Ruskin memorial by Derwentwater copyright Michael Turner

Miles Without Stiles 36: Friar's Crag


Route type: For all / for many. A beautiful and varied walk to a stunning viewpoint - OS Explorer Map OL4. A longer, circular route back to the car park, through Cockshott Wood, is also available.

Distance: 4 km or 2.4 miles for all, 1.25 km or 0.8 miles for many

Start point: Theatre by the Lake car park - grid ref. NY 265229

Turning point: Junction with B5289 - grid ref. NY 271220

Facilities: Disabled car parking and accessible toilets. There is a café at Theatre by the Lake and refreshments at the Lakeside tearooms

Getting there: Bus: services run from all over Cumbria. You will need to walk from Keswick town centre on pavements and paths. Car: B5289 Borrowdale Road from Keswick and turn right at the roundabout


This relatively level route takes you into some fabulous locations with stunning lake and mountain views. Follow the road from the theatre down to Derwentwater foreshore. The wooded islands and the Jaws of Borrowdale will soon come into view. When the tarmac ends, continue on a good stone track, ignoring a left fork and carrying on to the viewpoint of Friar's Crag.

Return to the left fork (now on the right). It leads down to a kissing gate and on to Strandshag Bay. A bridge and kissing gate take you into a small wood. From here, join the road to Stable Hills. Turn left to the B5289, a possible picking up place (grid reference NY 271220). This is a narrow gap and should not be used for long-stay parking.

Retrace the route back, or follow the roadside path north. This is undulating and, although not steep, is uneven in places. Take a track to the left (grid reference NY 268226), running between a fence and hedge. At the end, turn right into Cockshott Wood and return on a better surface to the car park.


Map 36 - Friar's Crag route