What a treat. The sun came out, the wind dropped and I didn’t need much of an excuse to escape the planned computer updates and head out on some ‘essential guest research’ and walk around Derwentwater. Why haven’t I done this before??
I have walked parts of Derwentwater and even cycled around it as part of the triathlon in the Keswick Mountain Festival, but I’ve not walked the whole way around. Ten miles of flat walking, with plenty of places to stop and admire the spectacular beauty, as well enjoy my lunch in the peace and quiet. Who wouldn’t want to do this?!
From Maple Bank, you can walk to Portinscale, about 2 miles away, to start your walk or you can catch the bus into Keswick, as the bus stop is about 1 minute from our front door. You can also park at the car park beside the Theatre by the Lake, or at the Rugby Club or Football Club for the day, or head to the Great Wood National Trust car park, just outside Keswick. Plenty of options. Walking to Portinscale and going clockwise means you could grab a coffee and brownie first at Harry’s Bean Machine beside the footbridge in Portinscale. Or you can have that as your reward at the end of your walk. Another option is to plan to finish at the Swinside Inn for some fabulous beer and food, either in the beer garden or in the restaurant. And then you have a nice leisurely 40 mins amble back to the House afterwards.
I decided to grab a take-away coffee and croissant in Keswick and then headed off through the town, down to the Theatre and onto the lakeside, going clockwise. We have had quite a bit of rain over the last two weeks, so the lake was quite full, so we headed up into the grounds of the Derwentwater Independent Hostel, along a ‘permissive footpath’, rather than walk along the pavement of the road. We then dropped back down onto the lakeshore just before Lodore Falls Hotel, and from there headed along the path to the Chinese Bridge and the boarded walkway. Once past the estuary the path takes you naturally around the lake beneath Catbells, past Lingholme Kitchen and their gawjus alpacas, down to Nicole End Marina and back into Portinscale.
It was a really magical walk, and we were completely blessed by the weather. At some points, I felt like I was in the middle of a Swallows and Amazons film set. I’ve recommended this walk to many of our guests as a good walk to do to stretch off the legs after a full day climbing upwards, as well as for those days when you just want to stay below the clouds and keep low. I’m so glad that I finally did it. It’s straight forward to follow, and we have laminated pdfs in the House for folks to take with them. And best of all, you don’t need to drive to get there. Just leave your car in our private car park, set yourself up with a good breakfast, and grab a sandwich from the Village Shop in Braithwaite as you head off.