All aboard the Keswick Launch! If you’re looking for a day trip that ticks all the Lake District boxes – mountains, scenery, walking trails, and of course lakes – look no further because Derwentwater has it all. The Keswick Launch Company charters traditional wooden boats around the lake for the best views of this dazzling beauty. See the highlights in one day with our hop on, hop off guide:
After a hearty breakfast at the Pheasant, head to Keswick and the Lake Road Car Park where you can buy your Keswick Launch tickets and board the boat. In summer the boats leave every hour, on the hour from 10am to 4pm (view the timetable here).
Ashness Gate Jetty
Jump off at the first jetty and follow signposts to the famous Ashness Bridge. This traditional stone packhorse bridge is probably the most photographed in the Lake District thanks to its stunning backdrop overlooking the River Derwent and Bassenthwaite Lake. Then walk a little further up to ‘Surprise View’ - this cliff top viewpoint is a wonder to behold with panoramic scenery of Derwentwater and Borrowdale valley. Don’t forget to take some photos and then head back to the jetty for your next leg.
Just one stop away is Lodore Falls, where the beck from Watendlath’s hanging valley tumbles over the edge in to Borrowdale creating a dramatic waterfall. Here’s when a wet trip to the Lakes has its benefits - Lodore Falls looks its best after a good rain shower. Romantic writer Robert Southey summed up Lodore Falls perfectly in his onomatopoeic poem - read it here:
From this jetty you can also explore the beautiful Borrowdale Valley including the picturesque hamlet of Watendlath, which is owned by the National Trust.
Then it’s on to Low Brandelhow where you can hop off and enjoy a relaxed stroll around the quieter side of Derwentwater. Here you can see every landscape the Lake District is famous for; water, woods, fells and valleys, and walk through peaceful parkland to find ‘Entrust’ – a wood carving of cupped hands which marks the 100th anniversary of the National Trust.
Our last stop on the Keswick Launch is Hawse End, the jetty that sits at the bottom of Cat Bells fell. Walk 15 minutes north through the woods to reach the Lingholm Estate – the historic country house where Beatrix Potter spent many of her summer holidays in the 1880’s and 1890’s. She credited the house’s original walled garden as the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s vegetable patch in The Tale of Peter Rabbit and the area now features a gallery displaying Beatrix Potter’s work from the Derwentwater area.
We’ve picked our favourite four sights across the eight jetties, but do explore them all if you have the time. Or if you prefer to stay on board, the boat trip takes 50 minutes to cover the whole of Derwentwater. Visit the Keswick Launch website to plan your day on the lake: https://keswick-launch.co.uk/.