Family Walks around Keswick

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The Derwentwater Walk 

A scenic 10 mile waymarked walk around Derwentwater, Queen of the Lakes. On flat and easy paths, the walk passes through woodlands and along the lake shore. It can be broken down into smaller stretches by using the Keswick Launch.

Friar's Crag 

A short stroll out of the town, through Hope Park and along the lake shore to a beautiful viewpoint over Derwentwater.


This is a great walk for families, a short climb with a  scrambly bit at the top and a fantastic view over the lake to finish giving a fantastic sense of achievement for even the smallest legs.


Overlooking Derwentwater Catbells is a splendid fell to walk. Combined with a launch trip from or back to Keswick, the options are to follow the (quite steep) ridge or use the easier terrace along this prominent fell overlooking the Borrowdale and Newlands valleys returning along the lakeshore.

dsc06348.jpg Catbells path
view from castlehead (1).jpg Catbells from Keswick
dsc06358.jpg View over Derwentwater from Catbells


Lying to the north of Keswick the summit of Latrigg (368m) can be reached from the town by various footpaths through the woods. Alternatively, for those of limited mobility there is a carpark to the north of the summit with only 70m of height gain to the top via a recently constructed footpath suitable for buggies and some wheelchairs.

From the top there is a breathtaking view from Blencathra and the Pennines to the east, over Helvellyn and down Borrowdale towards Great End and Scafell Pike right round to the Newland Fells and Skiddaw over your shoulder to the north west with Keswick and Derwentwater spread out at your feet.

Walla Crag

Though less of a pronounced hill in its own right Walla Crag (379m) is an enjoyable and worth while outing giving a fantastic view over Keswick to Bassenthwaite Lake as well as down Borrowdale to Scafell and Great Gable and north to Skiddaw and Blencathra.

The cliffs of Walla Crag are the most northerly of a line of cliffs running down the eastern side of Borrowdale providing interesting viewpoints such as Surprise View as well as some well loved rock climbing venues such as Shepherds Crags.

Click here for a pdf of the route.


Although Barrow Fell is of modest height at 455 metres (1494'), there are excellent 360° views from the summit, a great reward for not too much effort. Barrow can be climbed from the village of Braithwaite or from the Newlands Valley. From the summit a magnificent 360 degree panorama suddenly comes into view over Bassenthwaite Lake, Whinlatter Forest, Grisedale Pike, Causey Pike, the Newlands Valley, the Helvellyn range, Derwentwater, Keswick and the Skiddaw range.

Click here for a pdf of the walk.

Castle Crag

Castle Crag is the smallest hill in  Alfred Wainwright's 'Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells'. Although small in stature it is quite scrambly to climb at the top and easiest tackled on a dry day. It can be climbed from Grange in Borrowdale or Rosthwaite with the riverside path in the Borrowdale Valley making a lovely circular route and ideal picnic spot.

High Rigg

From the car park at Legburthwaite walk up and along the undulating ridge to High Rigg, past the pretty St John's in the Vale Church and back through the valley. Fantastic views to the Helvellyn ridge, Blencathra and Skiddaw. Approx 4.5 miles - the walk can be extended to incorporate Low Rigg and Tewet Tarn. Some easy clambering which children tend to enjoy. Take care on the final stretch where the hillside below the path drops away steeply.

Mountain Forests

Whinlatter Forest, just above the village of Braithwaite and Dodd Wood at the other side of Bassenthwaite Lake, both have numerous waymarked trails, ideally suited to families. If you follow the track up to the top of Little Dodd you'll enjoy fabulous 360 degree views. The Seat Howe summit trail in Whinlatter gives spectacular views of both Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, as well as the Skiddaw and Helvellyn mountain ranges. 

Pop into the National Trust Lakeside shop and ask about the ‘easy’ way-marked walk ‘Lakeside Amble’; a perfect walk to get you started. Stepping out from the shop the walk includes wildplay areas for den building, a magic climbing tree and dragons. There’s woodland and lakeshore areas, great for wildlife and famous views. Can you find the Hundred Year Stone? Of course, just follow the orange way-markers.

If you’re looking for the next level there’s also the ‘moderate’ walk around Great Wood. Head to Great Wood car park, just 1 mile outside Keswick and you’ll climb up to the top of the internationally significant Atlantic Oakwood. People often spot red squirrels and even roe deer in the wood, and from the top of the hill a few 'windows' through the trees give glimpses out over Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite. For more information visit the National Trust's website.

For more inspiration visit our walking page.