Is Keswick the Photography Capital of the Lake District?

For lovers of landscape photography, Keswick in the northern Lake District is hard to beat, specially during the autumn when the autumn colours are at their best. We were privileged to stay there for three nights from 15 to 18 October 2018. We stayed bang in the centre of Keswick at the excellent Highfield Hotel giving easy access to the shore of Derwent Water and to all the facilities that Keswick has to offer. Other locations good for photography were close to hand.

We arrived in the early afternoon of the first day to cloudless skies and immediately set out for a short walk over Castlehead and along the lake shore. Friar’s Crag along the way is a favorite with many visitors to Keswick giving unrivalled views along Derwent Water to Borrowdale in the South, and across to Cat Bells, probably Keswick’s favourite fell (or maybe that is Latrigg, which sits behind Keswick).

Slopes of Walla Crag, Keswick
Slopes of Walla Crag, Keswick

The second day, we drove over to Loweswater in the north west corner of the Lakes, a quiet area compared with some in the Lakes. The main attraction here was Holme Wood that borders the west side of the lake and Holme Force, the waterfall that runs through it. The waterfall includes a section where the water cascades onto rock strata and is then forced upwards creating an interesting effect. We didn’t see many people there, mainly what appeared to be local dog walkers. Afterwards, we drove the short distance to the north western end of Crummock Water, intending to do a walk and some photography there. However, the wind was strengthening and rain was threatening so we decided otherwise.

Holme Wood, Loweswater
The waterfall in Holme Wood, Loweswater
A section of Holme Force, Holme Wood, Loweswater

Next day we decided to do a walk in Borrowdale, including going up Castle Crag. The weather was forecast to be changeable and we started from Rosthwaite, a couple of miles south of the south end of Derwent Water. We followed the river Derwent almost to Grange-in-Borrowdale passing Castle Crag on it east side. We then doubled back and climbed a valley on its west side before surmounting Castle Crag itself, the last section being steep zig zags on loose slate. Although of fairly modest height, Castle Crag is a very rugged hill with fantastic views all around, although on this occasion they were somewhat blotted out by the rain and low cloud. We continued on to Seatoller, by which time the sun was shining, and finally reached our starting point at Rosthwaite. Having returned to Keswick, we went down to the boat landings to photograph the sunset and met up with Nigel off Twitter. After a few shots, we moved to Crow Park for more photography until darkness fell.

1810 Keswick 35
The view back towards Derwent Water with Castle Crag (right)
1810 Keswick 41
The green fields of Borrowdale contrasting with the autumn foliage
Sunset from the Keswick boat landings and Crow Park., Keswick
Sunset from the Keswick boat landings

Our final day started with me getting up early to get into position on Castlehead to photograph the expected misty scenes at sunrise. These didn’t at all disappoint and Castlehead, although not very high, was high enough to be above the mist, which in fact developed into a complete cloud inversion. As the sun rose and broke through, the cloud and mist gradually dispersed revealing some lovely scenes. It was then time to walk back to the hotel for a late breakfast after which we did a circular walk over Latrigg before leaving Keswick for home during the middle of the afternoon after a meal of fish and chips. Keswick had lived up to expectations and I’m sure we will be back again!

Sunrise from Castlehead, Keswick
Skiddaw from Castlehead, Keswick
Sunrise from Castlehead, Keswick
Sunrise from Castlehead, Keswick
A walk round and up Latrigg from Keswick
Latrigg from near Keswick

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