19th December 2013

Floods around Derwent Water


Walk Overview
Time 08:25 am to 12:00 pm
Duration 3 hr 35 min
Distance 9.2 mile
Ascent Not much
Walking with Jennifer
Keswick - Portinscale - Nichol End - Hawes End Outdoor Centre - Derwent Water shore path - Great Bay - Borrowdale road - Keswick
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 day break had only just occurred as we walked through Portinscale this morning, and although the sun must have been up there somewhere, those that actually like to see it rising would have been disappointed on this particular day. The only other person we saw in the village was this delivery man and he was the last person we saw until we were at the far end of Derwent Water. I guess most visitors will be visiting over the Christmas holidays rather than the week before, and most (working) people that live here will be keeping their holidays until next week when you can have a full week off while only needing to use three days leave. If you're like me, and always end up with lots of leave at the end of the year, you may have taken today off as well. Jennifer on the other hand was going to work this afternoon so time was something we needed to keep an eye on today.

Nichol End Marina.

The Skiddaw fells seen from the landing stage at the marina.

I take it there was a lot of rain last night and yesterday.

A close up of Cat Bells.

and a close up of Causey Pike.


As we made our way down to the lake I took this picture looking up to Cat Bells.

High water levels have left the ends of the landing stages underwater.

Between the two trees you can see the Skiddaw fells topped with a dusting of snow and over there on the right of the picture is Blencathra.

Heading along the lakeshore path.

There goes one of the many hail showers that moved across the area today. All of the showers were heavy enough for me to wish I had a fuller head of hair but none of them lasted long enough to warrant me putting on the waterproofs.

Bleaberry Fell above Derwent Water and Brandelhow Point.


A couple of section of the walk looked more like a tropical rain forest than the English Lake District.

Looking towards Castle Crag.

One of these would have been really handy at the Lodore side of Derwent Water. You'll see why shortly !!

Although you can't see the path on the other side of the river until you actually get to Chinese Bridge, we'd already worked out for ourselves that the route would be well under water. We carried on because we know there's an alternative route (see the map above) which remains unflooded (is that a real word) for much longer. There must be so many people that get as far as the bridge and then simply turn back. It makes me wonder why the boardwalk ends at the bridge, despite the path beyond that regularly flooding.


The River Derwent, taken from Chinese Bridge.

That's the bit we thought it best to walk around.

Here's a good vantage point to see just how much water there is.

The flooded path and Chinese Bridge. Notice the figure on the far side of the bridge, , , , ,

, , , , , here he is walking straight through the flood. Perhaps we're too soft or maybe he's just not bothered about doing the rest of his walk with soaking wet feet. Hat's off to the guy though, as he approached the water he didn't even stop to think about it, he just waded straight in.


A view across to Cat Bells.

Walking through Great Wood.

Hailstones lit up by the flash on the camera. I did suggest the hailstones wouldn't sting Jennifer's face as much if she wore her jacket back to front, but that's a bit daft even for me.

A close up of Grisedale Pike.

And a not so close up showing Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and Causey Pike (far right).

It was dry when we arrived in Keswick and as we were okay for time, we decided to nip into Booths supermarket for a few bits and pieces. Unfortunately, when we came out, it was chucking it down. Yes, the sensible thing would have to walk to the car first, then drive back to Booths. Had we done that, we'd have ended the outing in a dry condition.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks