Use the excellent ferry service to enjoy this Derwentwater walk along its western shores. The paths pick their way amongst the trees on the shoreline and the views over the lake are always interesting.
The pretty woodland shores which form the ‘other side’ of Derwentwater are as attractive as any in the Lake District. Many lakes in the area have limited shoreline walking. This is partly due to private ownership and subsequent lack of access but also Derwentwater is a ‘flatter’ valley. The lake is one of the shallowest and there is an area between it and the steeper mountain slopes which is unusual. As a result this far shoreline is characterised by rocky outcrops and attractive inlets filled with shale beaches. The popular side of Derwentwater where the road, choked with traffic, is heading up Borrowdale is a barren place to walk. The shore is too near the road for any enjoyment. Fortunately the road on the Catbells side is too high and the trees too thick to disturb the walker.
There is only limited parking under Catbells. Therefore it is a walk best combined with a ride on a steamer. By far the most attractive section of the walk is from the landing stage at Lodore, past the mouth of the lake and the River Derwent, and through the woods to Low Brandelhow. Once arriving at Low Brandelhow take your time picking your route back. The path winds its way close to the shore but it is quite possible to climb a little which improves the views across the lake. Where the River Derwent enters the lake is prone to flooding. Decking has now been laid but I have waded across waist deep with a child on my back and the dog swimming beside me. Despite what I thought this can be an exciting walk!
I would always suggest jumping on the steamer first. This means that there is no reliance on the steamer timetable.
If you are with a young family (summer months only!) make them strip off and have a swim. We all did in the past.
The ferry from Keswick leaves every hour from Keswick during the summer and 3 times a day during the winter months.
Simple really. Keep the lake close by!
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