Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Length – 4.6km / Max Width – 1.91km

Derwent Water is one of the most popular lakes to visit, being adjacent to Keswick, a town just off the A66 with plenty of attractions and shops.

The Cumbria Way, a national trail, traverses one side of the lake, and it is overlooked by Cat Bells, a Wainwright Fell that is often one of the first fells beginner walkers attempt. Steamers are in operation on the lake, and it also possible to hire various types of boat.


Keswick has a large lakeside pay and display car park located at Grid Ref NY 266 229 with signs that will direct you from the town centre. There are also a number of car parks within the town itself. Alternatively, the B5289 runs alongside the eastern edge of the lake and has several parking spots along the route, including one located at Grid Ref NY 267 196.

On the western side of the lake, a single track route runs between the villages of Portinscale and Grange and also offers a number of parking spots, including at the foot of Cat Bells (Grid Ref NY 247 212) and at the entrance to Brandelow Park woods (Grid Ref NY 249 202). Both of these points give access onto the Cumbrian Way that runs alongside the western shore of Derwent Water.


Keswick is a bustling town with plenty of shops, cafés, and pubs etc. At the other side of the Lakeside Car Park there is a large park (Hope Park) where you will find a café, snack shop, crazy golf and pitch and putt courses, and a mini boating pond.

At the lake shore by the lakeside car park you can board the steamers or hire a boat, and there is a café, theatre with restaurant, and a National Trust shop where you can buy duck food to feed the large population of geese. There are public toilets in the car park.

Walking Trails

The Cumbrian Way is a national trail that offers an accessible way of exploring Cumbria. The trail runs through Keswick and along the western shore of Derwent Water, through woodland and along the edge of the lake itself, with plenty of picnic spots on the way.

Access onto the Cumbrian way from Keswick is down a small side street adjacent to Lucas’ Italian Restaurant on the A5271 (Grid Ref NY 264 237). You can follow this trail all the way down to the village of Grange and then walk back up to Keswick on the other side of the Lake along the B5289, approximately 8 miles in total.

Alternatively, by the lakeshore in Keswick there are a number of wooded areas offering short walks, including that to Friars Crag (NY 264 223) where you will find a spectacular view across the lake towards the Borrowdale Fells.