Visit Derwentwater

Keswick is a fantastic place to explore, whether you want to get out on the fells or stay closer to the town centre. One of the main attractions that draws visitors to Keswick is the beautiful Derwentwater, the stunning three mile long lake on the edge of Keswick. If you’d like to spend a day by the lake, there’s plenty to do for people of all ages and interests!

If you head down towards Derwentwater from Keswick town centre, you’ll come to Hope Park, a brilliant stopping off point with plenty to do for all ages. Hope Park was once used for grazing railway coach horses, but was opened as a park in May 1927 by Sir Percy Hope. Since then, Hope Park has become a fantastic recreational space for the people of Keswick and visitors to the town.

If you’d like to relax and make the most of Hope Park’s beautiful surroundings, visit Lady Hope’s Garden for some peace and tranquility among the gorgeous floral displays. This ornamental garden was once the private garden of Lady Hope, Sir Percy Hope’s wife, and it was her wish that it would be enjoyed by the future inhabitants of Keswick.

Hope Park is also home to a variety of traditional park games, including a very popular 18 hole crazy golf course, a 9 hole pitch and putt, putting green, and boules pit for playing Petanque. The newest addition to the games at Hope Park are the remote-controlled boats, floating on a replica of Derwentwater, complete with islands and jetties! The remote-controlled boats are great fun for both children and big kids.

After having a go at some of the park games, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. You can visit the nearby Café Hope, famous for its delicious homemade cakes! Café Hope serves hot and cold drinks, as well as light meals and snacks, with everything from bacon butties for breakfast, to jacket potatoes, soup, pizzas and pies, as well as kids’ meal boxes. Sweet treats are served all day long, including delicious sponge cakes and tray bakes, as well as lovely homemade scones.

Heading down towards the lake, take a moment to admire the stunning views of Derwentwater and the surrounding fells. Derwentwater is extremely photogenic - this is a great opportunity to stop and take a selfie for our #keswickreallakes campaign! If you snap a photo of yourself while you’re out and about around Keswick, and share it to our Facebook page, you could be featured in our campaign, aimed at sharing real visitors’ experiences of Keswick.

Feeding the ducks down by the lake is always fun for kids, and the Derwentwater ducks are always happy to be fed. We recommend buying a bag of duck feed from the nearby National Trust shop, as feeding bread to ducks is actually very bad for them! You can also hire a boat or book onto a lake cruise from Keswick Launch Co., as their office is based on the lakeshore, if you’d like to explore Derwentwater by boat between Easter and October.

While exploring the lakeshore, you’ll probably spot Derwent Island and House. This is the only inhabited island in the Lake District which is open to the public five days a year, with tours available through the National Trust. If you’d like to visit Derwent Island, keep an eye on the National Trust website to see when their guided tours are.

The Theatre by the Lake is situated just a short walk from Derwentwater, and is a fantastic place to visit if you feel like watching a show whilst visiting Keswick. Theatre by the Lake stages up to nine of its own productions each year, as well as hosting festivals throughout the year, such as the Keswick Mountain Festival, and welcoming touring theatre, music and dance shows. You can see what’s on at Theatre by the Lake during your stay in Keswick by visiting their website.

As you can see, there’s plenty to do around Derwentwater for people of all ages, whether you want to relax and take in the idyllic surroundings, or want to do as much as possible within walking distance of the lake. We hope that this blog post has given you some ideas for things to do; for any further information you might need, take a look at our website: