Things to do
The bustling market town of Keswick , situated in the northern Lake District has everything you could wish for and more, to make it the perfect base for a break away. Offering a year-round calendar of events when Keswick and the North Lakes comes alive in a flurry of festivals celebrating everything from the great outdoors to literature and poetry and jazz.
Visitors flock to the area for a variety of outdoor adventures too. Choose from a picturesque lakeside stroll on the shores of the mighty Derwentwater the Queen of the Lakes – or reach the tops of Skiddaw and the famous sharp edge of Blenrcathra, undoubtedly one of the finest and most challenging ridge walks.
During the day shop till you drop amongst a range of independent local craft and gift shops to pick up that memorable souvenir to take home with you. Combine this with a tasty treat from a range of mouth-watering restaurants, cafes and bakeries that specialise in local delicacies. Our traditional Lakeland pubs are superb for relaxing with a pint of local ale, and perhaps some hearty pub-grub after a day on the fells.
Head west towards the majestic Whinlatter Forest – England’s only true Mountain Forest – before reaching the most tranquil trio of waters made up of Buttermere, Loweswater and Crummock Water – ideal for a picnic, paddle or an exhilarating open water swim.
Moot Hall, Keswick Market Square
Keswick has live theatre at ‘The Theatre by the Lake‘ and a good local classic cinema The Alhambra to keep you entertained. Theatre by the Lake is an ideal way to spend an evening full of inspiring theatre, dance and exhibitions. It’s location on the shores of Derwentwater is something special too, and it has a cafe and bar. The famous ‘Pencil Museum‘ attracts visitors from all over the world.
Lake cruises and rowing boats can be enjoyed on Derwentwater and you can use the boat service on the lake as a jumping-off point for walks further down the Borrowdale Valley. Look out for the annual Jazz festival in Keswick, which is always well supported. There is also a popular and challenging climbing wall and various opportunities for cycle hire.
With its lively twice- weekly award-winning market selling produce and local crafts plus a wide choice of individual shop, including butchers, bakers and an excellent supermarket, you will find plenty of ideas for your self-catering meals and for gifts to take home to family and friends.
North Lakes villages are dotted about within a few miles of Keswick and Heart of the Lakes offers holiday cottages in all the popular villages in the area.
Just to the west, you will find Portinscale and the ever-popular villages of Braithwaite and Thornthwaite all of which are handy for the Whinlatter Forest and its miles of walking and cycling trails as well as the famous Osprey viewing and visitor centre. Boats can be hired at Portinscale for dinghy sailing and canoeing on the lake.
Applethwaite is a charming little village on the southern slopes of Skiddaw and at the beginning of the walks up this well-loved top. With Underscar just along the road you can enjoy the bistro or book in for a beauty treatment or pamper day all within strolling distance.
Threlkeld lies to the immediate east of Keswick…this ever-popular village is home to a couple of well-known pubs especially The Horse and Farrier with its local specialities. Footpaths from Threlkeld lead to the top of Blencathra.
To the south of Keswick, you can enjoy the Borrowdale Valley with its own little villages…Grange in Borrowdale, Seatoller and Seathwaite. Visit the Bowder Stone and maybe take a tour of the Honister Slate mine or brave the Via Ferrata, which has its own visitor centre and shop. A drive or walk over the much-photographed Ashness Bridge will bring you to the more remote little hamlet of Watendlath which belongs to the National Trust, whilst picturesque Lorton in the Buttermere area offers you a chance to enjoy the western valleys and the dramatic surrounding scenery.
The Lingholm Kitchen & Walled Garden
The stunning café and shop looks down onto an octagonal walled garden built in a Victorian atyle using reclaimed materials. The menu offers delicious locally sourced foods, artisan breads and home baked cakes, real barista coffee and an extensive range of teas.
The Pheasant Inn, Bassenthwaite
The Pheasant Inn is renowned for the quality of its food and the unique atmosphere of the Fell Restaurant, Bistro and Bar. Recently been awarded two coveted AA Rosettes making it the only restaurant in the Cockermouth postcode area with the accolade.
The Bistro at Underscar
A warm welcome awaits you in the relaxing atmosphere at The Bistro at Underscar. Indulge in an aperitif whilst perusing the array of delicious and mouth-watering meals available on the menu. Alternatively just sit back, relax and enjoy a drink with some good company.
For a proper steak in the Lakes look no further than the Inn on the Square’s AA Rosette award-winning Brossen Steakhouse in Keswick is all about spectacular meat and proper stunning food. With local firmly on the menu with a wide selection of locally sourced produce, handpicked for amazing flavours and only the very best mouth-watering meat.
The Kirkstile Inn
The famous Kirkstile Inn at Loweswater is situated in a magical place nestling amongst the stunning fells in the northern Lake District and just a short distance from the lakes of Loweswater and Crummock. The Inn prides itself on its reputation for unpretentious home-cooked meals that places great emphasis on local Cumbrian and Lake District suppliers
A short sharp climb that rewards you with amazing views over Derwentwater the zig zag path makes it an interesting one to follow and great for all the family to enjoy.
Blencathra, also known as Saddleback, is one of the most northerly hills in the English Lake District with six separate fell tops. Renowned for one of the finest ridges you will find.
Perfect if you are looking for a short walk that is easily accessible from Keswick town centre with fabulous views over Derwentwater reaching to the jaws of the stunning and secluded Borrowdale Valley.
Climb to the summit of Dodd Wood for unrivalled panoramic views which encompass Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake, the Solway Coast and even the hills of Dumfries and Galloway. Also, nice to combine it with a visit to the historic Mire House & Gardens.
A picturesque route around one of the smallest lakes on the western edge of the Lake District. Perfect for a well-deserved stop off at the famous Kirkstile Inn for a legendary pint of the award Loweswater Gold
The Castlerigg Stone Circle, near Keswick, is one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain and sits on the level top of a low hill with views across to Skiddaw, Blencathra and Lonscale Fell.
Andromeda at Castlerigg Stone Circle, by Ben Bush Photography
Theatre by the Lake –
The Lakes Distillery –
Honister Slate Mine –
Mire House & Gardens –
Keswick Launch –
Heart of the Lakes has over 300 perfectly placed Holiday Cottages in the Lake District National Park – Keswick is an ideal location from which to explore, Heart of the Lakes will be sure to have something perfect for you all times of the year.
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