Friday, 16 September 2016

The quiet end of Derwent Water.

I love Keswick and that end of Derwent Water but sometimes the crowds just get a bit too much. There was a time when it quietened off in the mid-week but not these days. It seems busy everyday and at everytime of the year. I still go down to the landing stages but it is usually at the end of the day when people have left for home or are back in the town having their evening meals. Being sat by the shores of Derwent Water at dusk is the spot where I feel most at peace with the world. It's the place I go if I need to sort my head out. An hour sitting down there usually puts all my problems in to their true perspective. It is also a place to go for the most fabulous sunsets.

Travel about three miles though and you are transferred in to a completely different world. The differnce between the north and south ends of the lake are like chalk and cheese. You only meet a few people at the south end of the Lake, probably because there is little parking and also there aren't many fells to climb, You can get up Catbells from this end but I think most of the paths have been closed for erosion control purposes. The main path forms part of both the Cumbrian Way and The Allerdale Ramble so you would expect it to be quite busy but this doesn't seem to be the case when I've been there.

There are four bays in close proximity, the main one being Brandlehow Bay which is where the Keswick Launch stops. The National Trust, which was created in 1896 largely through the efforts of Canon Rawnsley, vicar of Crosthwaite near Keswick, now owns all of this area. In 1902 the Brandlehow estate on the shore of Derwent Water (108 acres of pasture and woodland at the foot of Catbells), came on the market. Rawnsley launched an appeal, and enough money was raised so Brandlehow became one of the National Trust’s earliest purchases, and the first purchase in this area.

The next bay is Abbott's Bay which is the home to Otter Island. I haven't personally seen any otters in the vicinity but I presume there are some there. This is then followed by Myrtle Bay and finally Great Bay which is where the River Derwent enters Derwent Water. All the bays give great views up the lake towards Skiddaw and Blencathra and, where gaps in the trees permit, the opposite way you get views towards the Jaws of Borrowdale and beyond ie. The Scafells, Glaramara and Great Gable.

I only walked as far as Great Bay because that is where the path leaves the lake shore and cuts across to the main road going down Borrowdale which gives no photo opportunities at all. So it was a case of retracing my footsteps back which was no hardship at all. The sun had broken through by then so that is when most of my photos were taken. A couple of picnic benches have been placed by the Brandlehow landing stage so I took full advantage of one of them and had ten or fifteen minutes peace and quiet before heading off back to the madding crowd!

Path to Brandlehow Bay

Abbott's Bay

Great Bay and Catbells

Great Bay

Skiddaw from Great Bay

Mansty Park woods

Myrtle Bay

Myrtle Bay

Mansty Park woods

Abbott's Bay

Otter Island

Mansty Park woods

Mansty Park woods

Brandlehow Bay

Fungi, Brandlehow Bay

Nature's Art

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...