Circuit of Derwentwater

  • Full circuit of the lake
  • Options to stick to the lake or go higher
  • Full of contrast

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 around the lake and each is full of interest. However we took the route lakeside to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. From here we dropped down to near the large hotel of Lodore Swiss, crossed the valley and then climbed Catbells. The descent from Catbells is steep but soon joins the Cumbria Way, Portinscale and back to Keswick.

There are two obvious options to this. On the east shores a climb of Walla Crag is definitely preferable (marked on the map) whilst on the western side an excellent low level path (not on the shore itself) cuts across the flanks of Catbells.


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.

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 264236. The walk starts outside the Moot Hall in Keswick and there is plenty of car parking nearby.
Height to Climb: 680m (2,230 feet)
Terrain: Variety of paths, some roads and depending on the route some steep ground.
Eating & Drinking: Plenty of choice in Keswick, cafe half way round near Lodore.
Similar Walks Nearby: Derwentwater via Walla Crag
Dock Tarn from Watendlath
Places to Stay: