Local sights (Borrowdale and Derwent Water)

You can walk, cycle, run, kayak, or get the bus and the Keswick Launch to explore these interesting sights of Borrowdale and Derwent Water. We have named some of the sights here, but of course there are interesting things to see wherever you stand in Borrowdale! We have not included fell walks here - please see our Walking page for these. The Keswick Tourism Website www.keswick.org also provides great local information, as does the National Trust, who own most of the land in Borrowdale.

  • Ashness Bridge - a 10 minute walk from our grounds, following the path up the side of our waterfall. There is also a National Trust car park here.


  • Surprise View - a steep 15 minute walk up the road from Ashness Bridge. There is also a National Trust car park here.


  • Lodore Falls - a 20 minute flat walk from the hostel. There is a good viewpoint behind the Lodore Falls Hotel (accessed from the north side of the hotel). Note that there isn't a bridge directly behind the hotel anymore, so you either need to go up high to cross the Lodore Falls, or go back to the road and walk in front of the hotel.


  • Bridge and boardwalk (made of recycled plastic bottles) at the southern end of Derwent Water. This is part of the Derwent Water lake-shore path. The bridge is a good place to play pooh sticks and look at the view of Skiddaw to the north and the Jaws of Borrowdale to the south.


  • Entrust (hands) sculpture on the west shore of Derwent Water, on the lake-shore path, near the High Brandlehow jetty. The sculpture was commissioned by the National Trust. 


  • Grange - the River Derwent flows under a double stone bridge at Grange. In the Methodist Chapel on the west side of the bridge there is an excellent series of display boards called the Borrowdale Story. It is free to enter the chapel and view the display.


  • River Derwent - there is a popular swimming spot near the Hollows Farm campsite, on the bridleway from Grange.


  • Castle Crag - there is a war memorial at the top of this distinctive hill, and the views across Derwent Water to the north and Borrowdale to the south are spectacular. The steep climb up the zigzag slate path is definitely worth it.


  • Bowder Stone – a twenty minute walk from Grange. Joseph Pocklington placed a ladder against this enormous boulder in 1789. Now cared for by the National Trust, you can still climb a ladder to the top of the Bowder Stone, but be careful of the slippery surfaces. There is a National Trust car park here.


  • Rosthwaite, Longthwaite, and Stonethwaite - these small hamlets are built on the deposited materials (moraines) that were left behind by the receding glaciers of 10 000 - 18 000 years ago. We have some interesting geological guides to this area, which you are welcome to look at. The names of these hamlets also tell a story, with the Norse word 'thwaite' (meaning 'clearing') providing evidence of Viking settlers in Borrowdale. 


  • Johnny's Wood - lots of interesting trees and wildlife between Longthwaite and Seatoller, on the western side of the River Derwent.


  • Yew trees at Seathwaite - Seathwaite is the southern-most settlement in Borrowdale. It is also the wettest! Look for the successors of the Borrowdale Yews, an ancient group of yew-trees celebrated in William Wordsworth’s Yew-Trees.


  • Derwent Island - now owned by the National Trust, and occupied by tenants, the island used to be owned by Joseph Pocklington. He named it Pocklington's Island (of course!) and built several follies there, as well as the mansion you can see today. The National Trust lead canoe trips to the island, and tours of the house, on select days of the year. Click here for details.
Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246
Email: reception@derwentwater.org

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
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