite Road - Lower Fitz Park - Brundholme Road.

Notes. Island studded Derwent Water a glittering gem in the mouth of Borrowdale, on two sides mountains rise, grey scree flowing into the heavily wooded lower slopes, here woodland kisses the shoreline, a perfect invitation to the enthusiastic rambler.This walk circumnavigates the lake taking in a wonderful mix of woodland and wet land, tranquil bays and an abundance of wildlife, and because we're hill walkers lets start the day on Walla Crag drinking in stunning views over Derwent Water and the Vale of Keswick, our route can be traced, laid out before us, and a fine route it is.

The easiest place to start this walk is at the Moot Hall, I started in Brundholme Road, once I'd negotiated Upper Fitz Park I headed for the Moot Hall, from this imposing building home to the Keswick Tourist Information Centre, St Johns Street ushered me passed the cinema into Ambleside road. On reaching the foot of a steep hill (Manor Brow) Springs Road immerged from the right, this I followed as far as Springs Farm where I entered a wooded gorge. With a rough path under foot I continued, the path skirted the edge of the gorge gifting me with stunning views down Borrowdale. After a short ascent the path crossed the gorge to access a tarmac lane, I continued climbing taking the right fork signed Walla Crag. The steep climb that followed got me up quickly, I hung around on the summit drinking in the views, just soaking up the atmosphere, I had the place to myself.

Drunk on staggering views I wandered south, across the edge of Low Moss, I forded the head of Cat Gill then paid homage to Falcon Crag loved by climbers. An easy descent followed, under the broken cliffs of Brown Knotts eventually terminating at the timeless beauty of Ashness Bridge, a traditional stone-built pack horse bridge, possibly the most photographed bridge in the Lake District.

After a refreshment stop the tarmac lane ushered me to the jetty at Ashness Gate, here I joined the ever popular lake shore path. Walking with the crowds, not always ideal but on this route you won't have it all to yourself. Ignoring all the other walkers only speaking to the ones that spoke to me (which was most) I continued my trek.

Round idyllic bays, through spring woodland alive with bluebell and wild garlic, passed the Lodore Hotel to access a boardwalk path crossing boggy ground at the head of the lake. Great Bay came and went, passed Myrtle Bay and Abbot's Bay I strolled, through the delightful woodland of Manesty Park, I paused for another brew on the boulder strewn lake shore before continuing to Hawes End. Many walkers jump on the ferry here, let the boat take the strain, enjoy views from the lake, not me I had something else in mind.

An early start meant it was nearly lunch time, what better place to dine than the Chalet Tearooms and Restaurant at Portinscale, if I could get a seat. Through The Park I strolled passed Stub Hill and Silver Hill and Lingholm, passed the marina at Nichol End then into Portinscale for lunch. Here's a wee tip, cyclists know all the good places to eat, I know I've peddled as well as walked around the Lake District, the Chalet always has a row of cycles outside. With a full stomach I made my way along the Cumbria Way, less than a mile of easy walking back to Keswick.

view route map.


Ascending along the edge of Springs Wood with this wonderful view over Derwent Water for company.

Rising into the western sky, Grisedale Pike.

The scene over the Vale of Keswick, seen from the summit of Walla Crag.

Keswick nestled in the shadow of the Skiddaw massif as viewed from the Walla Crag.

Walla Crag may be low in stature but the summit provides a fine viewpoint, to the northeast Blease Fell and mighty Blencathra.

The summit cairn with fine views to Clough Head and Great Dodd.

From the edge of Low Moss views over Derwent Water.

Above Falcon Crag much loved by climbers, looking over Derwent Water to Skelgill Bank and Cat Bells backed by the northwestern fells, the principle tops being Crag Hill and Grisedale Pike.

From above the climbing cliffs of Falcon Crag, stunning view over island studded Derwent Water as far as Bassenthwaite Lake.

Striding out along the shore at Barrow Bay.

Heading along the lake shore, looking to sylvan King's How and little Castle Crag with the cliffs of Maiden Moor to the right.

Cat Bells as seen over Derwent Water.

Great Bay with views to Skiddaw.

I've been there, Walla Crag.

The Landing Stage at Brandelhow Bay.

Wandering through dappled light, the lake to my right, woodland my left.

Wooded St Herbert's Island with Blencathra rising behind.

Taking a breather, drinking in the atmosphere and stunning views from the alluvion shore of Derwent Water.

Galmire Bay looking to the steep slopes of Cat Bells,

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