Rosthwaite National Trust car park Borrowdale

photo of stone bridge with sunlight sparkling off the water

This popular spot is in the heart of the village of Rosthwaite, with an easy level walk to the stepping stones across the river Derwent. The packhorse trail to Watendlath is a popular trail from here; but usually you'd need to get here early, it's often full by 10am.

How to get here

  • Postcode: CA12 5XB (please note that in rural locations post codes often cover a wide area - so don't believe the SatNav, look for the signs!)

  • Grid ref: NY257148

  • Find us on Google Maps

The car park is on the right hand side off the B5289 in the village of Rosthwaite situated 6 miles south of Keswick at the southern end of the Borrowdale Valley.

Over the winter, the toilets are open weekends only and may be closed if there is a risk of freezing.

Car parking charges for Borrowdale

How much does it cost to park?

National Trust members can scan to park for free, but if you’re not a member don't forget some change as due to our rural location there is very limited mobile signal which means we can't take card or phone payment. Every penny directly funds our work in the valley to care for wildlife, walls, paths, cottages and farms.

Great for an easy walk, or something more challenging

For an easy level walk try the Rosthwaite Circular which visits Milican Dalton’s cave or for the more adventurous take the packhorse trail to Watendlath for the Rosthwaite Round, fells, tarn and beck walk.  On some days there may be a National Trust recruiter working out of the car park who would be happy to help you chose a route.

Boats and ducks on Watendlath Tarn, Lake District

Rosthwaite Round, fells, tarn and beck walk

Along this favourite walk that takes you to a Borrowdale gem - the hamlet of Watendlath, you'll discover oak woodland, two tarns (mountain ponds) and stunning Lakeland views.

Enjoy a cup of tea

If you’re looking for a cup of tea or some local home cooked treats, you can relax and take in the view in the garden of the Flock Inn tearoom just along the track from the car park.  Part of Yew Tree farm, one of our tenant farmers and a Bed and Breakfast.

Spot a red squirrel

A walk through Castle Crag woods is one of the best places for spotting a red squirrel in Borrowdale. Parking at Rosthwaite car park can boost our conservation work and help us keep the red squirrel alive in the lakes. Whether you are a member who scans your card (we get £1 from central funds every time you do) or a non-member who pays for a ticket, every penny you generate in this car park goes to help us take care of this special place, so thank you.

Red Squirrel in woodland

Find out how we're protecting our red squirrels 

Red squirrels are in decline in the UK due to the proliferation of grey squirrels and the spread of squirrel pox. Find out how we're helping red squirrels thrive.