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March 2020: West Norfolk

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Derwent Water, Cumbria

Derwent Water
Situated in the Lake District National Park , Derwent Water is a large lake originally formed by glacial action. Left behind after the last Ice Age, the lake occupies part of Borrowdale and lies to the south of the town of Keswick . The lake is fed by the River Derwent and the same river drains the lake into the Irish Sea at Workington .

The lake is three miles long, a mile wide and 72 feet deep. The lake has a number of islands including Derwent Isle, Lord's Island, St Herbert's Island, Rampsholme Island and Otterbield Island. Derwent Island House is an 18th century residence on Derwent Isle. The house is now a tenanted National Trust property and is open to the public for just five days each year.

The lake is famous for boating. There are seven lakeside marinas and a regular passenger launch takes visitors between the various landing stages. Boats may be hired from several places along the shore and the most popular stopping places include Keswick , Portinscale and the Lodore Falls . At Derwent Water Marina , RYA courses in sailing and windsurfing are on offer. Groups and individuals can also try their hand at canoeing, kayaking, ghyll scrambling, rock climbing or raft-building from there.

The lake is a principle attraction within the Lake District National Park, not only because of the water itself but also because of the stunning scenery that surrounds the lake. The lake is surrounded by the fells of Derwent and Castlerigg with the Borrowdale mountains to the south, Newlands on the west and Skiddaw to the north. Hill, or fell walking is a very popular pastime in the area and people come from literally all over the world to walk the fells here. There is an extensive network of footpaths in the hills and woodlands that surround the lakes. A National Trust shop, situated by the lake at Lakeside Car Park, sells leaflets describing Family Walks round Derwent Water. If you are reasonably fit and active, it is quite possible to walk all around the edge of the lake in just one day.

The lake is thought to be the last native habit of the Vendace fish (Coregonus vandesius) left over from the four originally known.

Due to its long-standing popularity as a tourist destination, there is no shortage of accommodation in the area. There are a number of hotels although self catering in holiday cottages is a very popular choice

More British Natural features?

Other Cumbria Naturals

Lake Windermere
Scafell Pike
River Eden
Bassenthwaite Lake
Solway Coast
North Pennines
Solway Firth
Coniston Water
Arnside and Silverdale
Aira Force
Duddon Valley
Barrow Island
Walney Island
River Wampool
River Ehen
River Duddon
River Lune
River Cocker
River Esk

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