Friar's Crag and the Derwent Water Foreshore

Visitors enjoy the view from Friar's Crag, Borrowdale

If you’re visiting the Lake District around Keswick, a great place to start your trip is Derwent Water Foreshore. Just five minutes' walk from Keswick's market square, the foreshore offers easy walks with parking, toilets, cafés and benches, with views down the length of the lake of Cat Bells and the Jaws of Borrowdale.

Just so you know...

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please check our homepage for the most up to date information about visiting.

The friendly staff at our Keswick Lakeside shop on the foreshore will share their local knowledge with you and recommend things to see and do in the area. You can also pick up maps, walking guides and essentials like snack bars and drinks to keep you fuelled up for your day out.

Keswick’s best view

Ten minutes on level paths from Keswick Lakeside shop is the viewpoint of Friar’s Crag. From the bench on the end you get an unbroken view down the length of the lake, with the fells of Walla Crag and Maiden Moor curling along the left and right shores, and the ‘teeth’ of Castle Crag right in the centre at the far end.

" The first thing I remember…was being taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar’s Crag"
- John Ruskin

In a grove of trees on the crag is a slate memorial to the writer, thinker and painter John Ruskin who named the view from Friar’s Crag as his earliest memory. His writing on the impact that natural landscapes have on people was a huge influence on the founders of the National Trust.

The Ruskin Memorial on Friar's Crag, Derwentwater
The Ruskin Memorial on Friar's Crag, Derwentwater, Lake District, Cumbria
The Ruskin Memorial on Friar's Crag, Derwentwater

Easy waymarked walks

To help you explore, we’ve created four waymarked walks starting from the Keswick Lakeside shop. The shortest is a pushchair-friendly ½mile circuit of the wood beside the lake, including a wild play trail. The longest is the 2¾ mile circular Lakeside Amble which visits the Hundred Year Stone sculpture at Calf Close bay.

Simply breathtaking, the sculpture and the views!
Centenary Stone on the shores of Derwent Water, Lake District
Simply breathtaking, the sculpture and the views!

Explore by boat

One of the best ways to view the Borrowdale fells is from the water. From the foreshore you can join a guided canoe trip with Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft company – book the trip from our Keswick Lakeside shop.

You can also hire a rowing boat or a little motor boat from the Keswick landings to take a picnic the islands (we look after all four islands and you can land on the three smallest).

Or, the crème de la crème, you can catch one of the traditional wooden launches from the Keswick Launch company, cruise to the end of the lake and walk back on the lakeshore path