Tuesday 15 November 2011

Lakeland longings 2 - Derwent Water

Just lately, I've been browsing Facebook photos of Mark up in the Lakes and having to work hard to suppress feelings of insane jealousy, so I thought I'd look back at my last Lake District holiday and make you feel jealous too. After all, a jealousy shared is a jealousy halved. Yes?

Derwent Water is one of the best known of the English Lakes and very popular with tourists. It is 3 miles long, 1 mile wide and 72 feet deep, much smaller than Wastwater.

Like Windermere, Ullswater and Coniston, it has a cruise boat company which operates a service around the lake; the full trip taking around 50 minutes and stopping at such places as Lodore with it's waterfall, subject of the 1820 peom by Robert Southey. This is just an extract:

From its sources which well
In the tarn on the fell;
From its fountains
In the mountains,
Its rills and its gills;
Through moss and through brake,
It runs and it creeps
For a while, till it sleeps
In its own little lake.
And thence at departing,
Awakening and starting,
It runs through the reeds,
And away it proceeds,
Through meadow and glade,
In sun and in shade,
And through the wood-shelter,
Among crags in its flurry,
Here it comes sparkling,
And there it lies darkling;
Now smoking and frothing
Its tumult and wrath in,
Till, in this rapid race
On which it is bent,
It reaches the place
Of its steep descent.

If you'd like to read the whole poem, including the actual descent, click here.

The closest town to Derwent Water is Keswick, above which towers the 3,054 feet high mountain of Skiddaw, fourth highest in the UK. But perhaps the most distinctive of the fells along Derwent Water is Cat Bells (below). Although a mere 1,480 feet, it is easily recognisable by its shape and is very popular with walkers because of the views it offers.


  1. A gorgeous place, indeed, H. I'm not prone to jealousy, so I can't help you there, though. LOL! I've also not heard the expression, "a jealousy shared is a jealousy halved."

  2. This looks like a great place for a walk or hike. Great photos.

  3. My favourite lake. No! A jealousy shared is a jealousy doubled!

  4. Yep I'm jealous. We stayed in a farmhouse along the Derwent Water. Dear and I hiked part way up Cat Bells. Our knees were shot from trying to climb up Snowdon in Wales.

  5. That red sail is like a google marker. Lovely to learn about these lakes.

  6. The Lakes have always been a "funny place" for me : slightly too far away for being a decent day-trip and made up of such a unique landscape - they have a slight "foreign" feel about them.

  7. Love the last photo with the red sail :)

  8. What wonderful photos in your last two posts. I've never been to Wastwater but remember it winning 'Britain's Favourite View' on TV a few years ago. I've only ever been into part of the Lake District once when we were staying on the coast at Whitehaven, I really must go back and explore some more:)

  9. I love the Lakes too and being only an hour's drive away in the Dales, we can go across frequently. The scenery is totally different from ours. I don't know Derwentwater as well as Windermere and Ullswater.

  10. So beautiful and the accompanying poem set the scene most delightfully.