Friars Crag, Derwent Water

Friars Crag

Route: Friars Crag

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 23rd September 2022

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 3.0 miles

Ascent: 100 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny

I only had time for a short walk today, and decided to revisit Friars Crag on the east shore of Derwent Water. Friars Crag is a rocky promontory jutting into the lake about half a mile from the boat landing stages. John Ruskin described the view as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe

I parked in the large car park next to the Theatre by the Lake on the outskirts of Keswick. After walking past the theatre and Keswick Landing Stages I followed the obvious path leading to Friar’s Crag. There are good views across the lake from the path, which is wheelchair friendly and easy to follow. Along the way I passed by Derwent Isle, owned by the National Trust. The house on the island is inhabited, and is open to the public for five days every year, making it the only inhabited island in the Lake District which opens to visitors

I soon arrived at Friar’s Crag, so named because it was believed to be the departure point for monks making a pilgrimage to St Herbert’s Island, located south west of the crag. The view was as wonderful as ever and after admiring it for a while I carried on around the lakeshore path for a short distance until I reached Strangshag Bay. From here the path heads inland through a marshy area known as The Ings. A raised boardwalk helps to keep shoes dry along this section

I arrived at Calfclose Bay, where a fine bench gives wonderful views to the head of Derwent Water. I continued as far as the Centenary Stone, a modern sculpture set in the bay, placed there to commemorate the Centenary of the National Trust in the Lake District. The stone is carved out of a boulder of volcanic rock from the Borrowdale Valley and the design represents ten segments across ten rings, a century. Differing lake levels mean that the stone is sometimes submerged and sometimes stands on the shore.

My time had run out by now and so from here I retraced my steps, taking an alternative path at Strandshag Bay, to end a short but sweet walk

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