Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Route: Derwent Water

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 24th October 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.2 miles

Ascent: 600 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells

Chasing autumn colours, we decided to revisit Borrowdale and its Atlantic Oakwoods for the second time this month (click here for the previous visit). The valley is home to the largest area of native broadleaf woodland of any of the Lake District valleys. These woodlands are the last surviving fragments of an enormous ancient forest that once stretched all the way down the west coast of Britain and Ireland. They receive an incredible 11 feet of rainfall per year and qualify as temperate rainforest

We parked in the village of Grange in a small free car park by the double arched bridge over the River Derwent. Heading north, we followed the lane out of the village and past the Borrowdale Gates Hotel. A little further along we left the lane to join the Cumbria Way, which leads to Great Bay at the head of Derwent Water. We then walked through Manesty Park, admiring the wonderful colours in the woodland as we went along. We hadn’t decided in advance as to when we’d start the return journey – there are various options, and this walk could easily be extended or shortened depending on circumstances

When we arrived at Brandelhow Bay we decided to head back, and climbed up the foothills of Catbells to join a mid-level path above Derwent Water. I’ve walked this path many times before and it’s one of my favourites, with lovely views over the lake and the surrounding fells. Near Manesty we could have simply returned to Grange along the lane, but preferred to keep to the higher path, which offered some wonderful views towards Castle Crag, one of the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’

As we arrived above Grange we left the mid-level path to descend back into the village to end another wonderful walk in this heavenly valley

For other walks here, visit my Find Walks page and enter the name in the ‘Search site’ box

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