Due to the often unpredictable weather of the Lake District, planning a weekend up there usually requires a plan B, a plan C, and a whole lot of waterproof clothing. Last weekend was no exception!
I spent a few hours mapping out different routes on the Suunto Movescount website before our little getaway so we were prepared for every eventuality. The sun shone when we left Lincolnshire, but the forecast for Keswick was grim – heavy rain and strong wind. Because of that, we decided to avoid high grounds and opted for a 9-mile run around Derwentwater instead.
Thankfully the weather wasn’t as bad as expected, but we stuck to our plan. The route started near the Pencil Museum in Keswick and followed a mostly man-made path around the lake.
The trail took us through a camping ground and onto a secondary road that we followed for about a mile before turning left towards Nichol End Landing – one of the many piers surrounding Derwentwater from where visitors can catch a ferry.
From there, we followed the path towards Hawes End and longed Catbells all the way to Manesty. We stopped for a quick break just after Manesty Park, chatted with a couple of dog walkers (they had the most adorable Border Collie) and sipped on some Lucozade before carrying on.
We usually visit the Lake District for its heights so I was worried that a flat run around the lake would be disappointing, but the views were absolutely stunning and the route was everything but boring.
We eventually reached the other side of the lake. Getting back to Keswick from there would normally be pretty simple – the trail running parallel to the B5289 takes you straight to town – but on that day, the path leading to the road was flooded. And, I mean, really flooded!
We stood on the water’s edge for a few minutes, trying to find a way across. After watching a few people come towards us with their trousers rolled up to their knees, walking boots in hand, I opted to go in barefoot too. We still had a few miles ahead of us and I was wearing my road trainers, which do not dry very quickly (as opposed to my Salomon ones).
The water was freezing cold, but the crossing was actually fun – I laughed all the way!
We completed the 9-mile loop and made it back to Keswick in roughly two hours and a half. The route was easy to follow, accessible to runners (or hikers) of all abilities, and simply beautiful. It’s ideal for a grey winter day, when the daylight hours are short and summits are shrouded in clouds.