Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Route: Derwent Water – Nichol End to Lodore

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 10th January 2020

Walkers: Andrew, Gilly, Phil and Denise

Distance: 4.7 miles

Ascent: 200 feet

Weather: Cloudy with sunny patches

A full circuit of Derwent Water is about 10 miles, and suffers from the defect that the Keswick road runs along much of the shore line on the eastern side. The road can be avoided in several places, but its presence is intrusive. It’s possible to overcome this issue by using the services of the Keswick Launch, which we’ve often done before. This enables a route to be followed along the quiet western shore without having to retrace your steps.

We arrived at Nichol End in good time to catch the morning launch to Lodore, but on arrival it became apparent that my plan had a fatal flaw – there’s no service between 16th December and 31st January. I hadn’t noticed this when quickly checking the timetable. Once the curses had died down, we soon came up with a revised plan, and decided to walk to Lodore, from where we could catch the bus into Keswick, thus omitting the road section. From there we could walk back to Nichol End.

From the marina we joined a path, part of the long distance Cumbria Way, which passes by Lingholm before descending to the lakeshore just beyond Hawes End Outdoor Centre. This is the finest part of the route, passing through ancient woodland and around several attractive bays before reaching the head of Derwent Water. We followed the boardwalk across the head of the lake, crossed the Chinese Bridge, and arrived at Lodore. There is a regular bus service opposite the hotel and from here we caught the bus back into the centre of Keswick.

This left us with a 2 mile walk back to Nichol End which I’ve not shown on the map, since anyone following this route is recommended to check that the launch is operating and to follow the walk from Lodore back to Nichol End, as we’d originally planned to do.

Despite the bad start, it had been a wonderful walk

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