We left the hilltops to those with a better head for heights, and set off on a walk around Derwentwater. Lake circuits are my favourite, I think, and have the advantage of making it very difficult to get lost. This is an important consideration.
With fabulous views towards Cat Bells and Borrowdale, Derwentwater didn't disappoint. The Lake District is glorious in rain or shine. A friend from Sardinia tried to convince me of this many years ago, and finally I can see her point.
Apart from the fabulous views, Derwentwater is also noteworthy as the last remaining native habitat of the vendace fish. At one point we did come rather closer than I'd anticipated to the lake's aquatic life, wading through its chilly waters where the path was flooded.
The lake's islands are interesting too. Derwent Island was bought in 1778 by Joseph Pocklington. He built a house there, and a fort, a gothic boathouse and a mock stone circle. Every year he challenged the people of Keswick to attack the island whilst he shot at them with cannons. I can only hope that there weren't too many casualties. St Herbert's Island is said to be the inspiration for Owl Island in Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. In the book Squirrel Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry and their cousins cross the lake on rafts, using their tails as sails.
As much as I love walking, the highlight was returning to the pub for a pint of beer and a steak pie. Now that's what I call a day well spent.