18th March 2017

A very wet walk around Derwent Water

Time 8:55am to 12:35pm
Duration 3 hr 40 min
Distance 9.8 mile
Ascent Hardly any at all
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
Stormwater Bridge - Keswick - Derwent Water Landing Stages - Stable hills - Borrowdale road - Fits Turnhole - Chinese Bridge - Great Bay - Derwent Water shore path - Hawes End Outdoor Centre - Nichol End - Portinscale - Stormwater Bridge
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


Those of us that are still a long way from retirement are feeling the frustration of sunny days during the week and rainy days at the weekend at the moment. Several times this week I've driven home in sunshine, admired the daffodils brightening up the roadside and asked myself why I didn't take the afternoon off to go for a walk. "never mind, it's nearly the weekend" I told myself with a degree of excitement. Then, when Saturday finally arrives this is what we're given. OK, I suppose I mustn't moan too much, I'm still able to enjoy more than my fair share the great outdoors, and that's despite much of my time being spent looking out of a window over miles of steel girders and, between the clouds of steam, only catching a small glimpse of what people call a blue sky day. What would be nice is the luxury of choice.


Ah, I see someone has opened a new shop next to the Pharmacy selling ladies underwear - 'ooh er missus!

Keswick landing stages. I guess they won't be doing much in the way of trade today.

Friar's Crag view.

Looking across to Stable hills.

With the water level being so high we stuck to the road rather than taking the path around the edge of the lake as we'd normally do.

Looking back to the flooded ground at the southern end of the lake. But, as I think I've said in the past, there's an easy de-tour that allows dry passage to Chinese Bridge. It doesn't add a great deal onto the journey and it's better than wading through knee deep water as some other people were doing.

Here conversation turned to how nice the gingerbread is from the tearoom here. This is proper gingerbread (like cake), not the 'biscuits' everyone goes mad for in Grasmere.


It was muddy under foot and the river was running very high as we finished our de-tour and, for a few minutes at least, the rain had eased off a little.

Cat Bells seen from Chinese Bridge.


As we walked across the boardwalk we cast our minds back to those far off days we called the 1990s when the old wooden boardwalk was in place across here. Chicken wire was nailed to it to stop us slipping and it was only wide enough for one person (or two very thin people). In a couple of places there were slightly wider 'passing places' where you had, on busy days, to exercise a bit of consideration and let other people past.
Although this is an improvement we still turned the clock back for a few minutes to remember with fondness how things once were.


Given the size of the rain drops and the quantity that were falling out of the sky, the camera stayed in its case on the walk back to Portinscale. The surprising thing was just how busy it was on this side of the lake.

And to finish, we cross the suspension bridge at Portinscale. At this point all concerns about getting changed in the pouring rain were thrown to one side. Yes - - - you've guessed it, several hundred yards from the car it stopped raining.

Despite it already being the middle of March spring seems reluctant to arrive properly this year. I can however, console myself with the thought that it may just be around the corner.  

David Hall -
Lake District Walks