Derwentwater is one of the most popular and attractive of the Lake District lakes but a complete walk round is rare. The reason for this is the proximity of the road to the eastern shore. However there is an excellent circuit.
Over 40 years I have walked the shores of Derwentwater but I have never walked the complete circuit. It took a group of walkers from Sweden to convince me it was a good plan.
There are many different options if you undertake the walk round Derwentwater. This is the best. Start by keeping close to the lake shores until arriving at the road to Watendath. Head up this road to the iconic sites of Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. From here we dropped steeply down near the large hotel of Lodore Falls. Following the easy crossing of the flood plains to the south end of Derwentwater we took to the slopes of a steep climb of Catbells. The views justify the effort of the climb. The descent is also steep but soon joins the well sign posted Cumbria Way long distance path. Then it is Portinscale and back to Keswick.
There are two obvious options to this. On the east shores a climb of Walla Crag is makes for an excellent alternative to the shoreline path. However it is early in the walk for such a climb and you may regret it later on. In contrast there are simpler options than the climb of Catbells. Here there is a path which skirts the fell side or a second which sticks closely to the lake.
Shepherd’s Cafe at Lodore Farm makes a great break half way round the walk, particularly in good weather. Simple food and drink, saves the packed lunch.
The trickiest section is the path down to the valley from above Surprise View. It is also the quietest section, away from the crowds at all time of the year.
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