Thursday, 11 July 2013

Derwentwater......a change of pace

The scenery around Derwentwater, like most of the Lake District, is extremely picturesque. But I personally think that zipping past it in a car, or on a coach, isn't the best way to see it. The best way, for me, is to immerse yourself in it, walk through it. Derwentwater itself is around 3 miles long and one mile wide. Scope for a nice steady walk.
I started the walk from the campsite where I was staying just outside Keswick. I headed to Portinscale to make a start there by picking up the Cumbrian Way and made my way through Overside Wood. This would take me down the West side of Derwentwater.

After the wood I broke off from the Cumbrian Way and followed a path that leads down to the Landing Stage at the side of Kitchen Bay. There are some nice rocks to sit on here and take in the view.

After a quick stop continued to follow the water's edge. It's worth keeping your eyes out for some of the strange trees down on the waters edge at Derwentwater. There are even stranger trees later.

Later you come to a strange site, a pair of hands in the wood at Brandlehow Park. The wooden hands sculpture was put there in 2002 to commemorate the National Trust's first land purchase of the 108 acre Brandlehow Estate in 1902.

At this time of year the ferries on Derwentwater look to have quite a busy time shuttling people up and down the Lake. The boats are quite a nice sight to see.

The path, from Brandlehow Park, passes around the back of the boat houses and comes out on Abbot's Bay with Otter Island in the centre. Unfortunately, no Otters today, shame.

The path continues south to the Great Bay. Looking further south you can see Castle Crag and behind, to the right, Great End with a slightly cloudy summit.

The view north from Great Bay is just as nice, with the entire Skiddaw massif in view. This was a day where the eyes were in overload.

I decided to take a break along the side of the Derwent River. I tested out a new water filter (a review to follow shortly) and cooked up a Bla Band meal for lunch. It was extremely pleasant to sit quietly by the river and watch the ducks, geese and a highly protective female Great Crested Grebe with her young.

My path took me of to the east along the southern tip of Derwentwater with Shepard's Crag in full view ahead.
After a brief pit stop for a pint of lager (it was a hot day) at Mary's Mount Hotel, I continued to follow the waters edge up the east side of Derwentwater. As I approached Calfclose Bay I noticed a couple of large rocks on the water's edge that seemed a little out of place. When I got up to the rocks they turned out to be the Millennium Stone made from local stone. This sculpture, a sort of strange broken open geode, I think is really effective. It's a great idea that adds to it's surroundings, like the wooden hands, without inhibiting the view.

Out on Broomhill Point were some benches sat amongst some trees. The trees hanging down with shrubs below made nature picture frames for the scenery across the lake.
The final section took me past the northern islands, it was starting to drop a little cooler. It had been quite a long day, but very enjoyable.

I finally made my way through the centre of Keswick and back to the campsite. It had been a half day walk, covering 10-11, miles and every mile had been photo worthy. So if you have the time, maybe an off hill day, like I did, it may be worth a look. It's great up on the tops, but sometimes you miss a few gems being so high.

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