Derwent Water

rowing boat derwentwater

Derwent Water

As one of the most accessible and visited Lakes in the National Park, Derwent Water has been attracting visitors for centuries.

Located just a short walk from Keswick town centre the lake can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Visitors can choose to amble up to the shores near the Lakes Theatre and while away some time admiring the scenery. To the east of Derwent Water is the viewpoint of Friar’s Crag which projects into the lake which offers stunning views.

Walking around Derwent Water

For those who want a gentle stroll there is a complete round-the-lake walk to enjoy. The path hugs the shoreline and offers great opportunities for picnic stops and relaxing. Calfclose Bay is a perfect picnic spot located about half way along the eastern shoreline. This flat but lengthy route is 8 miles in total so sturdy footwear is recommended. If you don’t want to complete a whole circuit you can jump on a bus back to Keswick as the road runs close to the eastern edge of the lake.

For the more adventurous, the lake offers a perfect starting point to take on the popular walk up Cat Bells. Hikers can hop on one of the regular boats run by the Keswick Launch Company from the Keswick Stage. You can then take the short but scenic trip past the private Derwent Isle island over to the Nichol End. Here you can start your ascent of Cat Bells where on a clear day you will be rewarded with a stunning vista over the lake with the town behind.

On the water

For people who want to have some time on the water, there are a number of motor and self propelled craft options. You can rent these by the hour. For a sedate experience hire a stand up paddle-board, kayak or rowing boat. Then gentle paddle your way around the lake and explore the shores of the lake and its islands.

Alternatively let a motorised propellor take the strain and hire a motor boat. You can then cover a greater distance during your cruise. Explore the many islands, inlets and beaches at your leisure. Powered craft must not exceed 10 nautical mph so the boats are fun, safe and easy to use. Apart from Derwent Island, which is a private residence, boat users are welcome to land on the islands.

How to find Derwent Water

Opening times: Always open

Distance from park
21.2 miles (approx. 44 mins)

Dog Friendly location Dog friendly