Explore Derwentwater, Keswick and Borrowdale

Keswick's local lake is only a ten minute walk from the centre of town. To its west rise the fells of Cat Bells, and to the east is the fantastic viewpoint of Friar's Crag, jutting into the lake. And its southern foot is the entrance to the beautiful Borrowdale valley.

You can walk the eight miles around the lake - check out the Derwentwater Walk leaflet. Or take a 50 minute round the lake cruise on Keswick Launch. There are seven landing stages, and you can hop on and off to combine a walk and a boat ride.

Guide to Derwentwater

Derwentwater Lake Guide

Our Derwentwater lake guide shows you where to park, where to catch the Keswick Launch and where to hire boats, as well as the footpath that circles the whole lake and facilities like toilets and cafes.

Derwentwater Lake Guide


This town is packed with outdoor equipment shops and boutiques. It's a short walk to the Theatre by the Lake and banks of Derwentwater, just south of the town. There's a choice of cafes, restaurants and a range of accommodation in and around the town.

Things to do around Keswick and Derwentwater


The Jaws of Borrowdale is an area at the southern end of Derwentwater. It includes the villages of Grange, Rosthwaite, Stonethwaite and Seatoller.


Nestled in the Borrowdale valley, this small village is the last stop before the steep Honister Pass. Walkers head out from here towards the high fells of Great Gable.


Northwest of Keswick, Bassenthwaite Lake is the only official lake in the Lake District! The others are all meres, waters or tarns. The area is designated as a National Nature Reserve.

The Forestry Commission’s Visitor Centre in Dodd Wood on the east side of the lake has many different trails and a viewing point to see osprey, open from April to August to see the birds who spend their summer here. On a clear day from the top of Dodd you can see into Scotland.

You can take paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and rowing boats onto Bassenthwaite Lake, just buy your Bassenthwaite permit online for boating or fishing.


This reservoir supplies water to Manchester. The castle-like building along the east shore is the straining well. The level of the reservoir depends on water demand, so there's often a strip of barren shoreline.

The small whitewashed Wythburn Church is centuries' old.

Tip: You can climb Helvellyn from this side and avoid the ridges. Start from Swirls car park.

Walking routes near Keswick and Derwent water

Circular walk around Derwentwater

The walk around Derwentwater is a beautiful, 10 mile / 18 km route. With flat and easy paths, you pass through woodland and along the lake shore. There are places to stop for picnics and cafes, and the Keswick launch to take for some of the route if you fancy a short cut!

Free guided walks near Keswick and Thirlmere

Book your place on our free guided walks near Keswick and Thirlmere

Easy walking routes near Derwentwater - Miles without Stiles routes

Cycling routes and bike hire around Keswick

For a long distance ride, Keswick is on the Coast to Coast cycle route 71. This is a great long distance cycle challenge which will take you from the Western coast of Cumbria to the North East coast of Northumbria.

For a family-friendly,  accessible and flat route, the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Trail is 10 km from Keswick, along the river to Threlkeld.

For mountain biking, five miles north of Keswick Whinlatter Forest has lots to do for all the family, including mountain bike trails.

Bike and e-bike hire around Keswick and Derwentwater

Travel around Keswick and Derwentwater

Pop in to Keswick Information Centre for help and advice

Moot Hall in Keswick, home to Keswick Information Centre - copyright Keswick Tourism Association

We can help you with booking tickets and attractions, finding walking routes and places to visit, and we have a great range of maps and guidebooks. See us in Moot Hall in the Market Place, home to Keswick Information Centre.