Keswick: Lake District Centre Based Walking

Keswick: Lake District Centre Based Walking

Trip Highlights

  • Classic English landscapes of the Lake District
  • Based in the vibrant market town of Keswick
  • Interesting peaks and viewpoints
  • Boat rides on the Derwent Water
  • Waterfalls & woodlands

Trip Summary

Keswick is a fine Market town in the north of The Lake District. There are several good walks from the town to the surrounding lake and fells. Most of the walks are circular, a couple require a local bus to get to the start and a couple can be reduced by using taxis or lake ferries. Although this is a busy area for tourism, the range of walks gives a good introduction to the area. The walks are covered by GPS data but you should be able to navigate using traditional map and compass. The weather of course has an important part to play in any British holiday, so Keswick is an ideal town as there are some bad weather attractions. Also there are easier and harder walks amongst the ones we describe, so you can choose the order of the walks bearing in mind the prevailing conditions.


We grade this tour as moderate to challenging (grade 4). Anyone used to hill / mountain hiking with a daily height gain / loss of around 3,300 feet (1000metres) per day on some at times steep and rough tracks should find the tour within their capability. The walks average between 5-7 hours walking time. There are a couple of shorter and longer options. Care is needed underfoot on some of the trails, although in general the paths are fairly broad, there are in some places, especially at viewpoint areas that could be subjectively exposed for some people. Some of the walks can be shortened as desired. Reasonable navigational ability is required especially if you intend walking in poor weather.


Make your own way to Keswick located at the centre of the northern lakes and sits in a splendid situation between the shores of Derwent Water and the bulking peak called Skiddaw. It's a bustling market town with agricultural and industrial heritage centres around the old Moot Hall, an old court house and jail which is now a tourist office. It is full of outdoor shops, eateries, an old cinema, a theatre and a pencil museum as graphite was originally discovered up on the fells above and used for marking sheep! There is quite a lot to see and do even on wet days including boat trips, and of course a wide variety of pubs to frequent. Depending upon what time you arrive you may want to do a short walk up to the beautiful Keswick Stone Circle, a neolithic structure set in the middle of some great panoramas. Accommodation: Keswick for 6 nights at The Edwardene guesthouse but there are a number B&Bs and guesthouses that we use subject to availability at the time of your booking. They are generally 5-15 minutes walk from the Moot Hall in the centre of town. If you wish to upgrade to 4 or 5 star or self-contained properties please contact us.

Meals:  Nil

This walk can be done in most weather conditions, and takes you on a complete perambulation around Derwent Water. The walk can be reduced in length by taking a ferry to one of several points upon the lake. The walk undulates around the side of the water and also follows sections of road where the path does not have direct access to the lake. On the way you should notice the beautiful sculpture of the Centenery Stone in the water. A short diversion takes you to the spectacular (after rain) Lodore Falls. Cross the 'Chinese Bridge' at the southern side of the lake and return to Keswick via the cafe and walled gardens at Lingholm, a home of Beatrix Potter. There is some attractive mixed woodland to pass through on the way and perhaps on a really warm day you may want to take a swim in one of the quieter little bays or beaches on the south western side of the lake.

Meals:  B

This 931-metre (3,054 ft) fell is the sixth-highest mountain in England. It dominates the skyline of Keswick and this part of the northern lakes. It is the simplest of the Lake District mountains of this height to ascend. The walk climbs over a side peak called Little Man which can be bypassed but offers the best views down to Derwent Water. If it is clear the broad summit ridge offers views to Brasenthwaite Lake and to the remote fells to the north. Although it is easier to descend the way that you have come, there is a steep descent down to the villages to the south of Skiddaw and then a cross country trail back into Keswick. If the weather is bad on the peaks but you still have views there is a shorter route up to the famous viewpoint called Latrigg, from this small side peak you can continue the walk as a circuit taking in beautiful Brundholme woods returning to Keswick. (10 km /6.1 miles, 2.5 hours)

Meals:  B

A lovely ‘figure of 8’ shaped walk which although ascends to the popular Castlerigg Stone Circle, soon takes minor trails to the unfrequented St.John’s in the Vale, a very pretty valley with a small church. Following the valleyside above St. John’s Beck, a beautiful lane is followed through woods and pastures passing Low Bridge Farm where quite often teas are available. Then it's up to cross the A591 road where if you want to shorten the walk you can take the bus back to Keswick. Crossing the road you then take a minor road around the head of Thirlmere before taking tracks via Shoulthwaite and Shaw Bank to retrace an earlier section of path in reverse before diverting across fields and into the trees of ‘Springs Wood’ before returning to Keswick. If you wanted a longer walk, a short bus ride takes you into Borrowdale, then you follow a low to medium level linear walk along the Cumbria Way. You will have the chance to dawdle along and hopefully enjoy the scenery. From Rosthwaite you join the beautiful River Derwent which we more or less follow on its course to the beautiful island studded lake of Derwent Water. The Cumbria Way clings to the valley bottom and Derwentwater lakeshore. It may be possible to stop for a coffee break or early lunch at a cafe in Grange-in-Borrowdale. There are some attractive places to picnic along the shore of Derwentwater. You can extend the walk by making a diversion from Hawse End to climb the very beautiful little peak with the delightful name of Catbells.

Meals:  B

This beautiful walk is probably the best of the holiday and should be reserved for a good day. Newlands is a hidden gem of farms and pastures tucked away behind the popular peak called Catbells and a world away from the bustle of Keswick. After a pause for breath and to drink in the views, the walk then continues up via Maiden Moor to High Spy. From here you follow cairns over moors and down to Dale Head Tarn then up steeply to Dale Head at the head of the Newlands Valley. After a short flirtation with the head of Buttermere, the course changes and it is steeply down through the heather and bracken via the Hindscarth Ridge into the Newlands Valley. Off the fells you walk through farms into Little Town – hardly even a village! There is no public transport into the valley and no pub although there is normally one farm which has a licensed café towards the end of the walk. From here you can either walk out or phone for a taxi from Keswick. There are options to get public transport further on, or you could just walk back to Keswick via the village of Portinscale.

Meals:  B

After a short bus ride to the hamlet of Scales, this beautiful walk encompasses the peak of Blencathra 868 m (2,848 ft). Via a remote path near Scales Fell and takes you to the oval water feature of Scales Tarn, hidden in the upper part of a little valley. From here a fairly short but steep climb takes you to the summit, from where you follow the broad ridge all the way along to Blease Fell at the ridge end. Here you switch back down fairly easily to the Blencathra centre. Here it is easy to walk back the last few miles via the woodland road through Brundholme Wood or by following the railway track back into town. Otherwise you can instead head down to the pretty village of Threlkeld where there are a couple of pubs and a coffee shop. A bus passes through every hour and can take you back to Keswick.

Meals:  B

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 6 nights in a comfortable Keswick B&B or Guesthouse
  • 6 breakfasts
  • Route note and map package (1 pack per room booked)
  • GPX tracks for listed walks

What's Not Included

  • 6 dinners, lunches and beverages
  • Entrance Fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the tour
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Bus, taxi and boat transport that may be used in conjunction with the walks

Upcoming Travel Dates


Duration:7 Days
Starting Point:Keswick
Activities:Self guided walking
Trip Code:WCZ
Prices From:GBP£615 Per Person
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.