Popular Local Walks

Mary Mount Hotel is set in its own splendid grounds on the shore of Derwentwater, the Queen of the English Lakes. For the wildlife enthusiast this is a peaceful haven from which to observe a wide variety of the local flora and fauna, including abundant bird life and notably the increasingly rare red squirrel which delight in entertaining diners at Mary Mount by putting on a show of bird food raiding within easy view of the panoramic dining room windows.

Recommended local walks

For those who enjoy walking, there are several walks in close proximity to the Mary Mount hotel which eliminates the need to use a car. Some may optionally involve the use of the Keswick Launch service, whose Lodore Pier is immediately adjacent to the hotel, or the Borrowdale Bus, service 78, which passes the hotel and runs between Keswick and Seatoller.

Of course, the Lake District abounds in walks of varying difficulty, and it is impossible to list them all here. There are several excellent books available, including the famous Wainwright series, which will suggest tempting days out. Some books may be borrowed from the hotel lounge. There are also some excellent websites devoted to Lake District walks some of which are shown on our links page.

Listed here are some suggestions - feel free to print them out for your use when visiting Mary Mount.

Borrowdale's History

Unlikely as it seems now, Borrowdale was once an industrial centre - those mounds at High Brandelhow are mining spoil tips! Evidence of this industrial history is all around for the careful observer, with the forests still full of the remains of charcoal pits and on the west side of the lake, mineshafts are still visible. One of the earliest known was sunk by German Miners in the reign of Elizabeth I, but it's easy to miss - can you find it?

German Miners

In the sixteenth century Queen Elizabeth I brought German Miners to the Lake District. They were the experts at that time, and were told to look for anything of value. Cat Bells was extensively mined, the spoil heaps that resulted are still visible at Brandlehow Bay. Silver, lead, graphite and copper were found. Graphite, a particularly valuable find, was claimed by the military and taken under escort to London. It was used to line the moulds for making cannon balls and rifle shot, and when mixed with grease, as a lubricant for the gun carriage axles.

Later on the graphite was used to make pencils. Keswick had the first pencil mill in the world. The miners lived in camps along the shores of Derwentwater and utilised a number of the islands. When they went back to Germany they left the people of Keswick the Moot Hall, and Cumberland sausages.

One of the first mine shafts sunk is marked by a tree encompassed by a fence. The path passes behind it at the head of the lake. Have a look, but do not fall down the hole!