18th April 2012

A circuit of Bassenthwaite Lake


Walk Overview
Time 08.30 to 15.35
Duration 7 hr 5 min
Distance 16.3 mile
Ascent 600 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Portinscale Suspension Bridge - over the B5289 - under the A66 - River Derwent footpath - High Stock Bridge - Dodd Wood - Mirehouse - St Bega Church - Bassenthwaite Lake - Scarness - Lakeside Wood - Cottage Wood - Ouse Bridge - Dubwath - footpath next to Bassenthwaite Lake - Thornthwaite - Braithwaite - Newlands Beck Bridge - A66 - Postinscale
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside parking near Portinscale suspension bridge

This is somewhere I tend to start walking from qutie a lot. It's nice and handy for Keswick, Borrowdale, Newlands Valley, Skiddaw, Latrigg and even the Castlerigg Stone Circle area.

The parking is free and no matter at what time of year or time of day I've always managed to get a space here.

From here you're only about 10 minutes walk from Keswick with everything the town has to offer, and in the opposite direction you're less than 5 minutes walk from Portinscale.


Route Map



Today's walk is one I've waned to do for a while now. When I say a while, I actually mean years, yet for one reason or another I've always put it off. Anyway: it was late last night when I made the snap decision to do the walk today.
After this it only leaves Windermere and I'll have walked around all the lakes. If things work out how I'm hoping, I may walk a circuit of Windermere in June.

Looking down the River Derwent to two of today's bridges. We walked over the first one you see here and we walked under the second one. We also walked under another one towards the end of the walk, but that's a different story.

Just about to walk under the A66.

Dodd, taken from the side of the River Derwent.

An unusual view of the north western fells.

And a final picture taken from the side of the River Derwent. This one looking across to Barf and Whinlatter Forest.

High Stock Bridge.

Because of the long walk we needed to do around the southern end of the lake, it was one and a half hours after setting off before we eventually passed the end of the lake; albeit at a distance.

From the Osprey view point I took this picture looking across Bassenthwaite to Barf and Lord's Seat.

The Old Sawmill Tearoom. Last time we were here everyone was sitting outside enjoying one of the hottest March's on record.

Walking down the lane to Mirehouse and St Bega church.

This is the route through Mirehouse us members of the none paying public.

Almost at St Bega Church and also the Lake.


Well there's no point in walking around a lake if you don't go to the waters edge.


On the road to Scarness.

"It's not my fault it's muddy. Think yourself lucky I didn't bring you here in December"

It was a bit overgrown through here with fallen trees across the path, a few broken slats on the boardwalk and lots of mud. It didn't give the impression that many people use this route.

Walking through Cottage Wood.

This is Herwick Croft. During the floods of 2009 the water level was almost halfway up this house.

Bassenthwaite Lake seen from Ouse Bridge.

and now a picture of Ouse Bridge.

Turning around after taking the previous picture you can see the Skiddaw fells, Ullock Pike and Dodd.

The path on this side of the lake sticks more closely to the waters edge than it does on the Skiddaw side.

Ullock Pike, Longside, Dodd, and in the background, a snow capped Skiddaw.

A view up the length of the lake.

As seen as though we'd already walked a long way, I suggested that Jennifer could drag the boat into the water and then row us to the end of the lake. Strangely, she wasn't keen on the idea and the only thing I could think was, what's the point in having equality if you don't want to use it.


There weren't too many photo opportunities once we left the side of the lake but I did manage to get this picture looking across to the Skiddaw fells.

Walking through Thornthwaite.

Newlands Beck seen from Newlands Beck Bridge

And why did we end up walking under here? Jennifer thought my idea of crossing the busy A66 and then having to re-cross it again was a daft idea. And the solution? Walk under it instead.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks