• Derwent Water

  • The History of Derwentwater

    There are so many fascinating historical aspects to Derwentwater, it's hard to know where to start. There are four fairly sized islands on Derwentwater, all with unique stories, and reasons for their individual names. The largest island is Derwent Isle, which in the 19th Century was used by German miners, who came to mine copper in the Newlands valley, to the west of Derwent Water. St Herbert's Isle was named after the 7th Century monk who inhabited a friary on the island. Lord's Island was once owned by the monks of Furness Abbey, but is now owned and managed by the National Trust, as is much of the land surrounding Derwent Water. Rampsholme Island is named because of its abundance of wild garlic (another word for it being of the Saxon origin 'Ramp').


    The Market town of Keswick is a wonderful place to spend the day. Exploring the edge of the lake, or even hiring a row-boat or taking a ferry trip.


    If it's ancient history your looking for; or even if you just like to take amazing pictures- Castlerigg Stone Circle is a must see! Although not as big or famous as Stonehenge, Castlerigg is widely believed to be the oldest stone circle in England. It is certainly the most beautifully located, overlooking Keswick, Derwentwater and the surrounding fells.

    Walking around Derwentwater

    It is possible to walk the entire circumference of Derwentwater, crossing over the walkway at the 'Jaws of Borrowdale' from either direction. Lingholme Kitchen and Gardens is a fantastic stop-off point if you fancy a spot of afternoon tea in a beautiful setting. Another popular walk from Derwentwater, is Catbells. Voted number three on ITV's 'Britain's favourite walks', you can follow a straight forward route up the fell from Lingholme Kitchen, or alternatively, begin in Keswick for a slightly longer walk. Although it is one of the lower level fells in the area, the views over Derwentwater are not to be beaten!

    Useful info

    • Derwentwater is 2.9 miles long
    • 1.2 miles wide
    • 22 metres deep
    • Location: Keswick
    • OS: NY 260200
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