Reed beds of the River Derwent copyright Charlie Hedley

Miles Without Stiles 34: Derwentwater Lakeshore

Nov 2023: This route has now been re-graded as 'for some' due to rough surfaces, frequently flooded western section and steep slopes in places.  We are working to update the map.

Miles Without Stiles

Important note: Due to storm damage to path surfaces this route is not accessible for all so is currently graded as 'for some'. This is a beautiful woodland walk along the western shore of Derwentwater - OS Explorer Map OL4.

Route for some. 8.4km or if walking one-way 4.2km distance.


Follow the access road to Hawse End, ignoring the signpost to Hawse End jetty. The path continues below the main buildings. Another signpost for the lakeshore takes you off the tarmac road and through a wide gate.

From here, the path is two metres wide with a smooth, compacted stone surface. More wide gateways bring you to the lakeshore at Victoria Bay. The route now weaves south along the shoreline and through the oak woodlands of Brandelhow. The lake views are magnificent, framed by a mountain backdrop. Catbells and High Spy are the steep hillsides behind you while Bleaberry Fell and Walla Crag are over the water. Picnic tables and benches, between High and Low Brandelhow jetties, allow you to savour the scenery.

A short stretch of tarmac leads to the woodland of Manesty Park where the path turns left to follow the shore and on to Great Bay.

The last kilometre of the route is on a recycled plastic boardwalk to the Chinese Bridge and finishes at the Borrowdale Road (this section of the path can be prone to flooding).

The map below is being updated to show this whole route as 'for some' standard.


Start point:

Hawse End access road.

Postcode: CA12 5UG
Grid reference: NY 247215
W3W: ///wisely.defensive.responses

Turning point:

Grid reference: NY 263187
W3W: ///nursery.direction.rollers


None on route.

Getting there:

Bus: Buttermere Rambler 77 / 77A operates from Keswick and passes Hawse End four times a day from March to November. Bus Route 78 runs between Keswick and the turning point from April-November. Boat: Keswick Launch calls at Hawse End eight times a day. Wheelchair users are advised to contact Keswick Launch beforehand- wheelchairs can be taken on some of the launches but assistance may be needed with boarding. Car: minor roads from Keswick to Cat Bells. Parking at Cat Bells is restricted so public transport options are recommended.