Derwent Water trip details

Skiddaw from Derwent Water

Exploring a Lakeland classic
Region: North West
Discipline: Touring
Difficulty: Easy
Grade: 1
Length: 4 km
Average Time: 2 hrs
Start: Kettlewell Car Park (pay & Display) at the far Southern End of the Lake Great Wood Car Park Keswick Landing Stage/ Car Park Camping & Caravan Club site at northern end (Small launch fee is charged if not staying on site)
Finish: Kettlewell Car Park (pay & Display) at the far Southern End of the Lake Great Wood Car Park Keswick Landing Stage/ Car Park Camping & Caravan Club site at northern end (Small launch fee is charged if not staying on site)

Surrounded and overlooked by some of the highest and well-loved fells in the region Derwent Water, and the nearby town of Keswick, are some of the most popular spots to visit in all of Lakeland. With easy access it's a great Canoeing on Derwent Watewr Lake Districtdestination for a days canoe or kayak paddling.

Derwent Water is one of the larger bodies of water in the Lake District National Park and occupies part of Borrowdale. Derwent lies immediately south of the town of Keswick, a popular tourist destination. It is both fed and drained by the River Derwent.  There are several islands within the lake, one of which is inhabited. Derwent Island House, an 18th-century residence, is a tenanted National Trust property open to the public on five days each year.

Derwent Water, on a clear day, can offer the touring paddler some truly stunning views, with the atmospheric Fells of Catbells, High spy and the imposing Skiddaw domanating the view. A regular passenger launch service operates on the lake, taking passengers between various landing stages, and care needs to be taken to stay clear of these and their wakes.. There are seven lakeside marinas in total, the most popular stops being: Keswick, Portinscale and the Lodore Falls and it is even possible to hire canoes from some of these if you don't have, or don't want to take, your own boat.

Paddling trips can take a myriad of forms. From short floats in sheltered bays, to exploring the islands, or paddling the whole lenghth of the lake to a full circumnavigation.

The River Derwent also offers some great paddling for those happy with moving water.

Accommodation: Camping & Caravan Club Site at Keswick - Derwent Water Youth Hostel - Loads of B&B, hotel and bunkhouses in the area for all tastes and budgets.

Food and Drinks: Keswick is bursting with pubs, resteraunts and caf├ęs. Our faves are the two chip shops, both of which have sit down dining. Pub wise head to the Dog & Gun, The Bank Tavern or the Odd Fellows Arms for a Jar or two of Jennings Ale (Snecklifter or Cumbrian ale) Food wise the best place is the awesome Lakeland Peddlar restaurant/Cafe

Canoe Shops: Windermere Canoe Shop and Carlisle Canoes (Brookbank Carlisle) are the nearest -

Guidebooks: Watersports Guide to the Lakes available from here -

Useful Websites:
Kayaking and canoeing are assumed risk sports and you should take every effort to become aware of any dangers involved. These guides are not intended as instruction manuals they are just as the name suggests... guides. They can give you access and egress information and give you a flavour of the water you'll encounter, but water is an ever-changing environment. Rivers change with varying water levels, trees get stuck, and banks can collapse. Never assume a river is safe just because you read it in a guide. You must use your own judgement and experiences to make the decision whether to paddle, or not. And as rivers change so to at sea can the weather conditions and tides change. All information has been checked to the best of our ability, is given in good faith, and we hope will be helpful, but all information should be checked locally and you and you alone are responsible for your decisions to undertake any of the paddling trips contained within it. The authors and publisher can accept no responsibility for any inconvenience, injury or loss sustained by any persons as a result of information given in this guide.

Back to Guidebooks

Back to previous list

Want to comment on what you've seen?

You must be logged in to leave a comment. You can log in here.
If you don't have a user account please register.