Rosthwaite, Watendlath, Grange in Borrowdale Circular Walk

looking towards derwentwater and skiddaw.jpg Looking towards Skiddaw
Watendlath Tarn sept 2 Watendlath Tarn
river derwent.jpg River Derwent

A circular walk starting from the village of Rosthwaite in the Borrowdale Valley near Keswick. The route heads up and over to the hamlet of Watendlath and the idyllic tarn of the same name. It then takes you along the peaceful Watendlath Valley before reaching Derwentwater and finally following the River Derwent back to Rosthwaite.

Distance - 7.5 miles
Time - 4 - 4.5 hours
Starting point and parking - National Trust car park in Rosthwaite (NT members free) or adjacent Borrowdale Institute car park 
Public transport - Parking is limited so a good option is to take bus 78 from Keswick to Rosthwaite.
Feedback - Contact Keswick Tourism Association email info@keswick.org

Download a pdf of the Rosthwaite, Watendlath, Grange circular walking route


1. Turn left out of the car-park and left again at the t-junction. Almost immediately turn right off the road onto a bridleway signposted Watendlath 1.5 miles. Alternatively if you have come by bus from Keswick turn left immediately onto the bridleway. Go over a bridge and turn left. Follow the bridleway to a gate and continue upwards. Presently the path passes through a kissing gate and over a stream. 



2. The path becomes steeper and rockier before going through a kissing gate and then levelling out prior to the descent to Watendlath and the tarn of the same name. At the tarn go through a gate and follow the path beside the stream to the packhorse bridge. Don’t go over the bridge but keep forward through the gate. 


3. The path bends away from the stream and heads uphill. Soon the path levels out and goes over a bridge. Follow the path and go through a gate. The path continues along the valley above the beck. Go through a gate and down steps to walk along the side of the beck. After some time the path goes over a wooden bridge and enters a wooded area. 

4. As the path comes to another bridge don’t cross it but turn left to follow a path alongside a wall. Go through a kissing gate into the wood. Shortly keep left at a fork. The path soon forks again, keep left. Go through a gate to come out above a waterfall. Keep forward onto a path downhill. Continue all the way down to the road with Derwentwater coming into view. There’s a bench not far below the bottom if you need a rest. 

5. Cross the road and turn left passing the Borrowdale Hotel. Just after the hotel turn right through a gate onto a public footpath. Go through a gate and turn right at first alongside the fence. Head for a gate and walk along the river bank to Chinese bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the boardwalk alongside Derwentwater. 



6. Just after a 2nd stretch of boardwalk turn left away from the lake. Shortly turn right through a gate and continue forward to a kissing gate. Keep on the path till it reaches a lane. Turn left down the lane. Pass the Borrowdale Gates Hotel and continue into Grange in Borrowdale. 

7. Turn right onto a bridleway signposted Rosthwaite 2 miles. After a few hundred metres take a left turn and walk down the lane past Hollows Farm campsite. At a fork bear left down to the river. Follow the path over a bridge, bear left and over a second bridge. Keep forward signposted Rosthwaite. Go through a gate and keep forward. 


8. The path heads upwards for a short time, turns left through a gap in the wall and continues up. Shortly turn left downhill still following the signpost for Rosthwaite. The path meanders between heaps of slate. After some time go through a gate. Go through another gate and shortly turn left over New Bridge. Follow the path back into Rosthwaite.

Watendlath Beck Watendlath Beck