This pleasant walk from Keswick town centre along the east shore of Derwent Water, can either be a circular or linear route. There is a lot of interest along the way, including a walk through Hope Park, feeding the ducks at the boat landings, the views from Friar’s Crag and a picnic stop at the Centenary stone.
The first half of the walk the path is easy for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and if a linear walk is your choice then a bus stop is located on Borrowdale Road. If you choose to continue with the walk back towards Keswick, the path in places is narrow, stony and muddy, so an all-terrain buggy would be recommended.
There is plenty of parking to choose from in Keswick town centre.
Route 12 - Derwent Water and Friar's Crag - Map 1
Keswick market is open every Saturday all year round, and Thursdays (mid Feb-Dec.) It offers a wide selection of hot and cold food, handcrafted gifts and clothing.
“The new kiosk and café, built 2012, is a fitting facility providing all manner of refreshments all year round. The clock tower, sitting proudly upon the kiosk, was kindly donated by Keswick Lions to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee”.
Source: Hope Park
There’s a selection of games in Hope Park, including Crazy Golf, Pitch and Putt and Petanque as well as the remote controlled boats.
The theatre opened in 1999, which was the last theatre to be built in Britain in the old millennium, and the first to be built with the help of money from the national lottery.
“Until 1935 boat hire on Derwent Water had very much a cottage industry feel about it with individual operators vying for trade with small rowing boats, Then in 1935, The Keswick upon Derwentwater Launch Company was formed. The company started operations with one boat ‘The May Queen’ who, with its 70 seats, became successful very quickly and the company expanded with the purchase of the ‘Annie Mellor’, ‘Waterlily’, ‘Princess Margaret Rose’, ‘Lady Derwentwater’ and ‘Iris’ brought the fleet up to six which allowed the company to run regular cruises in both directions around the lake”.
Source: Keswick Launch Company
In the company of trees on Friar’s Crag, there is a memorial made of Borrowdale slate to the writer, thinker and painter John Ruskin. His writing on the impact that natural landscapes have on people was a huge influence on the founders of the National Trust. The monument is a grade II listed structure and reads:
“The first thing I remember…was being taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar’s Crag on Derwent Water”.
Ruskin mentioned that the view from Friar’s Crag was one of the finest in Europe.
In 1995 to celebrate the founding of the National Trust 100 years earlier, the trust commissioned the artist Peter Randall-Page to produce a sculpture. The ‘Centenary Stone’, which is often wrongly named ‘The Millenium Stone’, is a large boulder of Borrowdale Volcanic rock, which was sawn in half with each face then carved into 10 fan shaped segments.
Once you have reached the Borrowdale Road, you have the option of catching the bus from here, or walking back to Keswick via the path that runs alongside the road.
Please note that the path from this point is narrow and stony in places.
You have the option of returning back to the lake from here, or continuing along the roadside path towards Keswick; we prefer the latter.
From the road, a nice option is to walk through the church grounds, however, please note that there are a few steps to negotiate with the buggy.