Derwentwater Skyline Challenge

Enjoy magnificent panoramic views around Derwentwater!

The Derwent Water Skyline offers groups the chance to complete a full circumnavigation of one of the most famous Waters in the Lake District but from an elevated position weaving over and around the peaks and ridges surrounding it. On a clear day you’ll get super views of the Lake and surrounding fells and throughout you’ll be passing through some really varied and inspiring landscapes.

This challenge represents a good option for groups who would like a slightly less demanding route than some of the more rigorous Skyline challenges elsewhere on the site. This is still a tough challenge, and a good level of fitness is required along with a good level of pre-challenge training. The distances are still long and with a good deal of ascent, but the key feature of this route is that it doesn’t expose us to quite the same level of rugged, loose and steep technical mountain terrain (and weather!) of the highest fells. This route also offers the opportunity to start and finish the route without transport, based from the bustling town of Keswick.

There are a great range of options for accommodation and places to eat and drink in Keswick to choose from. Onward transport to the M6 motorway at Penrith (junction 40) and the mainline train station at Penrith takes around 30 minutes.

We recommend that in the lead-up to this challenge, participants work on building up their stamina with weekly cardio-vascular exercise of a minimum of 1 hour per day, 5 days per week to build up their calf + quad muscles. It would also be beneficial to do at least one training walk if possible on broken rough terrain walking for at least 8 hours. From an average fitness start point it is likely you will need to commit to a 3-4 month fitness training programme to maximise your chance of success. We can help you prepare for this event – for  information about our  pre-selection / training day click here.


Arrival day

Check into your accommodation in Keswick followed by early evening team briefing. Alternatively, we can arrange transfers from Penrith Rail Station.

Second day - Walking

Our route starts from the Moot Hall in the centre of Keswick. Heading South East out of Keswick through Spring Wood, and we ascend to the summit of Walla Crag (376m) and our first spectacular viewpoint over the Lake from the top of the wooded rock faces. We then descend via the cascades of Cat Gill and follow a traverse path under Falcon Crags, where we can peer upwards at the prehistoric monoliths and scree gullies and maybe catch a glimpse of some of the Lake Districts bird species darting amongst the cliffs. Next, we reach the much photographed arch of Ashness bridge, and follow a minor road to an opening at ‘Surprise view’ where the world opens out again to reveal a stunning and dizzying view of Derwent Water and the Borrowdale valley.
We then join a footpath which sneaks alongside the trickling streams of Watendlath Beck to reach Watendlath farm and a the peaceful tarn (mountain lake) that resides here. We descend via South to Rosthwaite village from here which marks the completion of the first half of our journey.
The second half of the route offers a completely different character to our first section. We ascend steeply from Rosthwaite via the scree slopes of Rigghead Quarries to gain the summit of High Spy (653m), our first, and highest of three major mountain summits on the route. The atmosphere has definitely become more mountainous by this point, and your legs may be letting you know this by now too! Once on the summit of High Spy however, we begin a ridge walk tending gradually downhill over open and remote fell side to Maiden Moor (576m) and then via another short ascent to the rocky dome of Cat Bells (451m), our last peak of the day, where if the sun is shining we will be able to look across for a panoramic view of the route we’ve just traversed. Our descent back into Keswick takes us back along bridleways and wooded paths to the town centre for some well-earned rest and refreshments.
Distance 25.8km, Ascent 1385m, Descent 1386m, Target time 10 hours, Terrain – rough mountain paths and easy ridges.

Key Information

  • Advance booking required, minimum 8 weeks notice
  • Minimum group size 8, or reduced number by prior arrangement
  • Bring your own hiking gear and spare clothing in event of poor weather
  • We have First Aid and emergency equipment and are qualified to use it
  • Meeting point is Keswick or Penrith
  • We can arrange transfers from Penrith Railway Station if required

Package Includes

  • One day walking with experienced and licensed guides
  • Accommodation for two nights
  • Breakfasts and packed lunches
  • Training guidance information
  • Personal kit list and advisory service
  • Support transportation as required
  • 2-way radio communication – all staff
  • Trekking poles and head torches if required
  • Cotswold Outdoor Voucher – 15% discount
  • Photographic highlights of your event uploaded to Dropbox 
  • Local information plus second to none service with passionate staff!

Duration: 1 Day

Activities: Walking

Suitable for: Private or corporate teams looking for a charity fundraiser, personal development and/or team building event.

Grade: A tough event on relatively easy terrain but a less demanding route offering stunning panoramic views and suitable for mixed ability groups.

Prices from: £225

Call: 017687 75337

Booking Enquiry

Package Prices


From £250

Guest House – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Head torches and Trekking poles included
Price is per person

Enquire now


From £225

Hostel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Head torches and Trekking poles included
Price is per person

Enquire now


From £275

Hotel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Head torches and Trekking poles included
Price is per person

Enquire now

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