Derwent Water Circular Walk is a 10.8 mile loop trail located near Keswick, Cumbria, England that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and nature trips.

Length10.8 miElevation gain1,371 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsPaddle sportsWalkingRunningLakeViewsWildlifeHistoric site
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There can surely be no other more satisfying walk in the Lake District, that offers so much, with no height gained, is a decent length and occupies a whole day than a circuit of Derwent Water. This circuit is in an anticlockwise direction starting by the suspension bridge over the River Derwent near Portinscale. The option to include Nichol End marina is well worth the slight detour. The estate of Lingholm is traversed mainly in woodland. The views open-up again after the Hawes End Outdoor Centre. At Brandelhow Park are the carved wooden hands celebrating the centenary of the National Trust's first purchase in 2002 of these woods. Next follows Brandelhow Bay and the house on Branelhow Point. At the large house on the slopes of Cat Bells called Brackenburn used to live Sir Hugh Walpole. In 1930 Walpole began his series of historical romance novels called 'Rogue Herries' which were set in Cumberland. Following on is Manesty Park and the amazing board walk of recycled plastic to cross the wet section at the head of the lake. Note that even this can get covered in severe wet conditions. Crossing the newly renovated bridge is the half-way point. Climbers can usually be spotted on Shepherd's Crag on most days. Toilets are passed before reaching the Lodore Hotel - it says walkers are welcome !! If required the ferry can be used from here to return to Keswick. After a short road and woodland section the lake shore is regained at a National Trust car park. On our visit the lake was at a very low level and walking on the shingle was not a problem, but conditions can vary. Looking at the lines of debris on the shore shows the varying water levels. At Calfclose Bay lookout for the half submerged centenary stone. This is to celebrate 100yrs of the National Trust. There is a conveniently placed bench on the headland. The large island opposite here is St. Herbert's Island. After the pasture land the route swings inland at Stable Hills re-emerging at Strandshag Bay opposite which is Lord's Island. The viewpoint of Friar's Crag follows where there is a memorial to Ruskin. The boat landings has a newly constructed promenade with picnic tables and benches. From here it is either through the center of Keswick or you can cross Crow Park from infront of the 'Theatre By The Lake', to reach the far end of The Headlands. After crossing the road bridge over the River Greta a path alongside the Keswick showground returns to the starting point.

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Reviews (106)
Photos (613)
Activities (90)
Completed (199)
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Hayley Coutinho
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HikingBridge out

amazing walk but on 31-03-2020 the south pass is flooded and it's an extra 2 miles by road to do the loop.

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Ailsa Wood
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HikingGreat!

Fabulous views and easy to follow paths. A good distance walk and quite easy. There is several must see sculptures, the hundred year stone, the hands and the Ruskin monument.

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Joe Batt
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Hiking

Easy walk but a long way

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annette mcqueen
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Hiking
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Emma Stewart
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HikingFlooded

Done this with my three dogs who all loved it, it is a long walk so if you’re thinking of taking dogs they’ll have to be pretty fit. The scenery is unreal.

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Mike Hollister
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Hiking

A nice, easy, flat 10 miles. Beautiful views. Did it today in snow and it was amazing. There is a mile or two through the town and along roads at the start/finish which is pretty rubbish but other than that its great. We parked in the main lake carpark, but if you want to save £8 one reviewer mentions parking at the suspension bridge, its right on the trail and plenty of room on the ‘town’ side of it.

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Brian Winter
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Hiking

Amazing views Amazing November weather.

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Isabell Mehl
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Hiking

Route is easy to follow with some stunning views. A bit off the tracks but if you fancy a really good gastropub have a stop at The Pheasant Inn.

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Mark Ashmore
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WalkingGreat!

Great route taking in so many different views and terrains. Stunning on a sunny autumn day!

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Kasia Harrold
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HikingGreat!
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Aston Craddock
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Hiking

Some very tough climbs with plenty of rewarding views

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William Rutherford
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HikingGreat!

Easy flat walk with beautiful views over the lake, but quite busy trail.

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Tom Richard
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Bird watchingGreat!Off trail

This is a nice, easy, albeit fairly long walk. The entire route is flat so there is no elevation, unless you decide to detour up Cats Bella. The only down side is that there are no cafes, toilets etc on the entire route other than Keswick.

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Alex Wiezak
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Hiking

Nice 18km. Starting and ending at Castlerigg Campsite. Heads through Keswick, up Cats Bells and finishes with a loop of the lake ending with a steady climb through woodland back to the campsite

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Tyson Elliott
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Hiking

Decent trail, decided to go up Cat Bells on the west side of the lake. Decent views.

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Sandra Lovatt
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Hiking
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Katie Fishbourne
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Hiking
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Charlotte Peacock
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Hiking

we went off trail loads and ended up doing our own route

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Damian Świstowski
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Hiking
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Laura Harris
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Hiking
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Matt Haskins
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Hiking
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John Nelson
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WalkingGreat!
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Ayden R
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WalkingGreat!

Enjoyable on a warm and sunny day.

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Ellie K
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HikingGreat!

Nice easy walk. The trail does get pretty busy though.

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Giovanni palombo
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Hiking

Nice and varied trail around the lake. We did it clockwise from Kenswick to Hawes End. Kids got tired at the end (fair after 10 km!) so we took the ferry. Very convenient. Stunning scenery.

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James Gunn
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Hiking

Child and dog friendly. Very flat enjoyable walk. Places to get refreshments if required. Very scenic route.

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Mireia Oliver
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Hiking

Nice and easy walk done in 3.5 hrs with Stuning views. Good walk for everyone!

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Rebecca Porter
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Hiking

Lovely walk. Would be nicer on a hot day. (Top tip....don’t forget your walking boots and end up having to do the walk in vibrant!! )

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Louise Radford
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Hiking

Nice easy walk. Lovely views around the lake

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