Derwentwater Circular

view cottages near derwent water

Just a short walk away from Keswick town is the stunning Derwent Lake, one of the core bodies of water in the Lake District and overlooked by the striking and sometimes dramatic Cumbrian Mountains.

As well as displaying magnificent natural beauty, Derwentwater also boasts a far-reaching historical and literary background.

Image Credits: alh1CC BY-ND 2.0

This circular walk around Derwentwater provides a beautiful location from which to explore some of the Lake District’s most scenic spots.

Leading you through beautiful fields and enchanting woodlands, as well as walking you around the beautiful body of water that is Derwentwater.

Derwentwater is also a great spot for paddle sports, picnicking, and plenty more.


Sykes Cottages has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. Sykes Cottages does not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained on this website.

  • Child friendly
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Paddle sports
  • Historic site
  • Dog friendly


  1. Begin at the Keswick Launch, continuing past the jetties and along the gravel path towards Friar’s Crag.
  2. At the fork in the path, head right to find the viewpoint for Friar’s Crag.
  3. Follow the steps down with the lake on your right and join the waymarked path. Follow the route through the gate, before entering a second gate through woodlands known as The Ings.
  4. Turn right at the woodland’s exit, before crossing a cattle grid into a field. Continue along the path past Stable Hills Cottages towards the lake.
  5. Follow through a gate and continue into a second, smaller woodland. Follow the path down to reach Calfclose Bay.
  6. Continue along the lakeshore round the bay, passing a stand of Scots Pines. Take the footbridge over a ghyll.
  7. Follow the route to the left beside the ghyll, continuing to a stile in the wall. Here, turn right along the roadside footpath until you reach the Ashness Gate landing stage and a bus stop.
  8. Upon reaching the jetty, continue along the path towards the shore and round the promontory. When you reach the road again, follow the top of the stone walkway below the road to reach Kettlewell Car Park.
  9. Divert away from the lake through the ancient woodland on the other side of the road. Cross over the road by the entrance to the car park and turn right onto a rocky footpath.
  10. When you reach the Lodore Falls Hotel, follow the waymarked path to the left to the foot of Lodore Falls. Walk over the footbridge and round the rear of the hotel.
  11. When you reach the road, cross over and turn left. Take the gate and stile on your right leading to the track signposted to Manesty.
  12. Continue towards the River Derwent and over the footbridge, locally known as the ‘Chinese Bridge’.
  13. Follow the boardwalk towards the gate at the far end and follow the path with the lake on your right.
  14. Next, enter a woodland through a gate and continue until you reach a drive. Here, turn right and continue along a track bearing left to a kissing gate.
  15. Follow the path which bears right through some old mine workings known as Brandelhow Bay. Follow the heap of mine waste to the shoreline towards High Brandelhow landing stage.
  16. Continue on the shoreline path through the woodlands of Brandelhow Park before arriving at the Low Brandelhow landing stage.
  17. Continue through the gate by the jetty and follow the path bearing left away from the lake. Follow a second gate and turn right when you reach a tarmac drive, heading past Hawse End Outdoor Centre.
  18. Take the second path on your right just past the private drive to Derwent Bay. Follow through woodland and cross a field, venturing through more woodland. Take the gate out of here and cross the road back onto the waymarked track. Cross a drive and make your way down the path to Nichol End Marine and the landing stage.
  19. Make a left and walk along the track to reach the road to Portinscale. Turn right and head through the village of Portinscale, turning right at the first major junction. Continue along the road past the Derwentwater Hotel to cross the suspension bridge over the River Derwent.
  20. Continue along the road before turning right on a footpath between fields. When you reach the main road, cross the bridge right over the River Greta. Upon reaching the mini roundabout, head straight into the Market Square.
  21. Venture through the Market Square and past the Moot Hall, taking the right-hand exit out of the Market Square onto Lake Road. Take the paved street on your right by the George Fisher store, and at the bottom of the hill, bear left through the subway. Turn left and follow the pavement back around to your starting point.


activityarrow_downarrow_leftsmall-rightarrow-top-rightbikeguidescamerachild-friendlycircularclockCottagecrossdangerdestinationpindownloaddropdown-arrowemailFamilyfinish-flagflagfloraflowergroupHeartinfo-altdidyouknowInspirationlinearlocationmap-pinmapparkingpawphonerulersearchshare Facebook Google Plus Instagram LinkedIn Pinterest Twitter YouTube ui-24px-glyph-2_grid-45popularsun-cloudtexturef-check-glyph-16toggleVideoWalkingwheelchair