Derwentwater is 3 miles long, 1 mile wide and 72 feet deep with four big islands and several smaller islands. Much of the shoreline along with the four big islands are owned by the National Trust.
Keswick sits at the northern end of the lake offering outdoor equipment shops, at least one pet shop, Booths supermarket and other boutique style shops. You can hire a rowing boat, canoe, kayak or other water craft from here and explore the lake. Or can catch a Rambler bus and travel around the lake visiting Honister Slate Mine, Whinlatter Forest, Buttermere and the Borrowdale Valley.
Of the big islands, Rampsholme Island is the smallest. Lord’s Island was home to the Earls of Derwentwater until the Jacobite rebellion. St Herbert’s Island was named after the seventh-century hermit who took sanctuary there. Derwent Isle is the biggest and occupied. The island and house are leased by the National Trust.
Surrounding the lake in the most picturesque way are the fells. Cat Bells, Maiden Moor, Skiddaw, High Seat, Bleaberry Fell, to mention but a few. Everywhere you look another fell comes into view.
Having explored as far as we could on foot, within a day around Coniston Water, we have moved up to the Northern Lakes. Derwentwater, Keswick is our new destination.
We chose to take the scenic route past Lake Windermere, adding roughly three-quarters of an hour to our journey. We were both keen to take a look at the lake and town. Although we were pretty sure that Windermere would be too busy for our liking at this time of year. Hense the reason we picked Derwentwater to relocate to. As much as we’d like to do the tourist thing neither of us particularly like crowded towns.
Our journey toward Keswick was stunning. The scenery on both sides of the road was beautiful lakes and fells for the whole journey. This was everything we had been expecting to see when in the Lake District.
I know that taking photos with my phone doesn’t produce brilliant quality, and to do so whilst driving is madness. I just couldn’t resist though. The scenery was just too good to not to try.
As supplies were running low we stopped at Booths in Keswick.
Having searched the internet before hand it was the only supermarket type shop along our journey that didn’t require a detour. It does have parking, which is pay & display, redeemable at the checkout. The spaces were for cars only so we had to park over two spaces so Nik stayed in the van whilst I shopped. Just in case.
Shopping in Booths is like shopping in Waitrose. Gentle music in the background and not overly busy. The staff were happy and extremely helpful. The quality of the food I purchased was top notch, choices were limited, however. Whilst I did manage to find some vegetables that you can’t get in Cornwall, there wasn’t much variety. As Nik and I eat a mainly vegetarian diet a good variety of vegetables is a must for me. I can highly recommend the fish pie though, it was absolutely delicious.
An observation. The bill at the end was roughly 25% more than I would have spent for the same items in one of the usual supermarkets. However, as we haven’t purchased anything in other shops in the area we can’t be sure if this is because it’s an expensive area or if it was this one shop.
Shopping done, we made our way to the far end of Derwentwater, where our site was located. We were positively bouncing in our seats with excitement. This lake is far more picturesque than Coniston Water and we couldn’t wait to get out and explore it.
We just about gave ourselves time to park up before running off in the direction of the lake. The sun was out and everything looked spectacular. Our site is situated just above where the lake meets Derwent River and we can just about see the water from the van. This part of the lake is part wetland with stunning wild flowers, insects and birds.
We explored along the waters edge to about halfway up one side. Turning back after reaching the spot where the path to climb Cat Bells Fell starts. This is the mini mountain that Nik has picked for us to conquer on our first full day. It was a lovely afternoon, we just walked, smiled, relaxed and took photos.
In fact, it was so nice that by the time we got back to the van, Nik and I were seriously considering extending our holiday until the end of summer.
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