Destination of the month: Derwent Water
Lake District loveliness - Revel in the breathtaking views over this jewel in the national park's crown
Words by Susie Kearley
Whatever your outdoor pastime passion, from cycling to walking, sailing or kayaking, spectacular Derwent Water in the Lake District is the perfect playground.
This is one of the national park's plum destinations. The jaw-dropping fells of Cat Bells lie to the west; Friar's Crag lies to the east. The south is a gateway to Borrowdale (the 'most beautiful valley in Westmorland', according to legendary guide writer, Alfred Wainwright), and the National Trust's Centenary Stone is located at Calfclose Bay, on the east shore.
It's a scenic 10-mile walk to circumnavigate the lake, on flat, level paths with spellbinding views.
If you've got the legs and the puff, though, it's worth a diversion to the Cat Bells ridge for sublime views across Derwent and the Newlands Valley. If that seems too energetic, hop on board the passenger ferry to shorten your walk with a gentle cruise - there are eight stops around the lake.
Nearby Keswick is full of outdoor gear retailers and independent shops. The Puzzling Place
Museum will amaze and inspire you, and there's the Theatre by the Lake, with a great café (we've sheltered there on a rainy day!). See the world's largest pencil in the Pencil Museum; it's better than it sounds
At the southern end of Derwent Water is Borrowdale, where you'll find the small villages of Grange, Rosthwaite, Stonethwaite and Seatoller, the last place before the Honister Pass. From here, many hikers head for the fells of Great Gable.
Where to stay
Keswick Camping & Caravanning Club Site
Crow Park Road, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5EP
T 01768 772392
OPEN All year
PRICE £30.30, high season
This site, on the shore of Derwent Water, is close to Keswick town centre. Facilities include washrooms, dishwashing, a play area, parent and baby room, disabled facilities, a laundry, and boating. Look out for red squirrels and otters.
Non-members are welcome (for a slightly higher pitch fee), as are pets.