Spectacular walk for all
A route along the shores of Derwent water to Friar’s Cragg, a point where pilgrims would journey to Saint Herbert’s island on the lake where the remains of a 14th Century chapel can be found. There is plenty of wonderful scenery and items of interest to feast the eyes on, as well as to feed the soul and inspire the inner artist.
The path to Friar’s Cragg is level, easily handled by a buggy and also wheelchairs. It is well laid out and the path is well signposted.
This route starts from the Theatre by the Lake car park (car park charges apply).
Public Transport: buses come into Keswick from across Cumbria, but you will need to make your way from the town centre to the Lakeside.
Refreshments: There is a café at Hope Park or at the Theatre by the Lake.
Public Conveniences: There are toilets available, including disabled facilities.
From the car park head towards the lake past the Theatre by the Lake. Continue along the shoreline, where the track forks, ignore the left fork and continue along the right towards Friar’s Cragg (see photo). Continue to Friar’s Cragg and enjoy the spectacular view. Turn back and return the way you came.
Saints – Friar’s Cragg is so called because it was said to have been the launch point for monks making the pilgrimage to St. Herbert’s Island. Not much is known about St. Herbert, but there are a number of churches around Cumbria dedicated to him. He lived on the island as a hermit eating fish from the lake and growing his own vegetables. Tradition has it that you can still see the ruins of his hermitage on the island, though these may have actually belonged to a folly.
St. Herbert was a great friend of Saint Cuthbert of the Island of Lindisfarne off the Northumbrian coast, and once a year St. Herbert would go to visit St. Cuthbert there.
St. Herbert’s island inspired Beatrix Potters’ Owl Island in The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and was also a filming location for the 1974 and 2016 filmings of Swallows and Amazons.
Visionairies – John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) was an artist, art critic, thinker, conservationist, social revolutionary. His interests were wide and varied, including the power of art and opening people’s eyes to the wonder of nature. He also foresaw the ‘green-house effect’ and inspired the establishment of the National Trust. He would have certainly made an interesting dinner guest!
Why not take some crayons and paper with you so that you can do some rubbings of words, images, tree bark and stones you find on your journey – or indulge your inner artist, be inspired as John Ruskin was – take some materials with you to draw a picture, write a poem, write an account of your journey, or take photos of things that catch your eye.
Things to spot – for little and big people
Can you spot the bug hotel – do you see any mini beasts staying over?
Can you find some gnarly roots or a knobbly tree trunk? What do they feel like?
Can you find Saint Herbert? Why not take a rubbing of his image? Who was he and where did he live?
What would you like about living on an island? and what wouldn’t you like?
Find the memorial to John Ruskin. Can you find the words he wrote about God? Why not take a rubbing of some of the words. What things can you see around you that make your heart soar, that lift your spirits, or that make you think of God?
What can you spot on Derwent Water?
Find the memorial to John Ruskin. Can you find the words he wrote about God? What things can you see around you that make your heart soar, that lift your spirits, or that make you think of God?