Things to do
Keswick is a lovely market town nestles at the foot of Skiddaw and on the shores of Derwentwater lake amidst some of the most beautiful Lakeland scenery.
Delightful walks can be enjoyed in the surrounding hills…Catbells is one of the most popular offering visitors a fine lake and mountain panorama from its summit. The highest tops of Skiddaw and Blencathra are there for the hardy walkers and the famous Sharp Edge on Blencathra is one of the finest ridge walks in the area. 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.
Skiddaw over Derwentwater, Keswick
Keswick has live theatre at ‘The Theatre by the Lake’ and a good local cinema to keep you entertained. Friendly local pubs and places to eat offer a whole range of prices and cuisines and the town is served by well-stocked shops. The famous ‘Pencil Museum’ attracts visitors from all over the world as does the ‘Cars of the Stars’ exhibition where you can see all manner of famous vehicles…from James Bond’s Aston Martin to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
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 weekly 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 which has its own visitor centre and shop. A drive 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.
Borrowdale looking towards Seatoller from Castle Crag quarry
With its scenic grandeur and delightfully traffic-free town centre Keswick has a bustling holiday feel making it a real favourite with Lake District visitors at all times of the year.
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