Eastern Shores of Derwent Water

Baslow, Edensor and PilsleyThis walk explores the eastern shores of Derwent Water, using the ferry to reach Lodore, and returning along a mix of footpaths, ledges and roadside paths. This walk is designed for the aftermath of very wet weather, which can often force the closure of most of the landing places for the Derwentwater Ferry.

Ascent: 500ft
Length: 3.5 miles
Map: The English Lakes - North Western Area (OS Explorer Map Active) (OS Explorer Map Active)

We start at Keswick, but then take the ferry to the southern landing place at Lodore.

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Southern part of Derwent WaterMake your way to the Derwent Foreshore, and purchase a launch ticket to Lodore.
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Leave the launch at Lodore and follow the path up to the road.
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Derwent Water LedgeTurn left onto the road and head north. A short distance after passing the hotel look for a permissive footpath that runs through the trees to the right, running parallel to the road. Follow this path up to the small NT car park. At this point the path crosses the road and continues along the lake shore side. The path runs along a ledge above the lake before reaching a headland, where it runs around the edge of the fields.
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Derwent Water shoreline pathAfter this headland the lake closes up on the road. If water levels are low it is possible to walk along the lake shore here, but if the water is higher then the gap soon becomes too narrow. In either case stay on the lake shore to start with, at least as far as a landing stage opposite the road to Watendlath. If water levels are high then leave the lake shore at this landing stage, turn left onto the road and follow it north - there is soon a useable footpath by the side of the road.

At the southern edge of Great Wood another permissive footpath leaves the road to the left, to run through the trees that line Calfclose Bay. There is now a choice of routes - the prettiest option is to follow the lake shore path, which apart from a couple of diversions follows the water around some attractive bays, reaching Friar's Crag and Keswick. The alternative is to take a path that branches off into the woods, eventually reaching a permissive footpath that runs to the left of the road.

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Trees on Derwent WaterIf you have chosen the road route, follow the permissive path until it passes Castle Head, a rocky outcropping to the right of the road. At this point the path turns 90 degrees to the left and heads towards Cockshot Wood. We reach the woods at a crossroads - turn right to return directly to the lakeside car park or head straight ahead, over a slight hill, to return to the lake shore, then turn right to reach Keswick.

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