|A drive of many natural wonders starting from Keswick visiting some of the most beautiful lakes, valleys and mountain passes in the Lake District. Highlights include Derwent Water, Borrowdale, Honister Pass, Buttermere, Crummock Water and Whinlatter.|
|Central Lakes Drives||Home|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Keswick||N 54.59936, W 3.13758|
|1.4 miles||Calfclose Bay||N 54.58325, W 3.12902|
|2.7 miles||Ashness Bridge||N 54.56663, W 3.13059|
|3.2 miles||Surprise View||N 54.56102, W 3.13284|
|5.1 miles||Watendlath||N 54.53684, W 3.12033|
|8.6 miles||Kettlewell / Lodore Falls||N 54.56537, W 3.13476|
|10.2 miles||Grange in Borrowdale||N 54.54705, W 3.15544|
|10.9 miles||The Bowder Stone||N 54.54158, W 3.15620|
|12.4 miles||Rosthwaite||N 54.52358, W 3.14818|
|13.5 miles||Stonethwaite||N 54.51367, W 3.14061|
|16.1 miles||Seathwaite||N 54.49940, W 3.18209|
|17.4 miles||Seatoller||N 54.51354, W 3.16710|
|18.9 miles||Honister Pass||N 54.51165, W 3.19697|
|21.3 miles||Gatesgarthdale||N 54.52381, W 3.24607|
|23.3 miles||Buttermere Village||N 54.54097, W 3.27756|
|24.8 miles||Crummock Water, Rannerdale||N 54.55376, W 3.29549|
|33.7 miles||Whinlatter Forest||N 54.60939, W 3.23012|
|38.5 miles||Keswick||N 54.59936, W 3.13758|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Keswick, Central car park Coordinates: N 54.59936, W 3.13758
|Keswick town centre|
|Derwent Water from Friar's Crag|
A little way out of the town centre, the lakeside area on Derwent Water is always popular and you can explore the lake either by boat or the footpath which runs right around the lake. The Keswick launch is the best way to take in the lake and its surroundings. There are regular boats (less in winter) which stop here and at several beauty spots around the lake. It is definitely worth walking the short distance to Friarís Crag which offers beautiful views down the lake. Crow Park, opposite Lakeside car park, has a lovely open setting next to the lake where you can watch the boats come and go, again with great views. Between Crow Park and the town centre is Hope Park which has attractive landscaped grounds and miniature golf. There is a cafe, toilet facilities and the popular Theatre by the Lake is also here which has its own facilities. Central and Lakeside car parks are pay and display.
Travelling:Leave the car park and turn left on the B5289 Borrowdale Road towards Borrowdale. Soon meet a mini-roundabout, taking the second exit leads a short distance to Keswick lakeside and parking. Otherwise the drive takes the first exit then the second exit at the following mini-roundabout towards Borrowdale. Continue for approx 1 mile to Great Wood car park on the left.
Distance: 1.4 miles Location: Calfclose Bay, Great Wood car park Coordinates: N 54.58325, W 3.12902
|Centenary Stone, Calfclose Bay|
Travelling:Continue along the B5289 towards Borrowdale. The road follows the wooded lakeshore and after approx 0.5 miles there is a left turn signposted to Ashness Bridge and Watendlath. If you take this left, the dead end road is single track with passing places, steep and tight in places and can be busy in season. However, the attractions along this road are well worth visiting. There is a small free car park immediately after the junction on the left giving access to the adjacent lakeshore. Continue up hill for approx 0.5 miles to Ashness Bridge. Take care driving over the bridge which is very narrow. The car park is just beyond the bridge on the right.
Distance: 2.7 miles Location: Ashness Bridge Coordinates: N 54.56663, W 3.13059
Travelling:Continue up the minor road towards Watendlath. After approx 0.5 miles there is a car park on the left for Surprise View.
Distance: 3.2 miles Location: Surprise View Coordinates: N 54.56102, W 3.13284
|Derwent Water from Surprise View|
Travelling:The minor road continues to wind up through the trees but shortly becomes more level and leaves the trees behind to pass along the scenic valley floor. At peak times the road can be quite busy and difficult. Eventually, the hamlet of Watendlath is reached and there is a small car park to the left.
Distance: 5.1 miles Location: Watendlath Coordinates: N 54.53684, W 3.12033
Travelling:Retrace your steps all the way back down the Watendlath road to the B5289 Borrowdale road and turn left towards Borrowdale. After approx 0.5 miles, Kettlewell car park is on the right.
Distance: 8.6 miles Location: Kettlewell car park and Lodore Falls Coordinates: N 54.56537, W 3.13476
Travelling:Back on the Borrowdale road, shortly pass the Lodore Falls Hotel on the left and just beyond are public toilets on the right with a convenient layby. A little further on, the Borrowdale Hotel is another elegant hotel, also on the left. Continue along the road for a short distance before it comes alongside the River Derwent on the right and you see a double arched bridge over the river. Cross this bridge to enter the village of Grange in Borrowdale.
Distance: 10.2 miles Location: Grange in Borrowdale Coordinates: N 54.54705, W 3.15544
|Grange in Borrowdale|
Travelling:Travel back over the river and turn right to continue along the B5289. In approx 0.5 miles on the left is the Bowder Stone car park.
