Enjoy 5 Car Free Walks From Keswick
So, you've arrived in Keswick - Hurray! With the rising cost of fuel, you will want to know what you can do and where you can go without your car, to explore the beautiful, natural environment around you. Keswick is the perfect place to begin a walk, whatever your ability, and you will be pleased to know there is something for everyone whether it be a family-friendly walk with a pram, to the more adventurous routes for keen fell-walkers. You can enjoy the fresh air and amazing scenery, knowing that you are making a positive contribution to clean air and the environment by leaving your car behind.
This is a great walking route which is more or less on a level so anyone can enjoy it, for example, if you are walking with a pram or young children, in a wheelchair or if you have a visual impairment. Don't let the fact that this is a short walk mislead you however... the lake and mountain views are still out of this world! There's even a handy bench for you at the headland to rest and make the most of the view for as long as you want! It's also a fun walk for families as you can splash in the shallow edges of Strandshag Bay, or even enjoy a picnic.
From the Market Square in Keswick, gently stroll along Lake Road, through the tranquil gardens of Hope Park where you can either treat yourself to an ice-cream or a cuppa before or after your walk at the dog-friendly Café Hope. It's the perfect stopping point for tired legs! Head towards the popular Theatre by the Lake and check out the performances on offer and follow the path to Derwentwater foreshore where It's a great place to feed the ducks, bags of duck food are available at the National Trust shop at Derwentwater foreshore. Keep walking parallel to the eastern shores of the lake with the signpost for Friar's Crag being on your right.
Friar's Crag is the little rocky outcrop that can be reached through the sheltered avenue of trees. Wainwright also described it as the 'loveliest square mile in Lakeland'. A man named John Ruskin believed the view from Friar's Crag facing in the direction towards Catbells, across Derwentwater and the Jaws of Borrowdale to be the finest in all of Europe. There is a monument dedicated to him which stands in the trees just behind the seating area. When you are leaving you can return the way you came, or you can incorporate Friar's Crag into a longer walk towards Calfclose Bay. Friar's Crag is a short, scenic walk which is absolutely not to be missed if you are in Keswick. Once you arrive back at Derwentwater, why not hire a rowing boat or just sit back and enjoy a stunning, leisurely lake cruise.
This is another lovely, accessible walk for all the family with the option to do the full return route of 10km or to end at Threlkeld (5km) and catch the X4 or X5 bus back in to Keswick. There is lots to see along the whole of the railway line and there are helpful information boards pointing out the various wildlife you can even look out for on your walk such as red squirrels, dippers, herons and even roe deer if you are very quiet and very lucky. The route was badly damaged in 2015 by Storm Desmond, but after a £7.9 million revamp in 2020, this is now a very popular destination for walkers, runners and cyclists as well as being accessible for pushchairs, mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
From Keswick Leisure Centre, follow the walkway around the right of the building and onto the edge of the car park, where you'll turn right and onto the railway path. Look out for the Bobbin Mill Railway Tunnel and for the grooves in the wall where workers would crouch to avoid the trains rushing past! The spectacular Greta Bridge was voted the Best Civil Engineering Structure of the Century in 1999. Other important things that make this a family-friendly walk are the seats along the route with a picnic area close to the entrance of Bobbin Mill Railway Tunnel and the fact that there are temporary toilets at the former Keswick railway station, including an accessible toilet.
You can tuck into a sandwich at the start of this walk, knowing as soon as you leave, you are about to embark on one of the most famous walks in Keswick where you will soon burn off the calories! You can either enjoy this walk independently, or the Lake District National Park are offering their wonderful informative volunteer-led guided walks to Castlerigg Stone Circle (a must-do if you want to learn more about the history and geography of this famous 4500 year old site).
This walk is a circular route beginning at the centre of Keswick in the Market Square. Although it is an easy+ graded walk, it is essential to wear the correct footwear as it can be muddy in places in poor weather. You will never forget the panoramic views of the fells surrounding Derwentwater as you meander uphill until you reach the Stone Circle. After taking in the site of this awesome monument, you can begin the descent along the railway footpath, which leads all the way back to the Market Square in Keswick. While you are there...how many free standing stones can you count? Some are up to 3 metres high!
This is a beautiful walk which begins at the Market Square in Keswick and incorporates Great Wood beneath Walla Crag and then back along the shores of the lake with spectacular views over Derwentwater to Catbells. So something for everyone!
This walk is best taken at a leisurely pace so you can take in the sounds and sights of Great Wood, as you catch glimpses of the sun on Derwentwater through the trees. It is such a peaceful and relaxing walk and if you take the time to enjoy the nature around you, you can spot tree creepers, red squirrels and even roe deer. Millennium Seat is the perfect place to pause and just bathe in the view over the lake. You can also pause for a rest near the end at Hope Park where you can sit on the many benches and watch the world go by, indulge in an ice-cream or have fun playing Crazy Golf. There is something for everyone to enjoy on this walk but it does involve a steady climb so wear appropriate footwear and come prepared for all weather!
Keswick is a fell-lover's paradise and Catbells is by far the most popular moderate walk for you to try, although there is a short section with a steep ascent so correct footwear is essential. Begin your adventure by taking the Launch at Keswick and sit back and relax while you travel in leisurely style to the Hawes End Landing Stage where your walk begins.
This walk should be tackled with care and remember to wear appropriate clothing and carry a refillable water bottle. In parts, the path gives way to rocks so there is some scrambling to be aware of so this is no a walk for the faint-hearted! The steep ascent is worth it as you will see... The outstanding 360 degree views over Keswick, Derwentwater and Borrowdale are unforgettable while to the West you can take in the breath-taking sights of Newlands Valley and the Western Fells. It can be very blowy at the top so pack a wind (and water) proof jacket! This is a particular favourite for dog-walkers and a good introduction to fell-walking. After the Catbells summit (400 metres high), it is a steady descent on a well-marked path. Once back at Hawes End, you can sail back on the Launch to your starting point in style, with the satisfaction of knowing you have climbed a Lake District mountain!
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