Keswick to Calfclose Bay Circular Walk

This walk is a great introduction to the area just beyond the town taking you through the woods as far as Calfclose Bay, back along Derwentwater lakeshore and through Hope Park. It is suitable for all seasons whether that be a low-level short walk in winter looking over at the snow-capped fells, to see the vibrant autumn colours or a full day out in warmer weather stopping on the way to picnic and paddle in the lake. It is accessible with an all-terrain pram although you will encounter some bumpier sections and tree roots to negotiate.

  • Starting Point - Moot Hall TIC
  • Distance - 3.5 miles
  • Time 1.5 hours plus stops
  • Feedback - Please contact Keswick Tourism Association email [email protected]

1. From the entrance to the Moot Hall Tourist Information Centre leave the Market Square to the right of the Old Keswickian Fish and Chip Shop. Shortly turn right in front of George Fisher and follow the road down and through the underpass. Turn left and follow the path alongside Hope Park. Keep forward passing Theatre by the Lake on your left and continue down to the lake. With the jetties on your right take a path off to your left signposted Cockshot Wood, Woodland Walk and Castlehead Wood. The path soon forks, take the right-hand path. The path comes to a t-junction, turn left here. After 60m turn right into a fenced path. Ahead of you is Castlehead a walk for another day which gives great views over the lake. To the left of you is the Skiddaw range.

 2. At the end of the path follow the slope up to your right and follow the path alongside Borrowdale Road. Whilst there is a wall/hedge separating the path from the road if you have small children with you be aware there are some gaps. Over to your right you will see the distinctive fells which lie to the west of Derwentwater - Catbells and Causey Pike whilst ahead of you is Walla Crag. Keep forward on the same path passing over a tarmac road. Soon the path continues between a wall and a fenced field. The path then heads down through the wood. Keep forward after a wooden bridge following the signpost To the Lake 150m. On arriving at the lakeshore pause to enjoy the views and take some photos before turning right to follow the shoreline path.

3. Continue over a wooden bridge and soon pause to look at the Centenary Stone at the water's edge. The stone marks 100 years of the National Trust taking care of places like Derwentwater. The path rises into woodland where a small diversion to your left the Millenium Seat makes a lovely place to stop and take in the views over the lake. Continue forward to re-join the shoreline path presently going through a gate. The path now heads between a wire fence and grassy area on your right soon passing some houses and then curving left to go over a cattle grid. In approximately 500m drop down to the left to go through a gateway signposted Keswick 1 1/4 miles.

 4. Keep forward to reach first a wooden boardwalk and then a bridge and gate which brings you back to the lakeshore. Where the path forks take the left option closest to the lake. The path curves round into Strandshag Bay, a lovely spot in warm weather for picnics and paddling.

5. Go through a gate after which you can make a short diversion up steps to your left to the viewpoint at Friar's Crag. Alternatively, if you have a pram continue up the slope and shortly turn left signposted Friar's Crag 130m. The viewpoint is one of the most popular places for photographs. The view was described by Ruskin as one of the three or four most beautiful views in Europe. There is a memorial to Ruskin on the crag, a slab of rock with a bronze portrait medallion. It is called Friar's Crag because it is said to be the departure point for monks sailing to St Herbert's Island on pilgrimage to where the Saint was said to live.

6. From the viewpoint continue along the lakeshore path past the tables and benches to the boat landings. This is a great starting point for another day out. You can enjoy a 50-minute cruise around the lake or hop on and off the Keswick launch at any of the 7 landing stages. You can enjoy a walk and a picnic and then catch another launch at the same or different jetty. Equally, you can use the launch to access the fells on the western shore of Derwentwater.

7. Walk up the road past Theatre by the Lake. On your left in Crow Park is the inscription plaque unveiled by Prince Charles to mark the granting of UNESCO World heritage Status to the Lake District National Park. Opposite the car park exit turn left through gates to walk through Hope Park. The park offers beautiful gardens, traditional games and Cafe Hope where you can enjoy refreshments. Follow the path through the park past the crazy golf and leave the park to the right of Cafe Hope. Go through the underpass and follow the road up to a junction with George Fisher on your right. Turn left here to follow the street back to the Market Square.

Download pdf - Calfclose Bay walking route

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