Derwentwater west shores

  • Attractive wooded lakeside walk
  • Rocky outcrops and pretty inlets
  • Parts are quiet and peaceful

The pretty woodland shores which form the ‘other side’ of Derwentwater are as attractive as any in the Lake District. Aided by Derwentwater being shallower than the other major lakes there is not the sheer drops in to the water and the subsequent loss of a shoreline. Derwentwater 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 so the reality is this 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. I would always suggest jumping on the steamer first which means that there is no reliance on the steamer timetable; once you arrive 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 and although decking has now been laid 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!

Recommend: If you are with a young family (summer months only!) make them strip off and have a swim….we all did in the past.

Transport: The ferry from Keswick leaves every hour from Keswick during the summer and 3 times a day during the winter months

Download GPX file

Derwentwater map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL4 The English Lakes North West Buy Map
Start Point: NY 253207. This is Low Brandelhow once you have arrived on the steamer from Lodore.
Height to Climb: 17 ms (56 feet)
Terrain: The path is very good from Low Brandelhow to its appearance on the road at the Borrowdale Hotel....unless it is under water
Eating & Drinking: The Borrowdale Hotel is the obvious choice with great views from the conservatory but there is a more basic tea shop 100 yards to the north for those who have had a swim.
Similar Walks Nearby: Keswick, Latrigg & the Old Railway
Great Crag from Watendlath
Explore Upper Borrowdale
Places to Stay:


Swinside Lodge HotelMary Mount, Derwentwater