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Derwent Water and Keswick seen from the Castle Head view point
Derwent Water and Keswick seen from the Castle Head view point

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Route No. 341 - Friday 21 May 2010
Great wood, Castle Head view point,
Derwent water circuit - 6km
Keswick, English Lake District . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL4 The English Lakes North-western area at 1:25000


Looking back down the path to the Great Wood car park
Looking back down the path to the Great Wood car park

Wild violet by the path
Wild violet by the path

Track climbing up through Great Wood
Track climbing up through Great Wood

It's about 2km south from the centre of Keswick at map ref. NY271211. We followed a path heading Northeastwards from the car park, climbing up through the woods for about 1km to the edge of the woods at map ref. NY279222.

Every year we have short break with a group of friends to do some walks in an attractive part of the country. This year we are staying in a large well appointed holiday cottage at Knipe Fold in the English Lake District. The plan is to meet at the cottage late this afternoon so this morning my wife and I have driven to the National Trust Great Wood car park by Derwent Water

Climbing up through the woods from the car park
Climbing up through the woods from the car park

Herb Robert (or stinking bob) by the path
Herb Robert (or stinking bob) by the path

Dung beetles on the path
Dung beetles on the path

Track climbing up through Great Wood
Track climbing up through Great Wood

The view across Derwent Water from the open grassland at the top of Great Wood
The view across Derwent Water from the open grassland at the top of Great Wood

Nearing the top of the climb up through Great Wood
Nearing the top of the climb up through Great Wood

Sign post where we joined the path above Brockley Beck
Sign post where we joined the path above Brockley Beck

We followed this path down the hillside through woodland for about 500m to join a lane where it crossed Brockley Beck. We continued along the lane for another 400m to map ref. NY272229

From the edge of the wood we continued along the fenced path for another 150m to a path well above Brockley Beck and running parallel to it.

Path from the top of Great Wood to the path above Brockley Beck
Path from the top of Great Wood to the path above Brockley Beck

Looking across Derwent Water from the path above Brockley Beck
Looking across Derwent Water from the path above Brockley Beck

Angora goats checking everyone who passed by
Angora goats checking everyone who passed by

Entering the National Trust's Castle Head Wood
Entering the National Trust's Castle Head Wood

After about 100m we came into Castle Head Woods, a National Trust property.

Here we turned left off the lane on to a path across the fields to the west

Path through Castle Head Wood
Path through Castle Head Wood

Path through Castle Head Wood
Path through Castle Head Wood

Climbing up towards Castle Head
Climbing up towards Castle Head

Looking NW from Castle Head view point
Looking NW from Castle Head view point

We sat in the shade of some pine trees for a drink and a break. It's not very high at 161m (about 530ft) but there is an unrestricted view of the lake and its surrounding hills, a really lovely spot to just sit and absorb the wonderful scenery of the Lake District.

The wood has many informal paths and we simply selected a path climbing as directly as possible up the conical rocky hill. After about 300m up a steep climb we made our way through the rocks onto an open summit with an amazing view over Derwent Water and the hills beyond and over to our right was Keswick

The last few metres to the Castle Head view point
The last few metres to the Castle Head view point

Memorial flowers on Castle Head
Memorial flowers on Castle Head

The path down from Castle Head
The path down from Castle Head

Heading for the shore of Derwent Water
Heading for the shore of Derwent Water

We followed the path winding its way through the National Trust woodland and pasture to the shore of Derwent Water just beyond a large property called Stable Hills

After our break we followed the path down from the hill top to cross the main road (B5289) at map ref. NY268226.

Water Aven by the path
Water Aven by the path

Contrasting ewe and lambs near the lake
Contrasting ewe and lambs near the lake

Derwent Water from the path along the shore
Derwent Water from the path along the shore

Derwent Water from the path along the shore
Derwent Water from the path along the shore

Sculptured faces of both halves of a large boulder
Sculptured faces of both halves of a large boulder

Very pretty path along the lake shore amongst the trees
Very pretty path along the lake shore amongst the trees

Tree roots exposed on the lake shore
Tree roots exposed on the lake shore

The whole walk had only been 6km and it had taken us about two and a half hours including our long break on top of Castle Head. It had been a very pleasant introduction to our short break in the Lake District on the very warm sunny day and we drove off to join our friends at the cottage in Knipe Fold.

From here we followed the very pretty shore line through the trees to the road near the Great Wood car park. We crossed the road and walked along the car park access road back to our car and the end of the walk.

Rock roses on the lake shore
Rock roses on the lake shore

Very pretty path along the lake shore amongst the trees
Very pretty path along the lake shore amongst the trees

Back at the car park
Back at the car park

A last look across Derwent Water before crossing the road to enter the car park at the end of our walk
A last look across Derwent Water before crossing the road to enter the car park at the end of our walk