Keswick landing stages


Route: Keswick and Friar’s Crag

Area: North Western Lake District

Date of walk: 26th January 2024

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 3.5 miles

Ascent: 100 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny, very cold and windy

We 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

We parked in the large car park next to the Theatre by the Lake on the outskirts of Keswick. After a short diversion into Hope Park we walked past the theatre and Keswick Landing Stages, following the obvious lakeshore path 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 we 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

We 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 we carried on around the lakeshore path for a short distance until we 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

We arrived at the far point of the walk, Calfclose Bay, where a fine bench gives wonderful views to the head of Derwent Water. We were hoping to revisit the Centenary Stone, a modern sculpture set in the bay, placed there to commemorate the Centenary of the National Trust in the Lake District. Following almost non-stop rain for much of January, the lake level was so high that the stone was completely submerged

From here we retraced our steps to end a short but sweet walk

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