Derwentwater

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Places to visit
  • entrust sculpture on the derwenter walk
  • Friars Crag, Keswick
  • man standing on the banks of derwenter

About Derwentwater

Derwentwater is the widest lake in the Lake District and is often referred to as ‘Keswick’s Lake’, due to its close proximity to the pretty market town. From the main square it is just a 10-minute walk to the lake along cobbled streets and through the picturesque Hope Park.

Visitors can enjoy magnificent views in every direction during a day trip to Derwentwater from Park Cliffe caravan and camping park. The Southern end offers a glimpse of the Borrowdale Valley and the Cat Bell fells can be enjoyed to the West. One of the Lake District National Parks loved viewpoints, Friars Crag can be found on Derwentwater’s Eastern side. Sit on the scenic bench and enjoy far-reaching vista across the lake to Maiden Moor and Castle Crag at the far end.

Keswick

Keswick is situated on the shores of Derwentwater and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Lake District National Park. Its quaint streets are lined with outdoor equipment stores and independent boutiques selling clothing, homeware and gifts.

There’s an excellent selection of pubs and restaurants, including Michelin Star Restaurant, The Cottage in the Wood. Younger members of the family will enjoy attractions such as the Derwentwater Pencil Museum and Puzzling Place – two of the best rainy day activities in Cumbria.

Derwentwater walk

We highly recommend exploring the Derwentwater walk during a trip to Keswick. The waymarked path is approximately 10 miles long and follows the shoreline around the entirety of the lake. The route is flat and easy, making it an excellent choice for families or walkers looking to enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll, without having to worry about navigation. It can be completed in one go or as a series of shorter walks.

You’ll pass through a variety of landscapes as you complete the route and will have plenty of opportunity to stop and soak up the lake views. Some of the land surrounding Derwentwater has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, thanks to its abundance of flora, fauna and wildlife in the area. Keep your eyes peeled – you might even catch a glimpse of an elusive red squirrel.

There are plenty of picnic areas to enjoy a bite to eat and a well-earned rest, or you can take some time out to sample some of the excellent cafes and restaurants en-route. Highlights of the route include, the Hundred Year Stone, which marks 100 years of the National Trust, the Chinese Bridge, the Ruskin Memorial and Entrust Sculpture.

Typically, hikers start the Derwentwater Walk by the lakeshore at Keswick Launch. The Tourist Information will be able to offer guidance on where to go and will provide you with a map.

Things to do

There’s plenty of attractions to keep the whole family entertained during a day exploring Derwentwater and Keswick. Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled day of adventure activities, or something a bit more sedate, we guarantee you’ll find a memorable way to spend your day.

Theatre by the Lake

Pay a visit to Theatre by the Lake – one of Cumbria’s leading arts and culture venues. It situated in an unbeatable location on the shore of Derwentwater and boasts a varied programme of live music, comedy and theatre performances throughout the year.

The café serves an excellent selection of dishes using produce from around The Lakes. You can take in the spectacular views as you enjoy a tasty lunch and pint of local ale.

Keswick Launch Co.

Sit back and relax on board one of Keswick Launch Co.’s scenic cruises as you tour the lake and experience the scenery from the water. The round lake cruise takes around 50 minutes and offers magnificent views of some of Derwentwater’s best loved sights. There’s a regular service throughout the year and covered decks if the great British weather’s taken a turn for the worse.

There are 8 jetties on the route where you can disembark and venture further on foot and explore landmarks including Lodore Falls, Brandelhow and Lingolm – Beatrix Potter’s holiday home

If you’d prefer to explore the lake at your own pace, Keswick Launch Co. also have rowing boats and self-drive motorboats for hire!

Watersports

Derwentwater is a popular venue for watersports enthusiasts looking to hone their skills during a holiday in the Lake District. Derwentwater Marina offers lessons geared towards beginners and those with some experience. They also offer equipment hire including, canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and windsurfing boards.

Getting to Derwentwater

Derwentwater is situated towards the North of the Lake District National Park and around an hour drive from Park Cliffe Caravan and Camping Park. If you’d prefer to travel via public transport, you can catch the 555 or 559 bus from Bowness to Keswick. The journey takes around 90 minutes and there’s a regular service throughout the year.

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