Distance: 10.9 miles Location: The Bowder Stone car park Coordinates: N 54.54158, W 3.15620
|The Bowder Stone|
Travelling:Back on the B5289, continue up the Borrowdale valley. The road follows the river and the narrow wooded valley with glimpses of the surrounding hills including Castle Crag ahead which appears as an isolated peak in the middle of the valley. Shortly, the valley opens up again with great views in all directions. The road continues to the four adjacent settlements of Rosthwaite, Stonethwaite, Seathwaite and Seatoller at the head of the Borrowdale valley.
|Borrowdale from Castle Crag|
Distance: 12.4 miles Location: Rosthwaite
Coordinates: N 54.52358, W 3.14818
Travelling:Back on the B5289 through Rosthwaite, continue approx 0.5 miles to a left turn for Stonethwaite which is a short way down the minor dead end road.
Distance: 13.5 miles Location: Stonethwaite
Coordinates: N 54.51367, W 3.14061
Travelling:Return to the B5289 and turn left. After approx 1 mile there is a left turn to the hamlet of Seathwaite which can be found approx 1 mile along the dead end road.
Distance: 16.1 miles Location: Seathwaite
Coordinates: N 54.49940, W 3.18209
Travelling:Retrace your steps back to the B5289 and turn left. Almost immediately enter the village of Seatoller, the main car park is first on the right.
Distance: 17.4 miles Location: Seatoller
Coordinates: N 54.51354, W 3.16710
Travelling:Continuing on along the B5289, the road quickly becomes narrow and very steep through a wooded section alongside a cascading stream before the gradient eases and the valley opens up. The road continues to climb steadily alongside the stream and there are a few places where you can stop and enjoy the surroundings. Eventually you reach the summit of Honister Pass at 356m altitude.
Distance: 18.9 miles Location: Honister Pass Coordinates: N 54.51165, W 3.19697
|Honister slate mine from Honister Pass summit|
Travelling:Continue on the B5289, over the summit of the Pass and start descending towards Buttermere. Again steep and narrow, the road is hemmed in by some very impressive peaks but soon descends to the more open valley floor and follows the pleasing river along Gatesgarthdale. There are a number of free layby's next to the river where you can stop and admire the scenery before reaching Gatesgarth Farm where there is a small formal car park on the right.
Distance: 21.3 miles Location: Gatesgarthdale car park Coordinates: N 54.52381, W 3.24607
Travelling:Continue along the B5289 which soon follows the shore of Buttermere lake. Although narrow, this is a lovely section of road with views of the lake and the surrounding hills. After approx 1.8 miles, pass the quaint church of St James in a wonderful setting on the right before a short sharp descent into Buttermere village. The main village car park is down the lane on the left, immediately before the Bridge Hotel.
Distance: 23.3 miles Location: Buttermere Village car park Coordinates: N 54.54097, W 3.27756
Travelling:From Buttermere car park, turn left on the B5289 past the Bridge Hotel and climb out of the village. In a short distance is a National Trust pay and display car park on the left. Beyond the village the road gradually descends towards Crummock Water and soon meets the shore of the lake. There is limited free parking where you can access the open lakeshore and admire the fabulous views. The road continues along the open shore with further great views over the lake. Shortly, the road twists around a tight rocky headland and beyond this is the small Rannerdale car park on the right. If this is full, further parking is available on Cinderdale Common, approx 0.6 miles further on.
Distance: 24.8 miles Location: Crummock Water, Rannerdale car park Coordinates: N 54.55376, W 3.29549
|Crummock Water road|
Travelling:Turn right out of the car park and continue along the B5289. There are wonderful views across Crummock Water towards Mellbreak mountain and to the right is the mighty Grasmoor mountain. After approx 0.6 miles there are two small free car parks on Cinderdale Common which also give access to Rannerdale valley and adjacent open land. Just beyond on the left is a footpath which takes you along the picturesque lakeshore. The narrow road then climbs slowly away from the lake, there are one or two small places where you can stop and admire the views. Just beyond the first house on the left is a larger free car park. Beyond this the road crosses a cattle grid then descends with views ahead down Lorton Vale valley. Continue through a wooded section and shortly meet a T junction where you turn right towards Lorton, still the B5289.
Continue along the pleasant Lorton Vale road for approx 1.9 miles and at the sign for Lorton village take the right turn towards Keswick. This road meanders through Lorton village and after approx 0.7 miles take the right turn towards Keswick. Shortly meet a T junction where you turn right again on the B5292 towards Keswick. The road begins to climb steadily away from Lorton and views open up over surrounding hills and valleys. The road soon crosses a stream on a stone bridge, you can park here and walk the short distance up the valley to Spout Force waterfall. Continue to climb steadily through the lower slopes of Whinlatter Pass. Eventually as the road reaches the summit of the Pass you will see the entrance to Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre on the left.
Distance: 33.7 miles Location: Whinlatter Forest Coordinates: N 54.60939, W 3.23012
Travelling:Turn left out of the Visitor Centre car park and continue on the B5292 which descends through the forest towards Keswick. You soon pass the free forest car parks of Revelin Moss, Masmill and Noble Knott which offer further picnic tables and forest walks. On the roadside at Noble Knott is a large layby where you can stop and enjoy the wonderful views across Bassenthwaite Lake and Skiddaw mountain. The road continues to descend and soon there is a small free car park on the right from where you can walk up the remote and attractive Coledale valley to the historic Force Crag Mine, now owned by National Trust. The walk is over 2 miles in each direction but relatively easy. The road then enters the village of Braithwaite. In the village centre is the Royal Oak Inn. Continue through the village and shortly meet the main A66 at a T junction. Turn right towards Keswick. After approx 1 mile, turn right on the B5289 and after 1 more mile, this road approaches the centre of Keswick. Turn right at the mini-roundabout (still the B5289) and Keswick Central car park is a short distance on the left.
Distance: 38.5 miles Location: Keswick, Central car park Coordinates: N 54.59936, W 3.13758
|Hope Park, Keswick|