Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Route: Derwent Water

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 8th November 2023

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.8 miles

Ascent: 650 feet

Weather: Cloudy, improving later on

Today’s walk was a new one for us. We’ve followed the individual paths along it on numerous occasions but as part of different routes. The route which we plotted today would enable us to follow one of the best sections of the long distance Cumbria Way beside the west shore of Derwent Water, and to return at higher level with wonderful views over the lake. We hoped that the autumn colours would be showing well and we were in luck, they were at their peak

We parked in one of the roadside spaces near Hawes End at the foot of Catbells (room for six cars only). We were out of season and arrived early but at other times parking here may be difficult thanks to the popularity of Catbells. There are other roadside spaces near the route but no car parks so I recommend an early start to be sure of finding a space. A preferable and much more interesting alternative would be to use the services of the Keswick Launch, which could be taken from any of the landing stages around the lake and to disembark at Hawes End

We set off in a clockwise direction, passing through Hawes End Outdoor Centre, and reached the shore of Derwent Water at Otterbield Bay. The Cumbria Way weaved in and out of rocky coves as we followed the delightful path to the head of the lake. On reaching it we turned right to head towards Manesty. A very short and quiet road section brought us to the Hause Gate descent path from Catbells. We climbed uphill for a while and at a junction turned right to start out along an elevated path which contours around the lower flanks of Catbells. The views over Derwent Water towards Skiddaw and Blencathra are wonderful. All too soon we arrived back at the roadside above Hawse End and from here it was a short stroll back to the start

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